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Guggi, Dave-id and Gavin on RTE 2FM, 2004

Gavin, Guggi & Dave-id appeared live on RTE’s 2FM with Dan Hegarty on October 5, 2004. This is part I of the transcript:

Song: I am God

Hegarty: Well, it’s what you’ve been waiting for, The Virgin Prunes, ‘I am God’. The Virgin Prunes, or at least some of them, Gavin Friday, Dave-id and Guggi are in the studio with me.
“Dave-id Busarus Scott Hamster String Logical Gardens Spastic Society Spanking Parlour 12-12 16-62 fuck off you”

Dave-id: ‘Can I give you my full name before we start?’
Hegarty: ‘Oh go on yeah, do, do!’
Dave-id: ‘Dave-id Busarus Scott Hamster String Logical Gardens Spastic Society Spanking Parlour 12-12 16-62 fuck off you.’
Hegarty: ‘You must have an awful lot of trouble writing cheques to people.’
Dave-id: ‘Eh, no, it’s very easy, I just put ‘fuck off you’.
Gavin: ‘Ssh… Dave-id… focus’
Hegarty: ‘Now, now’
Guggi: ‘Dave-id Busarus Scott / mumbles unintelligibly / 16 16 come on now!’
Gavin: ‘Come on, use your credit card, come on, stop using bad language. It’s Saturday night. This is chill out zone. My name is Gavin.’
Hegarty: ‘Welcome, Gavin.’
Dave-id: ‘My name is Dave-id Busarus…’
Gavin: ‘We know that.’
Dave-id: ‘…leaving out the rest. That was only for joking.’
Gavin: ‘And who is your other friend beside you, Dave-id?’
Dave-id: ‘That’s Guggi.’
Gavin: ‘Can Guggi get a word in?’
Dave-id: ‘He can. He can say what he wants.’
Guggi: ‘Nice one, thanks Dave-id. Guggi.’
Hegarty: ‘So um, stuff is re-issued, you can buy Virgin Prunes records again. Are you surprised about how it’s held up and how well it sounds after all this time…’
Gavin: ‘No.’
Dave-id: ‘No, the Virgin Prunes were always ahead of themselves and the music was always ahead of its time and it always, I feel, will be. There’s never been an Irish band like us and there never will be. Gavin can ‘leborate on that. If he wants to.’
Gavin: ‘Well, I’m ‘laborating as I think… heh, ‘laborating…. Eh excuse us. Eh… I actually feel, eh, how good it sounds… Good is an opinion. I just think it sounds quite spiky and fresh. That sort of surprised me. Usually when you make an album you don’t play it. If you break the band up 15 years ago, you really don’t play it. So eh, yeah, eh…. I don’t know. And then it’s too personal, so how can you be objective? It’s up to you. You’re playing it!’
Hegarty: ‘I like it. I’ve been playing it. That’s always a good sign. But apparently I’ve no taste in music. But we won’t go into that.’
Gavin: ‘Who said that?’
Dave-id: ‘Everyone has some kind of taste in music. Even you do. Even Guggi here does, come on, say a few words Guggi about the brilliant things…’
Gavin: ‘Davey… On the way in, in the taxi…’
Guggi: ‘What did we tell you…’
Gavin: ‘We told you…’
Dave-id: ‘WE TOLD YOU NOT TO…’
Guggi: ‘Sssh!’
Gavin: ‘… to wear that dress. OK. We said ‘discipline’.’
Dave-id: ‘Discipline. Is coming.’
Gavin: ‘Yeah, well, relax.’
Dave-id: ‘Yeah, I am relaxed.’
Gavin: ‘OK’.
Hegarty: ‘So anyway, the stuff… it took quite a while to get re-issued and things like that. I remember hearing rumours it would have been four years ago that the stuff was going to come out. Was it a difficult thing to get it all together?’
Gavin: ‘It was difficult because we had to find it. So it about four years ago … we, we.. we… You see he’s pouring wine. You’re hearing the sound…’
Hegarty: ‘That’s water, you mean.’
David: ‘Chateau…’
Gavin: ‘No you can’t smoke on air, but you CAN drink. He’s drinking water. We’re drinking wine. Davey’s not allowed any more wine.’
Guggi: ‘Davey is after guzzling about two glasses while we were listening to that first track. I think that could be the root of his problem…’
Gavin: ‘Davey, Dan’s asked me a question, can I answer it?’
Dave-id: ‘I’m not… I didn’t say a word!’
Gavin: ‘OK, great. About four years ago we started regathering our master tapes and I contacted Mute Records, Daniel Miller, the head of Mute. And he was very interested and then said ‘yes’ but he was too busy. I think Moby were making their money at the time and he said he’d get back to me and I usually… when someone says they get back to you, usually it’s bullshit. But he did get back and then we actually started sourcing all the tapes, and then we started looking for artwork and artwork was missing and you’re talking about going back 20, 25 years. So it took about a year or so to get everything together, and then Mute got sold to EMI and everything went frozen for about a year and then we had to master stuff and digitally restore, so…’
Hegarty: ‘And the lost artwork as well, which must be a complete pain in the ass.’
Gavin: ‘I…’
Dave-id: ‘It wasn’t really, in the end, because I think, to be honest, the pictures that Gavin put together for these covers are actually better than some of the original ones.’
Gavin: ‘I didn’t put them together. That’s what we had.’
Dave-id: ‘I know, it’s what you had, but you were the one organising and place.. for the CDs.’
Gavin: ‘OK, right.’
Guggi: ‘I’m not sure that they were actually. Were they better that the originals?’
Dave-id: ‘I think some of them are.’
Gavin: ‘Well, Davey’s obviously in control tonight, I think you should swap with Dan!’
Hegarty: ‘You are very welcome. The only thing is that the seat is… the feel on the back is really weird. I’d be dreadfully worried if you fell and hurt yourself. It’s alright if I fall and hurt myself.’
Gavin: ‘I actually don’t think the arse… heh, arsework I was gonna say. Heh. Artwork is lost, I think it’s just in some attic somewhere, eh…’
Dave-id: ‘Gathering dust. … Sorry, Gavin.’
Guggi: laughs
Hegarty: ‘One of things that people always go on about when the Virgin Prunes come up in conversation is the image. I mean the band formed around the time that the whole Punk thing was happening, I mean they say, you know, punks are scary looking people. I don’t know about you, but back in the 70s and the early 80s in Ireland, I reckon a person walking down the street or going to a gig and they see somebody dressed up in a dress and they’re wearing mascara and make up and all that, that must have been far scarier than anyone with a mohawk walking around. What type of reaction did you get when you first…’
Guggi: ‘You know what, if I may answer, I do think in all fairness looking like that, square skirt, black tights, pair of doc martens with Gav’s sticking over the top was incredibly scary. I mean he was my best mate and I was scared when I saw him walking down Grafton Street. You wore it well, Gav. You know what, it was a very different thing to the mohican.
Gavin: ‘And it was a very different thing actually to punk.’
Guggi: ‘The mohican worked… worked incredibly well on me, I think in 1977 when you started to see the first of the mohawks. As opposed to the Last of the Mohicans…but there’s no doubt about the fact that eh… Gav wore a dress like nobody else did. I don’t know if I can claim that for myself. Maybe… I’d like to think so…’
Gavin: ‘You’ve better legs that me, I mean….’
Guggi: ‘Better legs than you, but maybe I just…
Gavin: ‘Like a four yard skirt…’
Hegarty: ‘Maybe he shaved better..’
Gavin: ‘I don’t know, I think… people talk about ‘men in dresses’ and all that bullshit… but we were both, myself and Gugs, as we were growing up, were big Bowie fans. Then, like that was when were 12 or 13, and then punk came along. It was almost like a sort of cross mixture of both. But we never wore dresses the way like in the 80s, early 80s Boy George and all that… this was like… you know the fact that we wanted to wear earrings, and we were called a ‘poof’. You know… what? I mean basically, I looked more like I wanted to kill ya, rather than kiss ya. It was more like… it wasn’t anything… we were basically going ‘do not categorise us’.
Guggi: ‘Yeah, and I mean the point was, we certainly were not dressing up as women. And that kind of was our point.’
Gavin: ‘We never looked like women. The fact that we were quite cool looking, we couldn’t do anything about that, but…’
Hegarty: ‘Hmm. Yeh…’
Gavin: *laughs*
Hegarty: ‘I’ve got a whole lot of records. Does anybody want to pick something to play?’
Dave-id: ‘I’d like to hear Uncle Arthur! If that would be possible, from The Moon Looked Down and Laughed.’
Gavin: ‘We’ve just played something from The Moon Looked Down…’
Hegarty: ‘I tell you what… take a look through that…’
Dave-id: ‘Um, Dave-id is dead from If I Die, I Die!’
Gavin: ‘Oh another one of your songs!’
Dave-id: ‘There’s only been one. Dave-id is dead.’
Hegarty: ‘I’ll tell you what. I’ll pass these over here..’
Dave-id: ‘Dave-id is dead! Come on. If I Die, I Die. ’
Hegarty: ‘OK, where have we got…’
Gavin: ‘He hasn’t got If I Die, I Die.’
Hegarty: ‘I should have… what have I done with that?’
Dave-id: ‘OK then, um,
Hegarty: ‘Something off this one then.’
Gavin: ‘Sandpaper Lullaby!’
Dave-id: ‘Sandpaper Lullaby, that’s what I was just gonna say, from A New Form of Beauty.’
Gavin: ‘Yeah. Cause why? It’s emotional…’
Dave-id: ‘It’s emotional, it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful and it’s a nice song.’
Guggi: ‘But you’re not singing on it, Davey.’
Dave-id: ‘I know, but it brings out the beauty of Guggi and Gavin singing a beautiful song. A lullaby to get everyone to go to sleep tonight.’
Hegarty: ‘Well you don’t want to do that too early.’
Gavin: ‘They might turn the radio off, how about that?’
Dave-id: ‘They’d never turn the radio off when there’s three handsome young men like us here…’
Hegarty: ‘And one radio presenter of course, but leave me out. Anyway, but there we go.’
Guggi: ‘I think he’s talking about you, Dan, I think it was perhaps himself he wasn’t referring to.’
Dave-id: ‘No, I think it was, believe it or not. Just because I’ve a posh nose…’
Hegarty: ‘Anyway, we’ll take a music interlude.’

Song: Sandpaper Lullaby
Song: Moments and Mine

Hegarty: ‘The Virgin Prunes on night time 2FM, the guys are here with me. The first song you ever recorded.
Dave-id: ‘It is indeed, and by the way, we love all the people in Ireland. Very much. They’re dear to our hearts. And they’re very precious to us.
Gavin: ‘Where did we record that, Davey?’
Dave-id: ‘Dundalk, I believe.’
Gavin: ‘It was Setanta studios, Dundalk. Andrea Corr was only 2.’
Hegarty: ‘What year was that…’
Dave-id: ‘You were 1, were you?’
Hegarty: ‘Was I one? I am probably older than Andrea Corr. Maybe not, I don’t know..’
Gavin: ‘That was the first actual recording we ever made.’
Hegarty: ‘Really?’
Gavin: ‘Other than Dave Fanning sessions…’
Hegarty: ‘Which we have. We have two of them. One from 1980 and one from 82, which we’ll give a spin later on. I mean, when you were forming the band did you have any kind of master plan? Did you have any idea what you were going to turn out like or what you were going to do?’
Gavin: ‘I wouldn’t say we had a master plan. We made our first recording in 1980, but we formed late ’77, early ’78, so we performed for two years before we recorded anything.’
Guggi: ‘Certainly in the early days our plan was to do the next show.’
Dave-id: ‘I think our plan was to go out there and do things like, like in the first show ever, I think I was telling the story of a tomato sauce factory, so, and eating a chicken on stage, so how real, more real can you get than that?

Gavin: ‘Can I explain, elaborate on that? When we formed the band, in those days things were quite spontaneous, like when punk happened it almost gave everyone a license to form a band. We didn’t think you could actually for a band, but punk gave this license to do it. Lean two or three chords and do it. We were sort of like, myself and Guggi wanted to get up on stage and then we picked Strongman because he looks like a bass player, Dik actually WAS a guitarist and knew a lot of chords and we had a drummer that could play drums and Dave-id was… Dave-id, Mr Rent-a-mouth tonight, was our close friend and he, when we used to be living in…’
Guggi: ‘I think it’s fair to say, Dave-id had more natural cool than the rest of us put together.’
Gavin: ‘Absolutely, but remember when you used to live in Cabra road and he used to get up and get the fish and chips for everybody when we were living in flats? Davey always brought a full chicken. We’d all get cod and chips and onion rings. He’d get a full chicken, and chips. We wanted Davey in the band but we didn’t know what he could do. And he used to eat a full chicken and our first gig, our first official gig, was 1978 in the Project, and we said, we’ve only 15 minutes of songs… so maybe Dave-id, if you came on and ate a chicken for the first five minutes and then talked about tomato sauce and that… so that’s the tomato sauce, isn’t it?’
Dave-id: ‘That is the story of it.’
Hegarty: ‘What sort of reaction were you getting from people? Because it must have been quite bizarre. I mean if it happened now it would be quite bizarre.’
Gavin: ‘It couldn’t happen now.’
Dave-id: ‘That’s why… sorry, Gav, that’s why I kind of think all the Virgin Prunes stuff is ahead of its time. Sorry Gavin, for interrupting.’
*Gavin laughs. Guggi cracks up.*
Guggi: ‘Davey, that’s just a standard line that you spit out every few minutes.’
Hegarty: ‘It’s like, I don’t mean to be rude, but, however…’
Dave-id: ‘You say something, Guggi, then…’
Guggi: ‘I just said something.’
Hegarty: ‘OK, can I say something?’
Gavin: ‘Band argument…’
Hegarty: ‘No, it’s cool. I could write a book about this. I may do, at some point in the future. But anyway…’
Dave-id: ‘Oh he’s the guy who is gonna write the book.’
Hegarty: ‘No it won’t be an exposé, it would be a nice book. But anyway, we’ll get to that later, we can talk about split… but anyway, there’s a lot of urban myths and stories around town about the Virgin Prunes. Now one of them that I heard was someone told me some time in the early 80s you were doing a gig and you were on stage and a lot of the people were sitting there going ‘I don’t know if I know how to take this or not’ and somebody stood up halfway through the gig and said ‘come on, this is nonsense, I don’t understand this, I’m leaving. And this guy sat there just going ‘I don’t know if I want to leave, cause this could be part of the act’. He didn’t know whether this was part of the scene, part of the band or was this part of one of the songs. You must have had people kind of sitting there going ‘I don’t know what the hell is going on.’
Gavin: ‘There was a little bit of that. Some of it was contrived, some of it wasn’t, like we never played encores in our first few years. And then everyone used to take it for granted that we didn’t play encores. And then we went, oh everyone takes it for granted we don’t play encores, so the audience used to leave the minute we’d leave the stage. So at one stage we says, once they all leave, we’ll come back on. And we played the first chords of a song. And then they’d all run back in and then we’d walk off. So there was a little bit of head wrecking. So there was always that sort of like don’t take anything for granted, no clichés. I think we were just… we were quite young, we were 18, 19, 20 when we first started we were just messing with our heads and with everyone’s heads.
Hegarty: ‘… and everyone else’s while you were doing it.’
Gavin: ‘Yeah, but that’s good.’
Hegarty: ‘I suppose it is, yeah, I mean did you ever get beaten up or anything, for doing stuff like this?’
Gavin: ‘On stage?’
Dave-id: ‘Well, I threw a guitar at a girl once and her 17 brothers wanted to kill me and the rest of the band, I think.’
Guggi: ‘I think generally speaking it is fair to say that the Virgin Prunes beat their audience up as opposed to the other way around.’
Gavin: ‘We got bet up for how we looked when we walked down the street and on the 19a bus we got bet up. But on stage it was never really… it was aggressive and it was expressive but we never went out to hurt anyone. I think… I mean Ireland 25 years ago was very different than it is now. We didn’t want to play the Baggot Inn, we didn’t think about making hit records. It wasn’t… we were just, we took the ethic of punk and expression and art very seriously. Everybody thought we were very pretentious. But like, 20 odd years later you know we aren’t, don’t you?
Hegarty: ‘Eh, yes. Is the right answer?’
*laughter*
Guggi: ‘We took our humour very seriously. And some people perhaps misread that. There was so much humour that run right through the Virgin Prunes, but it was always picked up to be incredibly serious.’
Hegarty: ‘But when you say you never like, sat down to write a hit record, you ultimately, you had one… didn’t you have a number 1 in Greece, or is that another one of these myths?
Guggi: ‘No, I heard that, that’s true, I think.’
Gavin: ‘No, I had a number 1 in Greece.’
Dave-id: ‘Oh YOU had a number 1 in Greece.’
Hegarty: ‘I knew I was going to get my wires crossed.’
Gavin: ‘I want to live was number 1 in Greece. But eh… no, but… Baby Turns Blue and Pagan Love song were big, big indie hits in the early 80s. I mean the band were very popular, more so in Central Europe than here in Ireland. Even in Britain. But Britain was always a bit cold to us. London… we shot ourselves in the foot almost deliberately. One of the first songs we ever wrote was called Art Fuck. And it became almost our anthem.’
Dave-id: ‘And then it was never recorded. I think Art Fuck was so commercial in some sense, but it was never released, that was the kind of band we…’
Gavin: ‘We wouldn’t record it… it became almost this anthem, and we deliberately… what’s this, a fucking…sorry. We wouldn’t record it. Which was commercially silly, but…’
Hegarty: ‘I suppose commercial things weren’t…’
Gavin: ‘We were hardcore. We were beyond Rage Against the Machine.’
Hegarty: ‘There’s nothing wrong with Rage Against the Machine, now. I think I wore out their first album on tape when I was in college. Now, just changing the subject ever so slightly. This girl… ‘
Dave-id: ‘She’s a very pretty young lady to be on the front cover at this hour of the night… that’s all I can say.’
Hegarty: ‘Well, well, now… her name is Emm Gryner, she’s from Canada, and she does a version of various different songs. I’ll give you a list of some of them. Therapy, Thin Lizzy, The Corrs, Gilbert O’Sullivan, The Undertones, Something Happens, Horselips, The Thrills and The Virgin Prunes.
Gavin: ‘Wow.’
Dave-id: ‘I’d love to hear The Virgin Prunes song.’
Hegarty: ‘Shall we have a listen?’
Gavin: ‘What song does she do?’
Dave-id: ‘It’s Bau Dachöng I bet ya, is it?’
Hegarty: ‘Yes it is.’
Dave-id: ‘I’ve heard this.’
Hegarty: ‘I’m glad you said that, I couldn’t pronounce it. I’ll give it a blast, see what you think, see how appalled you are, it’s quite different.’

Emm Gryner – Bau Dachöng
The Virgin Prunes – Bau Dachöng

Hegarty: ‘It is the Virgin Prunes, I’m not even going to attempt to pronounce…’
Dave-id: ‘Bau Dachön.’
Hegarty: ‘Thank you very much.’
Gavin: ‘Bau Dachöng’
Dave-id: ‘chön’.
Hegarty: ‘And before that you heard Emm Gryner’s version of the eh, song…’
Dave-id: ‘Bau Dachön’
Gavin: ‘chöng’
Dave-id: ‘chön, chön’
Gavin: ‘chöng’
Hegarty: ‘What did you make of that? It’s a little bit different from the original.’
Gavin: ‘It’s wild, it’s great.’
Guggi: ‘I thought it was kind of beautiful actually.’
Dave-id: ‘It is beautiful.’
Hegarty: ‘And then covering on the same record, covering Gilbert O’Sullivan…’
Gavin: ‘And The Corrs, and the Prunes and ASH, it’s unbelievable. She’s quite a complex lady I’d say.’
Hegarty: ‘Yeah. She looks it. I like her duvet.’
Gavin: “Is she in the duvet?’
Hegarty: ‘She seems to be, yeah..’
Dave-id: ‘Yeah, I said I loved the pretty cover I think, before you played the song.’
Gavin: ‘You’ve just got sex on your mind, Busarus.’
Dave-id: ‘No!’
Guggi: ‘You can see on the cover that she’s either dreaming about Gavin Friday, or Jim Corr.’
Dave-id: ‘I think it’s Dave-id Busarus, to be honest.’
Gavin: ‘Jim Corr hasn’t a chance.’
Hegarty: ‘Songs of Love and Death is what it’s called.’
Gavin: ‘Oh, Mrs Happy.’
Hegarty: ‘As happy as Rage against the machine or something like that. We were talking during the break there, or during the music about the Late Late, the first time that you guys played on that, it was 78 you said?’
Gavin: ‘No, I think it was 79, it was 79. And it was around the time that John Paul II played his big sell out gig in the Phoenix Park.’
Hegarty: ‘Why am I nodding my head?’
Gavin: ‘Why, were you 2?’
Hegarty: ‘I probably was doing something not very useful… like sit on a potty…’
Gavin: ‘Sit on a potty, or sucking yer mammy’s diddy.’
Hegarty: ‘Could have been. I’ll ring her.’
Gavin: ‘He pulled more people than U2. Phoenix Park in 79. And a few weeks later we played the Late Late Show. There was this euphoria about JPII. And eh… we upset a few people.’
Hegarty: ‘Just a few, or quite a lot?’
Dave-id: ‘I think quite a lot. I think that evening Gay Byrne, it was the first time after the show he left right away after the show, because… I broke through security and had sweets for everyone in the audience and I had this box of chocolates for Gay Byrne, he wouldn’t take it, so Dave Allen took it in the end, but that night Gay Byrne was out of there like the hammers of hell.’
Guggi: ‘I do remember in the dressing room later, Joe Dolan, who was the other music act, did come in and congratulate us and very generously invited us out for a drink. We didn’t go, but…you remember that?’
Gavin: *laughs* You don’t want to comment there. It’s all getting very deep and…’
Dave-id: ‘… meaningful and complex.’
Gavin: ‘It’s sounding like Pat McCabe play, now… Emerald Germs.’
Guggi: ‘That was the night I became a Joe Dolan fan.’
Gavin: ‘I’d say Joe Dolan was a fan of you, Dave-id.’
Hegarty: ‘Joe Dolan’s a legend.’
Gavin: ‘Yes he is and legends should…’
Hegarty: ‘Fall? I dunno.’
Gavin: ‘No, legends are legends. Sorry, eh, why are we so distracted tonight, Dan? Is it Dave-id?’
Hegarty: ‘I’m looking at the time…’
Gavin: ‘It’s one o’clock and the news comes on.’
Hegarty: It’s one o’clock and the news comes in and I’ve missed my ad break, but we’ll get the ad break afterwards, sorry. ’
Gavin: ‘Do the news.’
Hegarty: ‘I’ll do the news in…’
Gavin: ‘Davey, introduce the news.’
Hegarty: ‘Introduce the news.’
Dave-id: ‘Now we have coming up…’
Hegarty: ‘You make it 30 seconds…’
Dave-id: ‘Now we have coming up, the one o’clock news with eh… this beautiful man here, tonight.’
Gavin: ‘But he’s not reading the news.’
Dave-id: ‘OK, here’s the news with the ugly guy reading the news tonight. Take it now.’
Hegarty: ‘We go to the news, and we’re back with the Virgin Prunes right after.’