A series of nudes created for a model I was working with back in 2000. Anna wanted a record of herself and has no problem with this upload. She loves the drawings. I wanted to get a kind of retro feel to them so I used a washed sanguine underdrawing on the paper and then redrew over the washed out image.
THE BATTLE OF MOIRA. 1980
This is a painting of mine from 1980 titled ‘The Battle of Moira’ was commissioned by my friend Ian Adamson for the cover of his book of the same name and later I added to this series by producing a painting of the Setanta, CúChulainn, the Hound of Ulster, the greatest warrior in Early Irish Mythology, for the cover of his book, ‘The Cruitin’ -an essay on the genealogy and heritage of the Loyalist, Protestant, Scots-Irish people of Northern Ireland.
Ian was the Independent Unionist representative for the Shankill area of Belfast and, like myself, felt strongly that the Loyalist/Protestant tribal people were wrongly and erroniously labeled by the Nationalist (I’m still one and an Irish Catholic -despite the clerical paedos) as just a bunch of English/British Planters. Of course there were Planters who robbed the Irish of their lands but there were also indigenous peoples of a different persuasion here too from earliest times and many of the present wild tribe we call ‘Loyalists’ are in fact more Scots-Irish than Irish but Ireland is in their DNA since earliest times and they remain fiercely independent too to this day, often without understanding the reasons for their singular and separate identity. They too were persecuted by the British and rose in rebellion against the Crown many times and their kith and kin were driven from Ireland -not by the Gaelic Irish -but by the religious persecution of the British Anglican church.
From them came many past American presidents whose names are honoured in the USA and hardly even know here at home.
Don’t be fooled by the thugs you see on Television news either. The real Loyalist people I know are warm friendly and full of wicked humour. But not all; I remember that brutish mass-murderer of innocent Catholics, (who I cannot name but we all know who I mean) bragging that this book, with my cover of CúChulainn, was his ‘Bible’.
I tried to explain that the book contained words, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and nouns and they were sweet fuckall use if you couldn’t read. I remember too that when it was first published by the UDA and featured in a great window display that same yokel went in demanding that it be removed. Quote; ‘What’s that Taig muck doing in the window?”. He was too thick and uneducated to understand what this book represented; a challenge to all the pre-concieved notions of Irish, British, Loyalist lineage and heritage. So much for declaring later it was his ‘Bible’.
I had my life threatened by him once in the bar of the Wellington Arms, in Belfast. Luckily I was alert and sober for that one but I was rescued but a great buddy of mine, the Shankill photographer Buzz Logan, who I figured would save my ass anyway. I also was a friend of the then ‘Vicar’ of the Shankill, the wonderful Reverend Brian Smeeton so I had a bit of heavy artillery on my side if I needed it.
Every picture tells a story but this one tells many.
The original Battle of Moira was the subject of an epic poem called ‘Congal’ by the great Ulster poet and patriot Sir Samuel Ferguson.
Ferguson’s account of the battle has long been regarded as one of the greatest epic poems of all. Titled ‘Congal’ from the name of the principal participants of the great battle, Congal Clean, King of Ulster. Congal fought to maintain the sovereignty of Ulster against the powerful Uí Neill dynasty. His huge army of Ulstermen, Cruitin, Scots, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, Franks and Britons were defested decisively by the Gaelic armies of Leinster, Connaught and Leath Mogha (Southern Ireland).
Congal was slain in the battle and with him died allhope of Ulster’s independence from Gaelic Ireland.
After the Battle of Moira Ulster was subjugated by the powerful Uí Neill (O’Neill) dynasty, the old Bardic order was overthrown and the migration of the Cruitin, Old Scots and Ulaid -all pre-Celtic tribes of Ancient Ireland -to the kingdom of Dal-Riada Alba (modern Scotland) was accelerated and continued up to the time of the Elizabethan plantations.
The rest is history and today we still have to learn to live together as the consequences of the Plantations and the slaughter of the native Gaelic people continue to reverberate up to this day in Northen Ireland after a vicious 35 year civil war.
DARKTHRONE. UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE. 2013.
I was approached by DarkThrone last year, 2012, to allow them to use my painting “The Battle of Moira’ for their new album cover for ‘The Underground Resistance’, a classic Black Metal band album. Back in the day I loved Trash Metal, Speed metal and pretty any kind of raucous rock music so I knew this would be a good one except for the fact that money was tight, very tight. In the end I agreed a small fee so the project could go ahead and besides I loved the music. Despite the bad rap Black Metal gets in the media it is not neo-Nazi stuff and as far as I am aware and having checked via the web I am pretty sure that does not apply in any way, shape or form with DarkThrone.
An American friend of mine did remind me that when he was servingwith the 84th Airborne in Iraq and Afganistan this was their music of choice. I could easily understand that one: if I was in a war zone and needed psyching up my choice of ambient noise blasting from the speakers would not be ‘The Sound of Music’.
Mostly Women. Works in Progress. Secret stuff.
Please note: No images in this section to be reproduced in any shape or form without the written permission of Jim FitzPatrick.
I am a working artist and I paint or draw every day as I have all my life.
Almost all the work I produce is drawn from the strands of my own personal obsessions; my graphic art, my Celtic work and my long running ‘Mostly Women’ project.
Those of you familiar with my art will remember the more iconic works I have produced over the last couple of decades; the red and black Che Guevara Poster of 1968, now regarded as one of the most important and iconic graphic art works of the last century; my album cover artwork for Irish band Thin Lizzy -and the iconic Black Rose cover -most who know my work will be familiar with that one too, and finally my Celtic artwork which almost suffers from familiarity here in Ireland.
This blog will be devoted to new work and focus more on my ongoing ‘Mostly Women’ project, started back in 1990, recording the lives and beauty of my female friends and acquaintances with particular emphasis on artworks related to my friend and muse Audi (Audrey Nugent), who inspired me to take this course of action over twenty years ago.
Of course I love producing graphic art and my more well-known Celtic Art -and the myths and Legends of Ireland that inspire and inform these works -but an artist cannot stand still and with a wild monkey-mind that leaps from tree to tree I have no choice but to follow the erratic and often errant muse wherever she takes me.
The sort of work I will post here will be primarily works-in -progress. Don’t be fooled, many of these works have been ‘in progress’ for far too long; I have an attic and hall full of unfinished canvases and folders of drawings in their hundreds, most well and truly completed but with a good percentage still needing more than just finishing.
One of the primary reasons for using this blog to publish this unknown work is to pressure myself to finish each older work rather than keep starting new works. What better way than to announce my intentions and use the blog to force myself to actually see these works through from start to finish. I am sure I am not alone with this problem, unfinished works litter the ouvre of so many artists and sometimes they actually look better unfinished so I will also allow myself a cut-of point that may allow me a little latitude. It’s not as if the world awaits the results of this, my attempt to create a substantial body of new work, but it helps to focus my attention and complete works that I feel deserve completion.
Right now I am back working on a triptych I really always have wanted to finish properly, entitled ‘Girl in a Blue Dress’, modelled by a beautiful friend of mine back in 2007. Conceived and begun in 2007, then abandoned due to various factors not worth getting into here, it was always my intention one day to sort them out and actually finish them but with the beautiful weather in Ireland at this present time I used these as an excuse to set up my easel on the balcony and started back on them this month, on the 21st May 2013.
Here they are as I left them in 2007. I will update as I proceed and show the results only here for the present.
Again I must insist that they are NOT to be reproduced without my written permission. When the time comes I will be quite happy to publish them but not right now.
Jim FitzPatrick.May 2013.
I did a lot of work with one of my own heroes, controversial Irish singer/songwriter Sinéad O’Connor, in the early part of this new millennium.
Now it is time to put these works in context and show them -and some of the photographs, sketches and drawings that were produced for the various projects with Sinéad.
The most controversial work, of course is the huge nude painting I produced for the great singer/songwriter in 2003, featuring Sinéad as the model for a large and ambitious canvas titled ‘Strange Days’.
The painting is pretty famous, or notorious, depending on your point of view, for exchanging hands in controversial circumstances and selling at auction in 2011 for a massive €24,000 when it had a reserve of €10,000 -and had been expected to sell for less.
I will tell the whole story of that painting and others here but first here is some of my work for her wonderful album ‘Faith and Courage’ in 2001.
Sinead O’Connor. Faith and Courage.2001.
When I was young I spent a whole lot of time drawing series after series of works and developed a style of drawing and painting that suited me.
I have never before published any of them but they are all carefully stored; while some of the paintings have been lost, all the drawings survive and I will publish them as I photograph them.
Charity gig last night for SelfHelpAfrica in the restored Smock Alley Theatre. Tosca, my favourite Dublin Restarant run by Norman Hewson, brother of Bono, opened as a pop-up shop for one night only and we raised a load of money for the charity. My own Thin Lizzy Black Rose print sold for €1,100 which was cool for the charity; I never take a cut for charity gigs so all the loot goes to them. But I did have a whole lotta fun too. Old staff and customers came from all over the world for this one and it was a blast. Here’s a few pix.
NEW EXHIBITIONS: NOVEMBER 2012.
THE SWEET SHOP GALLERY. WEXFORD.
THE TOM DUNNE SHOW. NEWSTALK FM. September 2012
SURF’S UP. THE TOM DUNNE SHOW. NEWSTALK FM. October 2012.
JIM FITZPATRICK. THE ARTIST. CV.2012 (WORK IN PROGRESS).
‘Creator of ‘The ultimate graphic in the history of art’. –Aleksandra Mir.
‘We may never have a Wagner to put our myths to music, but many will share my view that in FitzPatrick we have an artist to illustrate them who is second to none.’
-John Ryan. ‘Ireland Today’.
‘No man in Ireland has sharper awareness of what we inherit from the ancient past than Jim FitzPatrick; it has been his inspiration and tutor ever since, as an eight-year-old, he was taken on a mystery bus tour whose secret destination was Newgrange Tumulus.
Not only is he an authority on Celtic art, his own highly individualistic work embodies all the Celtic virtues; vivid imagination, love of sumptuous detail harnessed to a breathtaking capacity for taking pains and – most significant of all – a sense of the mystery that hides behind the material world. He is the most eloquent Irish poet ever to wield a paintbrush.
Starting with the Celtia portfolio of posters on mythological themes in 1974, FitzPatrick went on to retell the great legends of the gods and goddesses of the Tuatha De Danann in words and illustrations in two unique volumes, The Book of Conquests and The Silver Arm. The task has occupied him for many years and he is currently at work on the final book of the trilogy, The Son of the Sun.
He has lectured widely in Europe and the United States and his work has been exhibited in the major cities of Ireland and Britain, Europe, Asia and the United States, including the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the RHA in Dublin, the Tate and the Whitney Museum (‘Summer of Love’ exhibition), and many others.
He has more recently collaborated with noted conceptual artists such as Alexsandra Mir and Seamus Coleman and continually experiments with new ideas and concepts.
2010 saw the launch of his ipad app ‘Ireland, Land Of Legend: The Artwork of Jim FitzPatrick’, a beautiful exposition of his artwork and writings on his favourite subject, the myths and legends of his native Ireland, brought to life on the most modern of platforms.
Astonishingly, he is entirely self-taught.’
-Iain Mac Carthaigh .
‘Jim Fitzpatrick’s art wrestles with one of the crucial questions of our era: does modernity destroy the archaic?
FitzPatrick’s art is based on the insight that in both the personal preconscious and in the collective culture, archaic images survive and flourish.
Hence FitzPatrick’s art is an excercise in revelation; he reveals the lurking images and shows that given half a chance they will break into consciousness in a subtle mixture of archaic and modern, old and new, that is surprising, compelling and delightful.’
-Andrew M. Greeley.
2001: DESIGNER AND SCULPTOR: THE METEOR AWARD.
(THE IRISH MUSIC AWARDS). MEDIUM: BRONZE
RECENT EXHIBITIONS OF NOTE:
2003: ‘REVOLUTION AND COMMERCE’
(THE LEGACY OF KORDA’S PORTRAIT
OF CHE GUEVARA).
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE, CA, USA.
2004: ‘CELTIC ART AND DESIGN’.
BIRMINGHAM CENTRAL LIBRARY, BIRMINGHAM, U.K.
2005: ‘THE SUMMER OF LOVE’. EXHIBITION.
TATE GALLERY LIVERPOOL.
2005: ‘THE SUMMER OF LOVE’. EXHIBITION.
KUNSTHALLE WEIN. VIENNA.
2006: ‘THE SUMMER OF LOVE’. EXHIBITION.
SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE. FRANKFURT.
2006: ‘COMMUNISM’. A COLLABORATION WITH AMERICAN CONCEPTUAL ARTIST ALEXSANDRA MIR.
THE PROJECT GALLERY, DUBLIN , IRELAND
2006: ‘CHE GUEVARA:REVOLUTIONARY & ICON’.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON, UK.
2006: ‘EL CHE’. 212 BERLIN, DEL CARMEN COYOACAN, MEXICO.
2006: ‘STUDY FOR A PORTRAIT OF LARAGH’.
‘MYSTERY PORTRAIT POSTCARDS’ 150th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION. NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON.
2007: ‘CHE GUEVARA. RIVOLUZIONARIO E ICONA’.
MILANO, TRIENNALE BOVISA, ITALY.
2007: ‘SUMMER OF LOVE’ EXHIBITION.
WHITNEY MUSEUM OF ART. U.S.A.
2007: ‘THE SUMMER OF LOVE’ EXHIBITION,
ST.PAUL’S GALLERY BIRMINGHAM, UK.
2007: ‘CHE! REVOLUCION Y MERCADO’.
LA VIRREINA EXPOSITIONS, PALACIO VIRREINA,
RAMBLAS, BARCELONA, SPAIN.
2007: MANIFESTO GALLERY, WATERFORD. GROUP SHOW.
2007: ‘JIM FITZPATRICK: LES ISLES/THE ISLANDS OF IRELAND’.
SOLO SHOW. THE IRISH COLLEGE, PARIS, FRANCE.
2008: ‘KORDA’S CHE –FROM REVOLUTION TO ICON’.
(NARRATIVE OF A PORTRAIT). SANTRAL, ISTANBUL, TURKEY.
2008: GROUP SHOW.’WATERCOLOURS’.
PURPLE ONION GALLERY, CO.ROSCOMMON.
2009: ‘FUTURES’ EXHIBITION. ROYAL HIBERNIAN ACADEMY.
‘PAX CHRISTI’ A COLLABORATION WITH IRISH
CONCEPTUAL ARTIST SEAMUS NOLAN.
2010: ‘CHE. REVOLUTIONARY AND ICON.’
2010: CHE POSTERS BY JIM FITZPATRICK ADDED TO COLLECTION.
THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF POLITICAL GRAPHICS.
LOS ANGELES. USA.
2012. COLLECTION OF TEN POLITICAL POSTERS BY JIM FITZPATRICK ADDED TO PERMANENT COLLECTION.
THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF POLITICAL GRAPHICS.
LOS ANGELES. USA.
2011. PIVOT. ARTHOUSE. DUBLIN.
2012. ‘THE TEMPLE OF PSYCHIC YOUTH’. KEVIN KAVANAGH GALLERY.
CURATED BY PADRAIC MOORE. TWO PAINTINGS.
2012: NEWTOPIA: THE STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS.
CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION. MELCHEN . BELGIUM
‘PAX CHRISTI’ A COLLABORATION WITH IRISH
CONCEPTUAL ARTIST SEAMUS NOLAN.
(MISLABELLED AS ’JIM FITZGERALD’).
2012: ‘THE BENEDICT XV1 CONFESSION CHAMBER’.
Contribution by Jim FitzPatrick to the work by artist Helen Gorrill.
Brooklyn Museum. New York. Feminist Artbase. (Sealed Envelope).
2011.2012. GROUNDZERO 360. TOURING EXHIBITION. USA.
‘LAMENT FOR THE FALLEN. 9.11’. SERIES OF 10 PAINTINGS.
PRESENTLY EXHIBITED: FBI HQ. QUANTICO, VIRGINIA.
2012: ‘CHE. REVOLUTIONARY AND ICON.’
ARTSBLOCK. CULVER CENTER. UC RIVERSIDE.
(PERMANENT EXHIBITION PROPOSED).
2010. ‘IRELAND: LAND OF LEGEND’
‘THE ARTWORK OF JIM FITZPATRICK’
TEXT AND ART. APPLE IPAD APPLIANCE.
DEVELOPED BY EYESPYFX AND JIM FITZPATRICK.
2012. MEMBER: F.ounders. Ireland.
JIM FITZPATRICK. LIZZY DAYS: A WORK IN PROGRESS. 2012.
Jim FitzPatrick: ‘ANYONE HERE SEEN MY OLD FRIEND PHILIP ?’ 2003.
‘This pen and ink drawing was for an ongoing series of works I use as a form of therapy –a kind of visual diary of my feelings from time to time. Philip was a great friend to me and I suppose this was my way of saying I missed him. I have only ever shown it to his girls, Kathleen and Sarah, in 2004 and I think they understood what I was at. I got my own son, Conánn, a very talented caricaturist to sketch my face for the drawing and I added my own touch. It is one of my own very personal pieces.’
THIN LIZZY. A BRIEF INTRODUCTION.
Thin Lizzy are probably the seminal Irish rock band: before Thin Lizzy there were of course many superb Irish musicians, singers and bands (including some of the dreaded showbands) but none had the impact or put Irish rock music on the map internationally like Thin Lizzy.
Fronting this talented and often-changing lineup was the incredibly charismatic vocalist and lyricist, Irishman -and Dubliner, Philip Lynott.
Philip was one of my best friends and a hugely supportive ally in my own effort to carve out a career as an artist: he encouraged me and commissioned a lot of fine work for the band and even sometimes for himself. He recognized that I had a special talent and he liked to think he was the one who saw it first and used it to the max.
We often worked together on crazy ideas for album covers, many which never saw the light of day and others, like Jailbreak and Johnny the Fox, which started off as an idea for something completely different, more comic book style for Jailbreak while the initial designs for Johnny the Fox evolved into my most sophisticated artwork for the band. Once we were left alone both Philip and myself banged heads until we were both of one mind and the results were for me, an artist, just pure pleasure. I was free to express myself.
Even the well-known and universally familiar Thin Lizzy logo was born out of one of those sessions: I had just finished the artwork for the poster for The Rocker –incidentally my own favourite Lizzy tune –and I suggested to Philip that we needed a more permanent and immediately recognizable logo for the band.
Philip agreed and as we were talking he told me he loved the final art for The Rocker and thought the lettering was just A1: ‘Why don’t you draw me a logo like that,’ he said, ‘ Keep the capital T and the ‘h’ and the rest will just follow’. That’s how the Lizzy Logo was born.
A couple of weeks ago I was browsing in a Dublin bookshop and came across a book of great band logos called ‘ID’ and there it was, a full page all to itself. Still gives me a buzz.
Philip is gone and of course I miss so much about him, his wit, his charm, his cackling laugh but I miss a great friend, fellow artist and creative collaborator too.’
A NOTE FROM THE ARTIST.
THIN LIZZY. VAGABONDS OF THE WESTERN WORLD. ALBUM COVER. 1973.
‘My very first Thin Lizzy artwork! Poet and publisher Peter Fallon introduced me to Philip in Neary’s pub in Dublin and we hit it off straight away. We had a love of American comic books, poetry, Ireland and all things Irish and a shared fatherless upbringing.
I was absolutely delighted when Philip asked me to do the cover and poster for the upcoming ‘Vagabonds’ album and I had a couple of roughs over to him in London the following week. He loved the gatefold rough I prepared but the record company knocked it on the head so we went for the best part of the design and worked it up.
The logo was based of Tim Booth’s design –I just glossed it up a little –and the Marvel comics influence is very much in evidence.
‘Vagabonds’ has so many happy memories for me and I wish Philip was still around to share them one last time.’ -JF
I penned the above little note for my website and found that my memory, which is usually very dependable, had blurred that events that led to myself and Philip meeting for the very first time. Of course I could simply rewrite the story in the light of new events and the recovered memories that flow back often through meeting up with the old Lizzy gang or friends from that very crowded and crazy period.
Peter Fallon, Frank Murray and myself played team football together for a ramshackle team Peter christened ‘Energy Reserves’. I had suggested ‘Dynamo Dresden’ but good taste prevailed. Our first game was an absolute disaster, hammered 7-1 by Blackrock College (I got our only goal! -remember it well too -I chased a loose ball and turned and buried it!). Losing that one hurt and it took us a year to get revenge and by then we had a superb team with much better players, including Frank who was a wild long-haired winger with great pace who I fed off for many of my scores. I could go on and on ad infinitum about my football days -I only gave up last year -but I know well that glassy-eyed thousand-yard stare when I wax lyrical about the beautiful game.
Frank went on to be Philip’s road manager for many years; we stayed friends and still are and Frank is a mine of information from the inside on the old Lizzy days. Peter Fallon and myself collaborated for many years on the Tara Telephone beat poet stuff together with Eamonn Carr, later a the dri mmer for Irish band Horslips and is now a respected journalist.
Tara Telephone is a tricky one to explain unless you are familiar with the period and with the ‘beat group’ idea. The ‘beat’ referred to was not a musical term but related to the beatnik culture that spawned such great poetry and literature of the period. Our heroes were Kerouac, Ginzberg, and the ‘City Lights’ Beat Generation culture of San Franscisco; I personally was more influenced by the visuals of the 60s, the psychedelic poster art of the greats like Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelly, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso and a few others. Their influence and the whole 60s thing has always stayed with me; I was part of it too back then with my now-iconic red and black Che Guevara poster of 1968 -but strangely enough it was not that version that was my own personal favourite, it was the ‘Psychedelic Che’ silver foil poster of 1969 (Here with another silver foil poster for Club Elizabeth in Dublin) that worked best for me artistically.
MORE AS I GET TIME TO WRITE. JIM
VAGABONDS OF THE WESTERN WORLD. THIN LIZZY. 1973
Strange Days indeed: I was in town after an interview with Tom Dunne for Newstalk end September 2012 when I ran into Frank Murray, Philip Lynott’s best mate and personal manager. ‘Read the piece you wrote last night on ‘Vagabonds’: I have the rest of the story for you’. Coincidence or what? We went for a coffee in Bewleys and I used my iphone to record our conversation. I will sort it tonight and add it to the notes I have written so far right here on this page.
I told you here I met up and spoke to Frank Murray the other day. He spoke about how I got to do the ‘Vagabonds’ cover.
The Inside Story of the Vagabonds Cover.
Most of this is new information to me and came about from a chance meeting between myself and Frank Murray in Grafton Street a few days ago. Frank had read my posts about ‘Vagabonds’ on my Facebook Jim FitzPatrick Gallery Page and said to me; ‘Jim, you are missing a chunk of the story from the inside’. So off we went for a coffee in Bewleys and I recorded Frank on my iPhone.
According to Frank Murray, Philip’s best mate and confidante, Philip was looking for someone to do the new album cover for Thin Lizzy.
‘The ‘New Day’ EP was done by a guy called Dave Rowe and I felt it was too hippy-trippy so I said to Philip, ‘I know an artist called Jim FitzPatrick in Ireland’ and that is how you got involved’.
Both myself and artist Tim Booth were asked to do roughs for the forthcoming album and both Philip and Frank reckoned my more elaborate rough was nearer to what they wanted plus the fact that Tim was very busy with his own band, ‘Doctor Strangely Strange’.
If I remember correctly the album art for Tim’s band was my friend Roger Dean’s first album cover –Roger went on to design all ‘Yes’ albums. I used to buy those albums just for the beautiful covers!)
Frank’s understanding was that Philip knew Tim, probably didn’t know me but he knew my work, Tim was a friend and had done a Thin Lizzy logo for Philip while I was a friend of Frank from a few years before when we played football for a team called ‘Energy Reserves’, captained by Peter Fallon, now a highly regarded poet in Ireland.
Peter Fallon was a friend who I collaborated with as an artist via Ireland’s only beat group, Tara Telephone; Peter’s brother B.P.Fallon was publicist for John Lennon and later Marc Bolan and T-Rex. We had a magazine/booklet published by Tara Telephone called ‘Capella’ and my work was on every cover, pretty wild stuff too, while luminaries like Lennon, Bolan, David Bowie, Allan Ginzberg and Adrian Henri all contributed their talents and verses for our modest little publication.
After Frank had discussed this with Philip he got on the phone to me and briefed me that the title would be ‘Vagabonds of the Western World’,
I loved the title with it’s sideways nod to Irish writer John Millington Synge, author of The Playboy of the Western World’ which caused a riot in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin , calmed only by poet W.B.Yeats himself when he o roared down from the stage:
‘Dubliners, you have disgraced yourselves again!’
Philip always had this literary instinct and it flourished in this early writing too.
Frank told me over the phone the idea in their heads was that Lizzy were supposed to be some kind of band of rock ‘n roll gypsies, roaming vagabonds and general mischief makers. He gave the same brief to both myself and Tim and myself.
‘You came back, said Frank, with the most complete version (that was the gatefold idea in full colour) and Tim sent one; I forget what Tim’s idea was but I know it didn’t strike me immediately and I was getting on to Tim and saying ‘Can you do this, can you do that’ and Tim was saying; ‘How many of these do you want me to do?’ and there was the question of payment for so many roughs and add the time element with Tim being so busy always -all that would be a red rag to a bull to Philip, who just wanted it done.
I remember ringing you again and telling you to add in the little totems Philip wanted, for himself, Eric and Brian (the little spider, frog and mouse) and you sent over the best design; I remember it was on tracing paper with little notes added all over it so when myself and Philip were on the plane to Dublin, Philip said to me ‘Well, what are we doing about the sleeve?’ I said, ‘well, we will meet up with Jim FitzPatrick and sort out the cover, Jim, I think has come up with the best idea, Tim is very busy at the moment, so we will meet up with Jim’.
Philip replied ‘Ok, give him a shout and let’s meet up’, and that’s how it came about.
‘Wow!’ I said to Frank, ‘I didn’t know that’.
I had presumed it was via our mutual friend Peter Fallon and the a work I had done for Capella because when Philip, Frank and myself met for the very first time in Nearys Pub, Philip had a copy of Capella with him and told me how much he liked it. Never knew the other side of the story. Myself and Frank need to sit down and talk some more. ☺
The Story Behind VAGABONDS OF THE WESTERN WORK Artwork. Part 2.
I was no slouch; I had spent a few years as an advertising Art Director and knew my stuff. I knew how to prepare artwork for reproduction; I knew what could and could not be done. I had won quite a few awards for my work too. I had produced an endless stream of wild graphics and my work was well known, in fact Philip told me what attracted him to ask me to work for the band were my crazy graphics for Tara Telephone, a Dublin beat group, and the poster-poems I produced for them, all printed in wild psychedelic colours…
MORE TO FOLLOW….