Sean’s music 1

Sean in Metallica t-shirt

My wife and I love music, and our children showed the same inclination from an early age, whether through nature, nurture or both. We always had some cassette playing in the car when they were small – often The Beatles, Bob Dylan or Bob Marley, as I recall – and we played loads of CDs in the house.

The first artist Sean independently got into was Eminem, I think … we were a bit concerned about some of the lyrics (there was a lot of anti-Eminem hysteria among God-fearin’, right-thinkin’ folk at the time), but Sean assured us that there was nothing to worry about, and we could see that Eminem was a serious and talented artist.

However, Sean found it hard to suppress his frivolous side, or to stay earnest and angst-ridden for long. He loved the single ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ by The Darkness in 2003 (it featured in a television programme on that year I watched last night). His weakness for theatrical rock would later manifest in a liking for Queen, but first it took a detour through heavy metal.

The metal bands he liked, and played very loudly in his bedroom, included System of a Down (strangely catchy Armenian-Californian bombast), Metallica, Korn, Slipknot and others. I liked only the first two of these. We argued as to whether Thin Lizzy’s or Metallica’s version of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ was better.

At the age of 13 or so, we allowed Sean to go to heavy metal gigs in Navan, which were organized and well supervised by a Christian youth group whose name I forget. We sometimes caught the end of these when we went to collect him … some of the (local) bands were really good (and really loud).

Sean, of course, developed a network of metal-loving friends in Navan and elsewhere. He insisted that metal fans were far nicer, gentler, more caring people than pop fans. He may well have been right.

After he tired of the heavy metal, Sean went through a phase of listening to hideous electronic dance music … the only musical love of his that I ever truly detested. Luckily it didn’t last very long.

Below are two of the songs that most remind me of his heavy metal phase.



Filed under Music

30 responses to “Sean’s music 1

  1. The System of a Down one doesn’t show properly in the post, for some reason.

  2. Rainer the cabbie

    I agree, often when I pick up young ones from a concert that had finished, the Heavy Metal fans seem to have a lot more respect.
    Often they look the scariest of passengers to load into the cab, but turn out to be nice kids.

  3. Marya

    Hello Brendan … the soundtrack of our lives .. music is so emotive.It can be both comforting and heartbreaking in the memories it evokes.

    The photo is special, isn’t it? Sean has that dreamy,faraway expression of the young teenager and an affectionate arm around you.It is touching.

    Marya x

    • Hello Marya … thanks for this. Yes, you’re right about music. It was certainly the soundtrack to our lives with Sean. I’ll be posting a lot of the tracks Sean liked here.

      Yes, I like the photo. Majorca in 2004. He was probably about to ask me for some money. 🙂

      • That would explain the thoughtful expressions, Brendan. 🙂

        Music is such an emotive thing, as Marya rightly points out.

        It’s a reciprocal thing though, my girls loved some of the oldies I used to play, and I sort of, learnt to love some of their music.

        Lovely memories.

        • Yes, Araminta. Memories for the rest of our lives.

          My wife is going to make a temporary memorial for the grave – mosaic or stained glass with timber, possibly – with the inscription ‘Forever Young’. Sean liked the Bob Dylan song of that name, and it was the first song played on the jukebox in the pub when we went there after his funeral.

      • Marya

        That is amusing, Brendan 🙂

        I like some Metallica tracks ..and Queen can do no wrong .. theatrical or not 🙂

        Yes, keep posting .. sometimes music expresses the inexpressible.

        Marya x

  4. Eminem, will he be remembered in 200 years time? Is he “our” Bach?

  5. ‘Forever Young’ is so fitting. I noticed what you wrote about the way it happened to be the first track on the jukebox and the Darkness track cropping up. Things like that will happen a lot and each one will mean something. Reminders of memories. All good.

    • Yes, Jan. A lot of Bob Marley was played on the jukebox that day. Certain tracks that he particularly liked towards the end of his life (and I did too) mean so much.

  6. Bachman Turner Overdrive;)

  7. JR

    Hi Bob,
    I would think that love of music is mostly nurture though ability to play may be more a mix of both, combined with hard work genes! Last Christmas Ben, who was 7 at the time, got the iPod he had requested from Santa. I downloaded quite a lot of music from my own collection to his iPod and some music he had requested. Then, in a surreal way, I found myself discussing artists, stretching from Van Morrison to Pink, with him. Its fantastic to see kids appreciate music so young and I’ve observed there is no real musical generation gap between our kids and us contrary to that which existed between us and our parents. Keep up the writing!

    • Hello JR … good to see you. Yes, I think you’re right about the musical generation gap. Certainly there was a massive one between my parents and me, as you know. I remember, when young and foolish, playing Blood on the Tracks for my mother and trying to entice her to appreciate it. No dice. In Ireland that was the biggest generation gap ever … I seem to recall discussing this with you over a few beers in a Ballinteer pub once.

      I’m glad that Ben is into the music (title of a Van Morrison album?). This will give you a lot of joy, and hopefully the influence will be a two-way street as he grows.

      Yes, I’ll be posting more stuff about Sean and so forth.

  8. JR

    Into The Mystic is a Van Morrison song and a great one too! Take Care


  9. Hello Brendan.

    “His weakness for theatrical rock would later manifest in a liking for Queen.”

    One of the worst sentences I have ever read. Your Sean knew a thing or two about music. The mighty Queen play second best to nobody.

    Nice post, I like 90% of Sean’s tastes. And as you know I’m in the Metallica “Whiskey in the jar” camp. Cheers for the “Sandman” clip.

    Best wishes to your good self, wife and family.

    • Nice one, JW. 🙂 I remember your fondness for Queen (and a certain football club).

      Thanks for the good wishes … same to yourselves. (I have just got up and have a hangover.)

  10. Still Guffin'

    That’s what the organization that organized the concerts was 😛
    I used to go with Sean, I was a lot younger and him and some of the other lads used to make sure i was alright!!
    As Sean always did, Sean was a great guy and had a huge impact on my life.
    I didn’t realize it until a few weeks before he passed.
    Your son kept me on the right track more than once and honestly without him i really don’t think I’d be doing as well as I am!
    I wasn’t gonna comment until I seen you couldn’t remember YAMO 😛

    But Yeah Sean was a lovely dude and i miss him walking into my apartment every Tuesday with a smile on his face and Apple Tarts from Super Valu!!

    You and Your Family are amazing people and so strong, I wish the best for you and Think of you guys often.
    Everyday is a hard day, but i think Sean will make that change very soon!! He’s always looking down on all of us, and I know he’ll look after us all..

    Sean will always live on through all the great friends he made! He was also a great lad for introducing groups of friends! When i moved to Cavan I knew nobody and Sean Introduced me and Mossie to Micky and The lads, and now we have life-long Friends, all due to Sean! We Have become very close to the lads and we all miss Sean a lot!

    Sean and Aaron were like big brothers to me in school, they always looked after me! They always will be too, I hope all goes well today, I won’t be able to make the mass because i have an All-Ireland, I’m going to it because i know Sean would want me to go there and win!

    Just thought I’d comment and let you know how big an impact Sean had on me, from setting me straight at school and helping me out a lot over the years, to introducing me to new friends and brightening my day every week!

    • YAMO! How could I forget? 🙂

      A great comment, SG … I’m really glad you made it. It’s good to hear stuff about Sean from his friends. He was proud of the fact that he had so many different groups of friends … he sometimes talked anout it. He liked to bring people together.

      Good luck in the All-Ireland … yes, Sean would definitely want you to go and win.

      Thank you, and please keep in touch. You and all Sean’s friends will always be welcome at our house.

      • Still Guffin'

        He really was great at making friends! He was everybody’s friend!
        Another thing he was great at was bringing them together, you could tell he loved introducing his friends to his other friends!! lol

        Thank you, and I hope to win and bring the belt down to show Sean!
        The Grave marker is beautiful and can’t wait to see it!

        I will, a few of us might visit from Cavan soon.

        I hope tonight goes well, give Clio a hug for me.
        Stay Strong

  11. Your wife is an outstanding photographer.
    I remember you telling me on my blog of her visit to Italy.
    We never know what is around the corner.
    My husband died suddenly in 2002 I still remember waving to him as he left that morning and preparing his lunch… but he never came back. At half past 2 he was late and I was worried so I phoned his mobile which was answered by the attendant in intensive care. Massive cranal bleeding he never knew anything about it thankfully, but they could do nothing.

    • Thank you, Tigerbrite … nice to see you.

      Yes, I commented on your blog on 16 October, in blissful ignorance of what the next 24 hours would bring.

      I’m very sorry to hear about your husband … that was awful for you. Many people have their own stories of sad loss … in some cases I knew the people but did not know those stories till the past few weeks.

  12. Nobby

    I quite like the spaghetti western music intro Brendan…reminds me of Clint. I first heard this track in Oxford in the early nineties. Good memories 🙂

  13. Hello Nobby … good to see you. All is well with you?

  14. Nobby

    Yes thanks Brendan. Too many tests and too much marking to do but am enjoying Oman.

  15. That’s good. I hope your health has recovered fully.

  16. Nobby

    It is now about 99% Brendan. Thanks. Not sure how things will work here but as you know I got on with ACDC in the early days but before this track I will attempt to download. Maybe Sean would have liked this one… .

    • Thanks, Nobby … Sean liked AC/DC. I have a ‘rock mix’ CD he made, with them, Led Zeppellin, Black Sabbath, etc.

      He was impressed at how they were still rocking as hard as ever; their newer stuff was as good as their old in his opinion.

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