Songs In The Key Of Life: John Buggy

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John Buggy 1Well-known Tralee Singer/Songwriter, John Buggy, selects the soundtrack to his life…

Elton John – Rocket Man

No surprises here for anyone that knows me. Sometime back in 1973, I can remember lunchtime in the school canteen…the radio was playing and I heard this song.

I was captivated and wanted to find out more about this artist. That was the beginning of a musical love affair that has lasted 40 years; we have fallen out a few times over the decades but I remain a card carrying fan and I probably always will be.

Steely Dan – Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

A couple of years later I was in school (again) and was talking music and trading albums with another kid at the back of the class. I think I was lending him ‘Bad Company’ and he was lending me ‘Led Zeppelin II’.

The teacher, Mr. Edwards: a hippy, socialist revolutionary (there was a lot of it about during the 70’s), became aware that whatever we were doing it had nothing to do with Maths or Geography and asked for the albums.

When he looked at them he smiled and shook his head in a kind of ‘tut, tut, what are these kids listening to these days’ way. He said to me that if I liked music that much he’d give me something worth listening to. The following day he leant me ‘Dixie Chicken’ by Little Feat and ‘Pretzel Logic’ by Steely Dan…thank you Mr. Edwards, you blew my mind.

Bill Withers – Use Me

Fast forward another few years to the late 70’s in Tralee. There was a great band called Stagalee that I was fortunate enough to be around to watch grow and develop from a raw and earthy country/blues band into a smooth funk experience!

The band was originally fronted by the fantastic Victor McCullogh (brother of Henry) and the fabulous Errol Walsh and those two consummate musicians brought a string of other serious players to Tralee to entertain and enlighten us.

I think Victor and Errol were probably the Ying and Yang of my early musical influence. One of the artists Stagalee introduced me to was Bill Withers.

Paul Brady – Crazy Dreams

When I think in terms of people that have influenced my development as a musician, songwriter and performer then I really have to mention Paul Brady.

His 1981 ‘Hard Station’ album marked his transition from Folk/Trad to Rock and it remains one of my favourite albums. I’ve supported him a couple of times…once at the height of his popularity in the CYMS, Tralee.

It took me months to learn how to play this so I’m not likely to stop anytime soon.

Paul Carrack – Eyes Of Blue

The man with the Golden Voice: one that people recognise even if they don’t know his name. Have loved this guy since hearing him with Ace in the 70’s, on to the 80’s as sideman with Squeeze through to the 90’s with Mike and the Mechanics and up to the present day as a solo artist.

This guy has worked with everybody worth working with. Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting him a few times and he is a total gentleman. This is one of my favourite songs by him and the last time Anne and I saw him in Concert he dedicated this song to her.

Blues Brothers – I Don’t Know

It would be remiss of me to finish off this retrospective labour of love without mentioning ‘The Righteous Dudes’, a band that I was fortunate to be a part of throughout its entirety (actually we are still known to play the odd gig or two).

I suppose it was my 15 minutes of fame and we had a great run, rocking top venues (and a few dives) throughout Ireland and England.

We also did every TV show on the box, recorded some great tunes, made a video, breakfasted with the Labour Party and had lots of fun along the way. This one goes out to my fellow Dudes…if y’all wasn’t there…then y’all missed it!!

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