The First Irish Gay Song

The Radiators photographed in the Dublin docklands in 1989. L-R Pete Holidai, Mark Megaray, Philip Chevron and Jimmy Crashe.

The Radiators photographed in the Dublin docklands in 1989. L-R Pete Holidai, Mark Megaray, Philip Chevron and Jimmy Crashe.

“Under Clery’s Clock” was Ireland’s first openly gay-themed song. It was written by Philip Chevron, the lead singer and guitarist with Ireland’s greatest unsung punk band, The Radiators from Space.

I loved their album “Ghostown”, but only got to see them play once before they broke up in 1981 and Philip moved to London, later joining the Pogues. They reformed briefly in the late ‘80’s to play an Aids benefit in Dublin (I was there) and to record the song. Steve Averill* (a.k.a Steve Rapid - the band’s original singer, and the first person ever to hire me as a photographer) was designing the single cover and we found a crumbling warehouse down the docks for a location. Though I’d worked with many bands by then, I was particularly thrilled to be shooting the Radiators.

Cover shot for the re-issue of “Ghostown”. You can see the rain in the background.

“Under Clery’s Clock”, described as “an exquisitely haunting lament about two teenage boys who arrange a rendezvous under the Dublin landmark of the title” was a coming out for Philip as well. Sadly he died in 2013, but I think part of his spirit will be back on the Dublin streets later today as the biggest ever Pride march passes Clery’s clock on O’Connell Street.

*Steve is currently posting a great series of pictures and stories of the early Dublin rock scene on his Instagram.

These two beauties...

Alicia Ni Ghrainne and Michael Kinirons outside Baltimore, West Cork.

…are getting married in Baltimore today, and I’m very sorry I can’t be there. Wishing them much love and happiness together.