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Phil Chevron – His fave records of 1977 + NME 40th Birthday 1992

Even though I knew he was very ill it was a terrible shock to hear that Phil Chevron had passed away.

Phil and the Radiators from Space were a massive inspiration for me. Television Screen was such an exciting single and their album, TV Tube Heart was never off my record player in 1977. They inspired me to take up an instrument (bass guitar) and a year later, our group NRG played with the Radiators in December, 1978 at the Imperial Hotel, Dundalk.

Rest in Peace, Phil.

The first page scan below lists Phil’s fave singles and albums from 1977 and was scanned from Hot Press, December, 1977.

The article below that was scanned from the 40th Birthday issue of the NME in 1992. Written by Phil, he was one of many artists who contributed a short article about their thoughts on the NME at the time of its 40th Birthday.

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View previous posts related to Phil and the Radiators.

8 replies »

  1. Phil Chevron and The Radiators from Space,The Boomtown Rats,and The Vipers were the most musically adept,fastest,and most melodic of the Dublin punk bands.He was a genius and I hold him jointly responsible with the above two bands(despite Geldof’s antedeluvian anti-punk rantings later)for bringing the bast music ever into my orbit.Phil ya bhoy ya!!!!!

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  2. Today I got the word that I can call myself Dr. Murray cos I got the tick for my PhD research. On the first page of my thesis is the following quote:
    ‘Where’er we go we celebrate, the land that made us refugees,
    From fear of priests with empty plates, from guilt and weeping effigies’.

    Of course it’s by Phil from ‘Thousands are Sailing’ and I meant it as a tribute to the countless thousands who departed our shores over the years. In Alan Gilsenan’s 1988 documentary, The Road to God knows there ‘s a scene where the Pogues ‘Thousands are sailing’ swells as the Point of View shot from the car rises out of a dip in the road and the full splendour of the New York skyline comes into view. I remember coming in on the bus from JFK into the city in 1984 and seeing the city for the first time. It took my breath away. Then I saw this scene repeated on the documentary. It was only in the last couple of days reading interviews with Phil Chevron that I saw that it was this precise first view of the New York Skyline that prompted him to write the song. He obviously spoke with Gilsenan about the song in order for Gilsenan to visually reconstruct the scene in the film. When I first saw the film around 1988 I was living in London and had not seen a piece of work that was able to articulate the anger, sadness, excitement and generally mixed up feeling that emigration had wrought on me until I saw this film. This was an intersection from Phil Chevron in my life.

    Phil was a giant of Irish culture and a really nice bloke. he came and said hello to us in the dressing room when I was helping out the protestant punk band Ruefrex doing a Pogues support in that shithole called Portsmouth in 1986. Biggest fight I ever saw in a dancehall that night. The students , the sailors and the locals beating the shite out of each other. But I digress.

    I was at the St. Patrick’s day gig in 1988 at the Town & Country in Kentish Town with Joe Strummer, Kirsty McColl and Neville Staples from the Specials. It’s the gig that was filmed for a full length concert movie and captures the Pogues at their finest. I had been snobbish about the Pogues’ adoption of Irish music but at that gig I recognised a ‘homecoming’ for the young halfmad second generation London Irish who up to that point had borne the stigma of an Irish heritage without any heroes to look up to. The Pogues gave them back their pride.

    Following Phil’s sad and untimely death I was thinking back to the Gem in Drogheda circa 1978 and the gigs by Stiff Little Fingers and ( I think) the Radiators. Am i going mad or did the Radiators play there? Does anyone remember? I do remember meeting Doug’s bro Eamon McMahon from Dundalk who was selling a fanzine that night (and also giving the punx in Drogheda loads of abuse!!)

    Phil Chevron was a big inspiration to me to get involved in music and start doing the gigs with the NMS in Sarsfields and later Joey Mahers. And a source of inspiration since. Hence the dedication on the thesis.

    I pay my respects to the man. RIP Phil. Ní bheidh a leithíd arís ann.

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  3. Enda, yes the Radiators did play Drogheda, just after Christmas 1978. Somewhere near Lawrence St. Pete Holidai missed the gig. A few of us from Dundalk went to it even though we’d seen them a week earlier in Dundalk. Eamonn sold some Too Late fanzines at it. And Philip Mullen later of Some Kind of Wonderful was also there.

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  4. Turkey Mullen turns up everywhere!
    Yes I’ve been doing some research among the brain cells of the Drawda community in Drogheda Down Memory Lane and people remember SLF at the Gem restaurant but not the Radiators. So this means that I was most likely there even though i have a very sketchy memory of it. I think i was scared cos I’d heard the stories about the poor bloke who died in UCD and this was one of the very first gigs i ever went to and didn’t know what to expect.
    thanks for the headsup about the FAI..will tune in. I need a fillip after my Mayo disappointment (yes the Murrays come from Mayo and , of course we still shout for them – how long will it be before Louth get in the finals again??)

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  5. Good vibes for Phil Chevron on this page and rightly so. I was at his funeral and although it was a sad occasion it was good to reconnect with a great generation of irish musicians and honour the man who inspired so many of us ,
    Love to all
    Phil Mullen

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