This podcast has been in the ether for quite some time. I work with young people in schools on creative arts projects every day and am always fascinated by their creativity. In fact I'm fascinated by the whole concept of what it is and where it comes from. That sometimes elusive and sometimes effusive Spark. When I met people who have managed to make a living from the fruits of their creativity I would generally ask about their process and that can be fascinating but often I'm the only one who gets to hear their answers and so the idea of recording them as a podcast was born.
I figured I'd draw up a list of people I like or maybe have met somewhere and Eric Bogle was high on the list of artists whose work I would know and love. Lo and behold he was touring Dublin soon ( This was back in June 2016). I emailed him and he asked "Sure but what's a podcast?" and I knew he had to be the first guest.
He was gracious with his time and followed me up which is just plain courteous! We met backstage at the National Concert Hall in Dublin where Eric was playing with John Munro and Pete Titchener that evening as part of a "F*&@%ing Tourette" as they explained which is not quite a mini tour and more than a few gigs. Dragged off to a radio interview that was sold as 10 minutes, an hour later he emerged and agreed to chat with me when I'm sure he just wanted to relax and prepare for the gig.
We chatted after the mic was turned off about recording his first album (I'd brought a vinyl copy in to be signed and that triggered some memories), about a gig I'd seen him play in Sydney with Kev Carmody supporting in the early 90's or late 80's. He was gracious and funny.
After we met I had an exchange of emails too and thanked him. I also said that there were a few things I'd meant to say. Not many artists can claim that their work has had the impact that his songs have. They have been covered by the whose who of the folk scene, have become part of the repertoire of many a singer and chances are that some one, some where right now is listening to or singing one of his songs. His appeal spans generations and I honestly think that his songs will live on for many many more generations.
If you want a biography of Eric Bogle you could start with Wikipedia , the website www.ericbogle.net doesn't appear to have been updated for a little while or you could try him on Facebook . The Guardian Article that Eric wrote about Joss Stone's cover of "No Man's Land" is here .
I think though that the best way to find out about Eric is via his songs and they are available on CD (Old School) including his most recent album "Voices" at Greentrax Recordings or look them up on line at iTunes etc. Here is also a Spotify playlist featuring a selection of some of his lesser and better known songs
P.S. On a personal note, my kids love his comical songs, my Grandfather who served at The Somme, Ypres and Messinne loved his songs as did my Mum and Dad and as do I. Dad and I sang his songs in pubs and clubs in NSW, Victoria and Ireland. As I mentioned in the podcast, Eric was the first gig I ever went to when I was 10 (in Campbelltown, NSW, Australia ) c.1976 and my Dad's last gig before he died (Fiddler's Green Festival, Rostrevor, Co Down, Ireland 2009). If you get a chance to see Eric live - take it!