I approached Willie Meighan, owner of Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny, Ireland about putting a specially made installation in the shop window for the up coming Kilkenny Arts Festival (2016).
Willie liked the concept and we measured up an area of the shop window where it would hang – complete with qr code for passers by to access the video.
Willie’s chosen song? “Little Colored Balloons” – John Murry.
I stumbled across a Live performance of “Little Colored Balloons” John did in Cleeres Theatre, Kilkenny 2013 and it completely blew me away.
It’s a harrowing song about addiction. With heart on sleeve, Murry left a piece of himself on the stage that night.
At the start of the video originally recorded by Darragh Byrne, John Murry speaks of his love of returning to perform in Kilkenny. He actually loved it so much that he moved there to live! Cleere’s is an Iconic venue in Kilkenny for Live music and Rollercoaster is more than a Record shop, It’s the musical heartbeat of an Artistic City.
I am so glad I chose this song as Willie sadly passed away in November 2017. If Rollercoaster was the heartbeat of Kilkenny Willie was it’s lifeblood. Organising gigs, events and festivals, running the day to day business of a record store successfully in the age of free downloads and helping out a creative in what ever way he could. This is a painting not of Kilkenny in a conventional visual sense, but contains so many local elements it is “Of Kilkenny.”
The handover was for me the icing on the cake as Willie informed me John would also be there.
The following video is a little over 9 minutes which includes John’s interview at the start but it’s worth it to hear the passion in his voice, the way he speaks about Kilkenny and Kilkenny people, and for that performance…Oh my. What a performance! What song would you hang on YOUR wall?