A little bit about Irish Jack...
I asked him how he would like to be described to folks who don't already know who he is and
this is what he wrote back to me...
Well, well, well, GODFREY without the 'aitch,
I was beginning to wonder what planet you had emigrated to. It's lovely to hear from you. Thanks for the offer of publishing my letter to you about the Ox, I'd be delighted. I had saved it in my draft file and just read it again after many months and it's still as cute as ever so thanks for remembering me. I suppose you'd better describe me to all and sundry as an old friend of The Who and inspiration for "Quadrophenia", by all means add a link, you're welcome, and Yes I'd be delighted to take part in an interview for the German Who biography, please feel free to pass on my e mail address to whoever is responsible, I'd like to hear from them. Great to hear from you again Godfrey and please be sure to let me know when you have my letter up on site.
Here's a bit of Gaelic for you.. Le gra = with love
Adh mor = much luck
A young Irish Jack
as a "MOD"
back in the 60's.
as he looks today.
(still pretty "mod")
Here's the first e-mail I received from Irish Jack after having run into my cousins in Ireland. One of them is Tim Buckley who worked with Rory Gallagher for years and then went on to become road manager for U2 somewhere around "Live Aid". His younger brother is Brendan and their mom is my Aunt Bunty (who has since passed away, God Bless her).
how are you, you old mule kicker? I met your cousin Brendan last night
after a removal. He
speaks well of you. What is the world coming to, eh? Is this your
private bed-roomed e-mail address? I
wanted to send you a bit of a surprise. God in heaven, I remember you
well from the Ox's memorial service
in St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Let me know that you've received this so's
I can send you another e mail.
blessings of Turners Cross on you,
Adh mor = Much luck
2nd row, left to right...
Brendan, me and Timmy
Here's the actual letter Irish Jack asked me to put up on my site
after reading my "Memories Of John" page...
old devil, bless you. You're definitely 'the man' and your auntie Bunty
in Turners Cross, the lady. What a friggin hook up man, what a
connection. It's typical of the only band that ever mattered (in my
book, please forgive) that there will always be some kind of sublime
connection through the Who. Now at last I can pin point you. I have a
very special photo from the China Club and I always wondered who that
guy on stage was with the guitar...and it's you Godfrey. I was there
that night with Johnny Boy and Lisa. Jeezus, this is so weird. I left my
overcoat (a belted trenchcoat..very hip!) in Roger's dressing room
before he went on stage at Carnegie Hall, as I recall there was two
clubs backstagers could go to for free. One was Le Bar Bat and the other
was the China Club. I went to Le Bar Bat with Alice Cooper and had a few
drinks with the Spin Doctors then I met some possee who told me Johnny
Boy was playing with "JEB" over at the China Club. The guys
running the Le Bar Bat were very cool and one told me that the club used
to be a church and prior to that it was the location for Media Sounds
where the Woodstock Festival was initially organized from. Anyway, I'm
listening to history with a glass in my hand and I don't think any of
them actually knew I was a mailman from Cork city. I was trying to get
out of Le Bar Bat but there was a huge commotion at the door. They had
the entrance ringed with red cord (y'know), walkie talkies crackling
into the night air (that sounds poetic, sorry) and next thing this
guy starts creeping into the club on all fours with his hood up
over his head and he's wearing "Raybans"
and I'm standing there hungry for action and drink and someone says it's
Eddie Vedder come straight from Carnegie and he doesn't want to be
recognized and this mailman from Cork (me!) is thinking...'You know
what? Cool as this is, if our beloved Keith was still alive and
here at this club he would make a mockery of this performance because he
would borrow a similar coat and put the hood over his head and ask
someone for sun glasses and Keith (God love him) would go down and all
fours and creep OUT of the club passing Eddie Vedder on the way IN. I
told some guy this who I never met in my life and the guy (who ever he
was) shook my hand and insisted he buy me a drink on the spot. I had a
few in me so I left the guy who bought me the drink and I walked
into the side office and said, "I'm Irish Jack from the Who and I
want to get over to the China Club." I was really only asking
them if they would call a cab. The guy got up off the chair he was about
6-four and weighed a considerable amount (even by Isaac Newton
standards) and he spoke into a walkie talkie. "I need a car
for Irish Jack for the China Club !" I thought he was telling
someone to call a cab (as we would here in Ireland, especially if you're
a mailman like me) he turned to me and said, "Your car's outside,
sir." I walked out of the club (Vedder had disappeared) and
there's a long queue of people waiting to get in and this guy whips away
the red cord and says in front of everyone, "...a car for Irish
Jack." and there's a chauffeur driven car waiting to take me over
to the China Club. Jesus Christ, in three days time I'll be cycling down
a boreen with a handful of mail. So I go to the China Club and there he
is on stage, the boy I worked across the street from in Acton High
Street in 1964, the boy I met when I was nineteen and he seventeen, and
there's JEB behind the drums and now Godfrey I realize there's you, my
man. I was so excited, I just couldn't get drunk. I remember just
talking to anyone who cared to listen. Afterwards I got a cab back to
John's hotel, I have all the info written down in my loft but it's 2am
and I don't want to wake the wife up in the next room (we sleep
different rooms cos she has to have an orthopaedic mattress and I
can't sleep on one so, separate rooms). I think Roger was staying at the
same hotel with Heather and Nobby. Nobby had to get the doctor because
he had very bad stomach pains that night. Anyway, my coat's upstairs in
Roger's room brought back to the hotel by him and Heather and
he's obviously asleep. Right, only one thing for it. "Hello, John,
it's Jack. What are you doing?" (Usual deep voice, you have
to strain every muscle in your ear lobe to catch every word) "Well,
I was about to go to sleep. Lisa's out of it so....."
"Well I'm down in reception on my own and the night is young (it
was about 3am)." "See you in a bit." And down
he came. That lovable man you spoke of so fondly in that amazing tribute
of yours. Could anyone imagine it. The Ox, about to hit the sack
and there's a mailman downstairs telling him the night is young. And he
gets dressed and there you have it. I can't think of very many people
who would do that. I've never played in a band. Worse luck. I respect everything
you had to say about him Godfrey because everything you said was right.
John had a special way about him. Sometimes it didn't matter who you
were what mattered to John was that you were yourself. I could think of
a thousand so-called 'rock stars' who would've told me to get lost at
3am in the morning but not John Alec Entwistle. He must have been a very
dear friend of yours. He gave Lisa a hard time sometimes but I've been
with both of them when she could be a handful. If you and I ever
meet up again Godfrey we'll sit down and have a cup of Irish tea and
we'll toast our amazing friend who we'll never forget. And who can
forget Cy. He put me to bed more than once after Who nights of madness.
Rock on you cat
would you consider this for inclusion on your web site in the Ox
along the lines of 'A letter from Irish Jack' ?
For more info about the "legendary" Irish Jack, go to his very own web page...