A bit later, as I was singing away, the Pecker came out of the pub and stood watching me. I finished the song and he just continued
watching, so I sang another one, one of my own. He nodded as I finished and without a word dropped a couple of pound notes into the
case. Probably won't sound like much at all to you now, but for the Bandon streets it was a veritable fortune. He'd certainly made me earn
it, but had indeed paid up once I had.
Six years later, I was living in Clonakilty, fourteen miles west along, and spending nearly every night doing sound in a well known music
venue named DeBarras. I'd met Pecker the last time he'd gigged in DeBarras, the previous year and had been amazed at the tone and
timbre of his strong voice. I'd almost had to turn his mic. volume off, so powerful and resonant was his singing.
As I was sound checking, he asked me to tune his guitar, so I did and then played a few bits and pieces to confirm the tuning. The guitar
played easily, and he said exactly the same thing that he had on the previous occasion I'd done sound for him.
"You play it better than me," he joked.
"Wouldn't be hard," I retorted. "You never play it anyway."
What I'd said was true, for during most gigs he didn't play the guitar at all but stuck to the banjo and occasionally the fiddle.
"You can have it for three hundred pounds," he said, also exactly what he'd said on that previous occasion.
"Hang on a minute pecker," I said, handing him the guitar which he placed on it's stand. I walked out to the front bar where Bobby was
resting momentarily between pulling pints.
"Sound check alright?" He asked.
"Yeh fine," I replied. "Almost finished."
"Bob," I continued after a few seconds. "Can I borrow two hundred quid off you to buy Pecker's guitar."
Fair play to Bobby, he didn't have to think about it at all, just agreed and went to the cash register and got it.
Taking the cash I went back to the back bar, where the live music was played, and handed Pecker three hundred pounds. He took it and
nodded, handing me the guitar, but then stating that I couldn't have the battery. He wasn't joking, 'cause after the gig, when I proudly took
possession of my new guitar, he took the battery out before parting with it, which meant loosening all the strings in that particular Takamine.
We used it for years. I played it for about five and then after I bought a new Yamaha acoustic when we were touring in China, Geertien was
pleased to take it over. I took it back later, when Geertien began playing more and more fiddle and continued on until I purchased a new
Takamine Pro series in Cork. Still have that one, thanks Sibylle.
I met the Pecker a few times after that, he's a lovely guy. A man who had time for everyone, sure he'd listen to anyone. Last news I heard
of him was that he was back in Waterford, think he was from that part of the country originally. By now he's probably in Kilarney, buskin'
with his kids.
When I left Ireland, I decided that the guitar should stay in Clonakilty and last I heard it was hanging on the wall at DeBarras, along with all
that Noel Redding/Jimi Hendrix stuff. More will appear on this page soon, including a link to one of the Pecker's songs that I'll cover.
Thanks Bob and thanks Pecker, good luck to ye both.
Pecker Dunne, way back in 1967
|A Page for the Pecker - Gar Song
I first saw Pecker Dunne when he played a gig in a pub called the Glasslyn Inn, in Bandon, Co. Cork.
Apparently he'd recently gone on the wagon and thus spent half of the night making fun of a few young
drunks who were about the place. Guess he was right at the time, but then it was a pub after all and selling
alcohol was their business. He played a few songs and told lots of great stories and jokes; it was a busy
enough night alright.
The following day I was back busking, forsaking my usual spot by the AIB, as the bank was closed on
Saturday. I wasn't all that healthy, having had more than a few the previous night, so I opted to busk right
outside the Glasslyn. Seamus would probably feed me a few of his great sandwiches, when I took a break
for a cup of tea.