The Exciters was a showband from Roscommon - now there’s a name to tick all the boxes. The local ballroom was Fairyland, (we had a way with names back then). Back in the sixties, Reynolds’ ballrooms promised almost heavenly delights: Dreamland, Cloudland, Roseland and (wait for it) Wonderland. The promise involved careful cultivating from the ruck to the dance-floor to mineral bar back to dance-floor to balcony to rear of dancehall. Meanwhile bicycles, cars, Honda 50’s, tractors, vans, passion wagons of all sorts waited with bated breath, sometimes with glorious expectation, sometimes with an over-powering whiff of sheep dung.
This is by way of introducing the following poem, but it also gives me the opportunity to recommend a visit to the Irish Showband website which brings back all of the above. < http://www.irish-showbands.com/index.html>
Last Tuesday Fabulous Arthur Quinn
was Found Dead in his House.
Fabulous Arthur Quinn
and The Rhythm Fountain,
They saw the advertisement
in the Roscommon Herald.
It was in a box under the bed.
The Fountain must have dried up
quickly; Arthur worked
in the meat factory for years.
Left with a broken wrist in 1983
and went home,
he can’t have been that old.
They said Fabulous Arthur
must have stared at his ceiling
for at least 6 days without blinking.
from Turn Your Head, Dedalus Press