up in a small town about 14 miles outside of Dublin, in a
bohemian household that didn't pay much attention to radio
("My brother would listen to [BBC] Radio 4 all the time, but
I don't think he could even make out the words") and, even
more surprisingly, didn't gather around the phonograph.
"There wasn't a record player in the house for a long time,"
Regan said. "I can remember there was Neil Young's "After
the Gold Rush" and "Sgt. Pepper's" -- sleeves, but no records,
and no record player. I can remember my mother reading the
lyrics to 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' when I was going
to sleep. And my dad would play the songs -- the ones that
he knew anyway. I'd point at something [on the LP jackets],
and he'd play his own version of one of the songs. They were
like jukebox placards. Those are my first memories, and then
a little bit later on there was record player, but it was
a good bit later on."
...Regan's father was a self-taught guitarist who wrote "glacial-type
instrumental compositions" and taught himself to read music.
But the younger Regan relied mainly on his instincts and has
a hard time identifying the influences on his playing. "I
know that some people are quite chronological about their
journey getting somewhere," he said, "but I think, really,
it's only now at this point that I actually can afford to
buy records. Everything else was just a compilation tape from
somebody -- it's like a big collage, I suppose, but I always
find it very hard to pinpoint, which is frustrating, but there
...And so it goes as well for Regan (whose first name is
pronounced, roughly, "Fee-own"). "It's like a slideshow,"
he said. "Every time I play the songs, the slideshow changes
from night to night, and I feel different ways about different
things, and it reminds me of different characters. I get the
feeling that the people who listen to the record and are coming
out to see me, they kind of have their own slideshow of images,
and they feel a certain way about the songs, and that's really
all it is. They're just documents of triumphs and struggles
and conversations and situations along the road, really" --
a road leading inexorably to fame and whatever else that brings."
Fionne Regan, 2007 in his video for the single
"Be Good or Be Gone"