Fionn Regan

Memories of the Phonograph


The Name You'll Know Soon - from article by Derk Richardson, August 2, 2007

The following is a phonograph memory by Fionn Regan, an Irish singer-songwriter, who issued his first CD The End of History, by Lost Highway Records in September 2006. Richardson describes this album as "an understated and beguiling 12-song collection of acoustic-guitar-laced poetry."

This excerpt from Richardson's article includes a description of Regan

"growing 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 you go.

...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"