I once sang with Chic, albeit on the back of the tour bus


Neither Dermie nor myself could get a ticket for Chic for love or money.

This was despite the fact that I reminded certain individuals with tickets in their gift that I once sang with the band.

Happened thus: For a number of years I have contributed to the Mindfield component of the Electric Picnic in Stradbally, usually giving a talk on Saturday evening, joining a panel discussion on Sunday morning.

The deal is two superior sort of tickets for the weekend, plus they put myself and my sidekick Goretti up.

So we are allocated to Chic’s bus for the run back to the hotel at three am or whatever.

Along the way, they begin a choral version of the incomparable Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”.

But none of them knows all the words.

After the first verse they straggle off. This is my moment.

“Lord won’t you buy me a colour TV”, I sing out. “Dialling for dollars is trying to find me…”

The verse goes well (I was in a high frame of mind at the time),

So, onwards: “Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town, I’m counting on you Lord, please don’t let me down…”

I even earned a little round of applause at the end.

After that they ignored me. But nonetheless. A brilliant backing group.

Remind me to tell you some day about the time I shared a joint with Chuck D.

No, really.