Jump back, what’s that sound
1984 might well have been a turning point in the political landscape of the North of Ireland.
A series of individual events took place that would shape the future of the country and the relationship between the key political stakeholders.
John Stalker arrived in the country as Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police to lead up the investigation into the ‘alleged’ shoot-to-kill policy of the security forces in the region.
The investigation was to concentrate on three main cases that occurred on 11 November 1982, 24 November 1982, and 12 December 1982.
In May 1986 before the final part of his investigation he was removed from his duties as Deputy Chief Constable and ordered to return to England.
He was subsequently reinstated but not allowed to return to Northern Ireland.
Former actor and then president of the USA, Ronald Regan visited the country and around the same time, Neil Kinnock said that he was in favour of a United Ireland by consent.
Off the coast of Kerry, security forces in the Republic of Ireland intercepted a the Marita Ann and uncovered seven tons of arms and explosives believed to be on route to the IRA.
A bomb placed in the Grand Hotel in Brighton targeted the Conservative Party Annual conference, killing 4 people and almost wiping out Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet.
A few weeks later Thatcher held an Anglo-Irish summit meeting with Garret FitzGerald together with British and Irish ministers and officials at Chequers.
Back then, any respite for me from all of this came through music.
I was still at school and had taken in my first proper gig – Bob Dylan, Santana, UB40 and In Tua Nua at Slane Castle.
1984 was the title of the Van Halen album released which spawned many of the bands global hits including Jump, Panama, Hot For Teacher and I’ll Wait.
An album that introduced the world to what the USA had known for some time – that Van Halen (lead by Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex and eccentric front man and vocalist, Dave Lee Roth) were one of the best bands around.
1984 sold millions around the world and defined the music taste of that generation who saw something in rock music – electrifying melodies, sublime guitar playing and screaming vocals.
He may not have invented tapping, but Eddie Van Halen owned it. He ended up dominating one of disco’s greatest songs ever courtesy of Michael Jackson’s Beat it.
His red and white “Frankenstrat’ is as legendary and iconic as BB King’s Lucille, Willie Nelson’s Trigger and the battered Fender used by Rory Gallagher
Eddie Van Halen died this week at the age of 65.
Everything above EVH in this article, I had to Google – all of the Northern Ireland stuff…the events, the names, dates all resonated with me at the time but quickly ended up forgotten.
Music was like a comfort blanket back then and the best of it still resonates with me today.
RIP Eddie Van Halen.