I have always tried to reserve a small amount of respect, if not admiration, for pretty much any other band and musician, from buskers to divas, all trying to do their thing. But, every now and again, another band or an incident will incite such strong feelings, that one cannot help but to go public, let the world know just how you feel about it.
This is a story about the spirit of rock'n'roll and what it means to me.
The year was 1996 - Drugstore were doing the Festival rounds - 1st album had been received really well and was selling good, we were on a high.
The Cranberries - who had previously released that sweet 'Linger' single, which was lovely, had just taken a weird turn, and released 'Zombie', which wasn't quite so lovely, but, hey - they were selling millions and if Miss Dolores wanted to look like a naff golden greek statue in her video, why shouldn't she? You do it, baby - go for gold.
That wasn't the problem.
It all started during a Cranberries tour in Germany, when a reporter from the Sport Newspaper wrote that Dolores had been seen onstage with no knickers on. The story kicked off in the first week of the Phoenix Festival and everyone was talking about it.
We heard it, and thought: sweet irish singer not wearing knickers onstage? Great - that's the kinda of blurb any PR, manager or band would die for.
But instead of riding on the inconsequentiality of it all, Dolores O'Riordan summed her press officer and released an official statement, stating that she was profoundly offended, that she always had her knickers on at all times - that all her knickers were bought at M&S, with her mum's approval - and so forth.
At first, we thought this was some kind of spoof/joke - but no - Miss Dolores went a step further and decided to sue the newspaper over the allegation.
I was outraged. Sue the newspaper? You're kiddin', right?
Look here, Miss Dolores: we summon expensive lawyers when we wanna take dodgy companies that pollute our rivers to account, when babies get kidnapped, when dictators send orders to execute the innocent - that's when we sit around the table with press officers and justice makers - NOT when some poxy newspaper gives you free publicity that, let's face it, makes you look 1.000 times cooler and more exciting than you probably are.
And so it was, that on that Sunday, on the main stage, around 2'o'clock, Miss Monteiro, little-devil out of Drugstore stepped onstage, determined to teach Miss Dolores a lesson on how to be in a rock'n'roll band.
As I remember, that was an incredibly hot weekend, over 30 degrees, there was a shortage of water and the Sex Pistols were headlining the same stage - christ - how cool is that?
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, we did our thing, the crowd was great, and right at the end, I walked up to the edge of the stage, took my knickers off, threw them at the crowd, and shouted at the mic:
'Sniff that, Dolores!'.
The knickers landed at the feet of a security guy, who picked it up and handed it over to a few excited looking kiddos.
I walked off stage and remember Daron and Mike smiling at me, and asking- 'Did you just do what we think you did? Did you just throw your knickers into the crowd? Fuckin' brilliant!'
But you see, in my mind, it was not about knickers, it was about the spirit of rock'n'roll - more to do with why you chose to pursue a crazy musical career, instead of the obvious path ahead into predictable numbness.
That's right, Dolores, that's the spirit of rock'n'roll right there in your face, it is not just about music and clever chords, or being young, it's a lifestyle and an attitude, it's feeling offended when given only 4 weeks holiday by your employer and wanting more from life, it's being inconsequential sometimes, and spontaneous, and irreverent, a little crazy and ridiculous, and therefore, ultimately, more human, as real as the sweat on my pale pink knickers. Get it?
Recently I read that Dolores lives in this beautiful mansion, swimming pool an' all, and spends her time knitting for her babies. Good for her. She has worked hard, and delivered songs to radio, which is more than I can say for my band. While she may now have the swimming pool, let me tell you, I know which one had more fun in the hotel jacuzzi, and I cannot help but think that, given the fact that she always had her knickers on, that some kind of dull immaculate conception might have taken place or that, perhaps, some zombie may have lingered at Dolores' boudoir for a little longer than expected.
Next week: Radiohead, paranoia and a pretty melody.---------------------------------------------------------------------