New York-born, bred and buttered, Dennis Driscoll, is not an easy man to describe in one paragraph. In fact, one would need a wizened storyteller as good as the man himself to give his immense talents any justice at all. An acclaimed man of words, Dennis has played with many bands in his day, though in recent years (or is that decades?) he’s focused more towards the spoken word, telling tall tales and short stories relating to his life growing up in the Big Apple. With another trip to his beloved Dublin just around the corner, where he’ll perform at iconic Wexford Street venue, Whelans (June 6th, upstairs), Mr. Driscoll is a busy man indeed. He was however, kind enough to put down his trusty microphone, stroll away from his avid listeners for a minute or two, and join us ‘At The Mike Stand’.
By Mike Fitzpatrick
Photo by Debra Reschoff-Ahearn
What would you like your own tribute act to be called?
The Dennis Driscoll Experience.
When’s the last time you laughed out loud?
I recently saw an Australian comic named Jim Jefferies, I think. He was really obscene but really funny, I definitely laughed out loud during his HBO special.
What act would you like to have seen perform live?
Derek and Clive. Dudley Moore and Peter Cook’s irreverent comedy act.
What team(s) do you support?
Yankees, Giants, Rangers.
What period in history would you most like to have visited?
The Roaring 20s. Those people knew how to have a good time.
What song would you most like to have written?
‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’ by Shane MacGowan.
Who or what, would make you leave a room?
A person that tells really bad jokes and then laughs at them.
What decade rules (and why)?
Mid 60s to the mid 70s. The music was great and people were more open back then.
What cover version do you most enjoy performing?
Well it’s hard for me to perform covers as I am a spoken word performer that mainly tells stories from my own life, but I used to be in a country band that did a killer version of ‘Viva Las Vegas’ that was always fun to do.
What movie role would you like to have played?
I always wanted to be in a western, the role Slim Pickens had in ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ would be something I’d like to have done.
Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?
Not recently, but when I was heavier I’d be mistaken for other fat people. People think all fat people look alike.
What’s the first album you remember buying?
‘Meet the Beatles’.
Who’s your favorite Beatle?
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
‘Fairytale of New York’, and not just because I am in the video for that song.
Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?
What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?
My father used to have a record called the German Army Chorus , lots of brass and voices. Loved that stuff.
Who would you most like to meet/have met?
Brendan Behan or Keith Richards.
What book can you read again and again?
‘The Basketball Diaries’ by Jim Carroll
What’s the greatest album ever recorded?
The White Album by the Beatles
What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams?
I want to have a band called the Gemini Snakes with Bob Dylan and Charlie Watts. As we are all Geminis born in the year of the Snake. Plus I’d love to have a drummer like Charlie to play with.
What do few people know about you?
My first words were horse shit.
What sitcom character can you most identify with?
Jed Clampett in ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’. He had it all.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?
I love Dublin. I would love to live there, if I could afford it.
What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?
What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?
Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?
Who’s your favorite namesake?