A Potted History

I was born on 14 January, 1963 in St. Catherine's Hospital, Tralee, Co, Kerry, Ireland. I am the second and younger son of Eamonn and Ita Prendiville.

For the first seventeen years of my life (or so), I lived in a small town in Co. Kerry called Castleisland. I attended the local primary and vocational (second level) schools; in the latter, my mother taught me English for a number of years. The fact that I just barely passed Honours English in the Leaving Certificate examination for 1980 is totally co-incidental!!!

I had a number of career options open to me on leaving school. For instance, I was offered a place in Arts in University College, Cork in 1980, but I turned it down when the question arose of paying a deposit to hold the place. Rightly or wrongly, I didn't think my folks coild afford to send me to Uni. As it happens, it was probably a good thing that I didn't go, as I'd probably be writing to you now as a qualified, but unemployed teacher...

I also attempted an entrance exam for the Mary Immaculate Teacher Training College in Limerick. I made a total cock-up of the day by walking into the wrong exam hall, and walked out again after 5 minutes, to the intense chagrin of my mother (who'd driven me the fifty-odd miles from Castleisland to Limerick) and to the complete detriment of my teaching career.

Oh, and I almost forgot...as I attended a vocational school, it was normal for pupils to attempt to gain apprenticeships with the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) or the Armed Forces. For the ESB, I got the colours of electrical wires the wrong way aroudn in my interview and was politely advised to consider a different career. With the Army, I failed the Ishihara Colourblindness Test twice, despite the prompts of the examiners, and I overfilled a kidney dish with urine.

Unfortunately, the only option left open to me was to join the Irish Civil Service as an Executive Officer. I commenced wokring in November, 1980.

I lived in flatland in Dublin from February, 1981 and attempted to find my way in a strange city; not terribly successfully, I must say, because I was nver terribly happy in Dublin. However, in July 1981, I met Mary O'Dwyer, who would later become my wife.

In November, 1982, due to a small financial windfall as a result of my parents selling their house, I was able to buy my first bass guitar and amp, both of which I still own. I then attempted to plunge headfirst into the burgeoning Dublin music scene of the early 1980's. I became part of a pop group called 4FLAGS, which was based in Trinity College, Dublin, but which never got anywhere apart from a few low-level support slots at pub gigs. 4FLAGs eventually fizzled out, but I formed a group called ANY CROWDED CEILING with the drummer, Andrew Butterfield. We did some sessions in recording studios, but these never amounted to anything much.

In August, 1986, Mary and I got married in Limerick and bought a three-bedroomked semi-d in Shankill, in the outskirts of Dublin. We honeymooned in the Algarve, which was our first real sunshine holiday together. We were supposed to honeymoon in Bulgaria, but 1986 was the year of Chernobyl...

In 1988, I parted company with Andrew Butterfield and attempted to continue ANY CROWDED CEILING as a one-man operation. I released a cassette EP entitled RUBBER SOLE in 1989. The EP almost got me a spot on Irish TV. I had created the CHRISTIAN YOGA PRODUCTIONS imprint to release the cassette and sent copies of the tape to various arms of the media. RTE's KENNY LIVE show rang to ask woul I be interested in appearing on a show dealing with alternative religions. I politely told them that the imprint was a class of a red herring. I also got a radio interview on LMFM Radio on the strength of the EP. In effort to promote the material, I performed once at the old Underground Bar in Dame Street, Dublin. Just me, a ghetto-blaster and five rolls of toilet paper. Art terrorism me arse...

In July, 1990, our first daughter, Amy was born. The sleepless nights started then...

Further musical projects included an attempt to break into the world of commercial music. I devised a tape called CATALOGUE 90, a short collection of themes sutiable (or so I thought) for use in films, TV, corporate videos and advertising. One polite but dismissive response; no gigs. I also recorded the NUDEMO EP in 1991 and proceeded to walk the streets of London, hand-delivering the tapes to various record companies. London is a big bloody city; the blisters on my heels have only recently subsided.

In July, 1991, an opportunity arose for Mary and I to de-centralise to a provincial location with a different Government department. In December, 1991, I was promoted to the position of Higher Executive Officer, a move which I have had frequent reason to regret over the years! We eventually moved to Nenagh, Co. Tipperary in August, 1992 and have lived there ever since.

Relocation, adjustment to a new job and a new position and the arrival of our second daughter, Cathy in August, 1993 left little time for musicking. However, in 1993, I recorded the demo album GOOD RIDDANCE and cast my bread upon the waters of the music industry. Not even the ducks were tempted. In 1994, BREATHING SPACE was recorded. An experimental, instrumental album, it created even more of a non-reaction than had GOOD RIDDANCE.

Since that time, things have been fairly quiet chez nous. Basically, looking after the kids, concentrating on the job and pulling the divil by the tail. The creation of music was not high on my priorities, I must admit, although it was always somewhere on the agenda.

I became involved with the Internet in Marhc, 1996 and I have to say that it has opened up very many avenues of opportunity for me, both on a musical and a personal level. I contributed two tracks to Ian Stewart's XTC tribute album SKYLACKING, as a result of which I have developed a small audience for my own music. I have also met a handful of people whom I have contacted through the 'Net, and the experience of those encounters has never been anything less than pleasurable.

In October, 1996, my father died unexpectedly. It was certainly a traumatic experience for me at the time. I think I've come to terms with the loss reasonably well, but I've no idea when the enormity of the less will hit me. Still, chin up, eh? My mother is still alive and well and my kids still remember their grandad fondly. What more can you expect from life, really?

And just to end on a happier note, here's my favourite joke:-

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