Garth Brooks: Keeping it country (subject to licence)

We’re a gas country.

We go nuts when public officials fail to do their jobs and politicians end up rushing through legislation which benefits cowboys to the tune of millions.

But then we go nuts too when a public official actually does his job and we turn around and demand that politicians rush through legislation to benefit an actual, hat-wearing, line-dancing cowboy to the (execrable) tune of, well, millions.

Step forward with your proposed emergency legislation, Fianna Fáil! Step forward, you Soldiers of Density who destroyed a whole country and step forward only because you’re shit-scared of the Shinners, those rabid opportunists who make the Party of the Bert look like twenty clones of Jed Bartlet.

I’m not a fan of Garth Brooks – not by a that-shit-ain’t-even-country country mile – but I do feel very sorry for the fans. (I also feel sorry for the hoteliers but I pray that they at least will find, ere the summer is out, another excuse to charge €285 a head for a Tuesday night in the broom cupboard.)

Those concerts, be it five of ’em or three, would have been a huge boost to the economy. More importantly, though, they would also have made an awful lot of people very happy and in a country where “the beatings will continue until morale improves” isn’t even a sardonic joke anymore, happiness would be a much more important boost than money.

The problem is those concerts would also have made a lot of people very miserable too. Regardless of the arguments that the Croke Park area residents were being NIMBYs, (and I don’t think they were, I think Brooks, Aiken and the GAA were taking the living piss,) the simple fact is a deal is a deal. The agreement was three concerts this year. Not nine.

I suspect that when Peter Aiken and Garth Brooks and the GAA bolted together this too-big-to-fail juggernaut, they assumed that the local residents would get out of the way or be flattened under their steamroller. In a country where greed and bullying always win out, fair play to the residents for standing their ground.

No, to be honest, I don’t like Garth Brooks. As a big fan of the late Bill Hicks, I have wondered before whether his plan to hunt down and kill Billy Ray Cyrus could be expanded.

I am, of course, joking.

I am, of course, saying that I am, of course, joking because I do not, of course, want the Gardaí knocking on my door.


Personally, I had hoped the five concerts would go ahead and, in return, there would be no gigs in Croke Park next year. That way, the fans would have got their wish, Dublin would have been up €50 million and the local residents would have got a well-earned holiday next year. And maybe, just maybe, the Grab-All Association might have learned the tiniest bit of humility. Failing that, I would have hoped that Mr Brooks would have done the three gigs he was supposed to do. But then that would have necessitated his whole “loving Ireland” bullshit not being what it actually is: bullshit.

There are people I like who love Garth Brooks. For all my pride in a “small c” catholic taste in music, they are demonstrably better then me because they can embrace something which is silly and camp and, above all, fun. I really wish they’d had their day out. I’d love to have seen them happy.

Garth Brooks is still a complete and utter cock though.

Donal O’Keeffe

2 thoughts on “Garth Brooks: Keeping it country (subject to licence)

  1. Garth Brooks might be a complete and utter cock no matter where he is at. I’m not a fan and don’t follow his goings-on, but I can’t remember ever having seen a headline telling me that he’s done anything good. Just a fair few about him being a bit of a spoiled brat, which seems to be the case once again with his everything he wants or nothing at all attitude.

    But that bit you wrote about Bill Hicks’ plan… yes. Glad to have a laugh this early in the day.

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