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Obit: Pecker Dunne (1932-2012)

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MartinRyan 20 Dec 12 - 04:51 AM
Mr Happy 20 Dec 12 - 06:16 AM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 12 - 06:56 AM
Jim Martin 20 Dec 12 - 07:06 AM
Matthew Edwards 20 Dec 12 - 07:15 AM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 12 - 07:20 AM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 12 - 08:27 AM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 12 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Erich 20 Dec 12 - 10:02 AM
MartinRyan 20 Dec 12 - 10:54 AM
GUEST 20 Dec 12 - 11:43 AM
MartinRyan 20 Dec 12 - 01:46 PM
Murpholly 20 Dec 12 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Mick Henry 20 Dec 12 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Joe O'Connor 23 Dec 12 - 06:39 PM
Little Hawk 23 Dec 12 - 10:29 PM
Dave Hanson 24 Dec 12 - 04:06 AM
The Sandman 24 Dec 12 - 05:26 AM
ollaimh 24 Dec 12 - 07:24 PM
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Subject: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 04:51 AM

The well known singer musician Pecker Dunne has died. Details later.

Click here for some background.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 06:16 AM

The only song of his I know, here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPjDfVINpXo

& sing it often at the session


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 06:56 AM

Many memories of this man singing at our folk club in Lewes and staying in our flat in Brighton so that must have been before 1974 when we left that flat.
The Pecker was a huge man whose head grew out his body with apparently no neck. We went for an Indian meal after the club. The Pecker was wearing a huge button badge with the words FREE IRELAND on it and nobody was going to challenge him. At the end of the meal, the waiter came and and pointed to Pecker and his badge saying, "This man's meal is free! He is fighting for the independence of his country and the staff here are fighting for the freedom of Bangladesh - so we must support one another." The Pecker ended up giving him more than his bill telling them to put the money towards their fighting fund. (This must put the date before December 1971).

The last time I saw him was playing at a pub, Mitchells, in Miltown Malbay. I approached him and reminded him of that visit. He looked puzzled and asked when it was and I gave him the rough date. "Ah!" he said. "That would explain it! I was drunk throughout the 1960s and 1970s."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: Jim Martin
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 07:06 AM

Vic - could that have been Marrinan's by any chance?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 07:15 AM

Sorry to hear this sad news, but thanks Vic for that wonderful story. There are several performances by him available on YouTube, but I think this one serves best for an epitaph Last of the Travelling People.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 07:20 AM

It would have been sometime around 1995 so I can't remember for sure. Somewhere on the right hand side of Main Street walking north. The last time I was in Miltown about three years ago there seemed to be far fewer pubs in the town than when I was first there.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 08:27 AM

The Pecker Dunne


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 08:30 AM

PECKER DUNNE R.I.P.
(The death has been announced of the extraordinary Irish Traveller musician. I have some vivid memories of my meetings with him but this piece – the first part of a long article on the man - and photo taken from the book "Free Spirits – Irish Travellers and Irish traveller musicians" by Tommy Fegan and Oliver O'Connell are a fine tribute to the man.)


Padraig Dunne was born in Castlebar, Co Mayo in 1952* "We were living on the side of the road in New Ross and I used to ride horses for a Major Peckard - they called me 'Major Peckard' after that and then shortened it to 'Pecker'." His father, Stephen Dunne, was born in Loughrea, Co Galway and his parents and grandparents were travellers musicians. Pecker's mother, Annie Byrne, was from a settled family in Wexford. Both of Pecker's parents played music to raise income for their young family of five children; Nellie, Stephen, Mary-Anne, Annie and Pecker. Pecker's earliest memories of childhood included travelling from their camp site into the nearest own or village on horse and pony with his father to busk. His father combined playing music for a living with buying and selling horses and ponies. Both activities complimented their nomadic lifestyle. Pecker's father instilled in him the value of music as a source of income and he began teaching Pecker at an early age. Pecker also received tuition from his uncle Briany Dunne. Pecker, his father and his uncle later travelled on bicycles from their camp to the local towns and villages.
When Pecker and his siblings reached school-going age, the family confined their travels to Co Wexford, and the children were educated at St Bridget's National School. There he met other young people from the Traveller community, many of whom were from Travellers musicians' families, such as the Connors and the Dunnes. His recollections of the Traveller children being put together on one side of the classroom from the other children was one of his earliest introductions to prejudice and discrimination practised against Travellers in Ireland. It was the theme that would feature in his song .Writing in years to come, as he articulated that exclusion in songs
such as The Travelling People and others.
Pecker had his first introduction to alcohol on the day he made his Confirmation, aged 12. He got drunk on that occasion, enjoying the feeling; "This is good. I like this." Pecker left school shortly after, still aged 12 to go travelling full-time.
Pecker's father introduced him to the fiddle and encouraged him to adopt music as his principal source of livelihood. "There you go, there is your living. If you don't play it, you will go hungry. It's that simple." (Parley-Poet and Chanter, Dunne, 2004. p 12) Eventually, Pecker moved from playing fiddle to banjo, much to his father's regret. When Pecker's father died, in the mid-1950s, Pecker stopped playing the fiddle for over 15 years. On a visit to his home in Killimer Co. Clare, in July, 2010, to record him playing, we noticed that despite his ill health, he remained versatile on both instruments, the banjo appeared to be more physically demanding of him, and on this and a subsequent visit in August, 2010, Pecker's preference for the convenience of the fiddle was obvious.
Pecker's grandfather played the fiddle, and his grandmother played the melodeon. His grandfather was from Kilbeggan. Co. Meath and was descended from a long line of fiddle players. His grandmother, Mary Ann Rowes, was a tightrope walker with a travelling circus. She was also an accomplished melodeon player, despite the fact that she was deaf. His grandmother often busked at St Bridget's National School, sometimes calling to take the young Pecker out of the class early and buy him sweets with some of her earnings. She carried her melodeon hidden inside her shawl. When she played duet with Pecker's grandfather, she would catch hold of his fiddle to ensure that she could pick up the correct rhythm, which was not available to her, due to her deafness.

* Confusingly, the subtitle of this page says The Pecker Dunne (1932 - )
Photo of The Pecker Dunne From This Book


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 10:02 AM

Born in 1952 ?? Just 2 years older than I am. I have an old tape, bought somewhere in Ireland in the eighties, and he looked like an old man on the cover of the MC.

Wikipedia says born April, 1 in 1933 which seems more likely to me.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 10:54 AM

Fintan Vallely's Companion to Irish Traditional Music has 1932 as year of birth.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 11:43 AM

I first saw Pecker at the Gardener's Arms in Oxford in 1972. We flew him in from Ireland just for the one gig - St Patrick's day. And he was worth every penny of whatever it cost. A larger than life character in every sense.
Slainte, mo chara.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 01:46 PM

Irish television station has just broadcast an item on Pecker on the main evening news, including extracts from several earlier programmes in which he featured. In one of them, he gave his year of birth as 1933.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne (1932-2012)
From: Murpholly
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 02:42 PM

How sad, yet another wonderful Irish musician gone to the great ceildh in the sky. I am beginning to feel really old myself as all my heros are disappearing. The original Dubliner's all gone, the Clancy brothers, Pecker. Oh well, a good excuse for an evening of music and song to remember them all.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne (1932-2012)
From: GUEST,Mick Henry
Date: 20 Dec 12 - 03:49 PM

I first met Pecker Dunne in Waterford city in the late 60's busking on a street corner on a busy day. Although he played in pubs & concerts it was as a busker he excelled. Anywhere he performed a crowd would gather & suddenly in the middle of a song he would stop& say ok no-one move, I'm going to pass among you with a hat, if you have no money ,smile, but not too many smiles please!
In 1971 or '72 I took him to England for a short tour,his 1st performance was at the Gardeners Arms Oxford.The local radio station were interested interviewing him,before going on I told him to mention as often as possible where he was playing . The queue to hear him stretched down the road, we heard music from outside as we were putting out the chairs & there he was busking his own queue!! both performances were excellent.
Vic Smith mentions Pecker playing in the pub in Lewes, it was I took him there & a great night was had by all.
I met the Pecker many times in Ireland after that, I remember on one occasion in Athlone, Pecker was booked to play in a posh hotel,as we entered the manager took one look at him and barred him...he must be one of the few artists who couldn't attend their own performance.
With my friend the singer Pat Ludford, we took him to England on a couple of other occasions,Pecker was a wonderful musician & song writer.For someone who rarely went to school he had a wonderful way with words.
I often a quote from one of his songs,                            'The road isn't easy but it's what I choose,                         I'm not always a winner but I'll never loose.'
Goodbye Pecker & keep off the drink!


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Subject: Pecker (April 1st 1933- December19th 2012)
From: GUEST,Joe O'Connor
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 06:39 PM

Pecker
On a cold day in December.
As rain clouds hid the sun..
The sad news spread throughout the land ,
Death had claimed the Pecker Dunne.

To his funeral Mass in Kilrush Town ,
They came from far and near,
To the banjo's sound of Roisin Dubh,
Many quietly shed a tear.

When Stephen sang of Sullivan's John,
And the Tinker's Lullaby.
We stood with pride and tears we dried,
For we knew you'd never die.

As your bones now mingle with the clay,
In the place you loved so dear,
On the waters of the Shannon,
Your spirit is hovering near.

God gave you almost four score years,
And talents that were rare,
When your time came to settle down,
We're glad that you chose Clare.

From Castlebar to Thurles town,
Now your travelling days are done ,
They'll speak the name and sing the fame,
Of the busker Pecker Dunne

Joe O'Connor © 23/12/'12


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne (1932-2012)
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 10:29 PM

Boy, talk about an odd first name...

I like his music, though.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne (1932-2012)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 04:06 AM

It's a nickname, his christian name was Padraig.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne (1932-2012)
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 05:26 AM

Iwas busking in skibbereen about 15 years ago, PECKER WALKED BY AND GAVE ME A COUPLE OF PUNTS.i saw him busking in killarney a few times, he was a very good busker. RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Pecker Dunne (1932-2012)
From: ollaimh
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 07:24 PM

i knew a couple of canadian msucian who knew him, they went to ireland for fiddle lessons. i wonder if he ever came to canada?


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