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Smiley Bolger

From: Dublin

Active: 196?-

Style: rock



Smiley Bolger AKA Seamus Bolger was a DJ, promoter, journalist and sometime publisher of Gun magazine in the early seventies. He has long been associated with the Dublin rock scene and with Thin Lizzy in particular. In 1974 Bolger and Kevin McDermot established Morans Hotel as a proto-punk venue in Dublin with the Much More Music series of gigs which hosted The Boomtown Rats (debut), The Vipers, The Undertones, The Radiators From Space and many more until it's closure in 1977.

In 1981 he organised F.I.A.S.C.O., the First International Alternative Song Contest Organization. Johnny Logan won the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest and as a result Ireland was to host the 1981 competition in the RDS in Dublin on 4th April 1981. FIASCO was an alternative event staged in McGonagles on the same night. Various spoof acts took part, backed by the houseband for the The Atrix (and possibly The Xn-trix). The rules of the competition required that entrants not play their usual instruments and the song with the lowest number of points at the end of the night was declared the winner.

Smiley Bolger (vocals) and Phil Lynott (tin whistle/vocals) participated as The Half-Mad Irishman (or Irishmen), backed by The Atrix, who were quite drunk by that point. They performed a rock version of "The Mountains of Mourne" which by all accounts was a complete mess. They emerged victorious.

The prize was a contract with CBS Ireland for a single which was duly released. The Half-Mad Irishman single sold poorly, unsurprisingly, but is now sought after by Lizzy collectors.


Da Half Mad Irishman - What 'Bout Ye!!
12" - CBS Records - SMILEY 1 - IRL - April 1981 - PS, yellow vinyl
Phil Lynott vocals on both tracks on side two.

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