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Bernie has a regular slot in the quarterly publication  called "",   which is published in Pittsburgh, USA. Here's the article in full.....

The Resonator - Volume XXXIV Number 1, March 2006

"BRITS BITS"

Hi, fellow banjo fanatics everywhere: Stateside, Merseyside, U.Kayside, whereverside!

Bernie here, across the water, in little old England. Let me bring you some banjo stories from afar. Now before any of those wonderful Irish American banjo players cringe at the term "BRIT", let me point something out. My mother's side of the family, the Delahantys, hail from Cork and Sligo. Consequently, I feel a bit qualified to be able to embrace both English and Irish cultures. I can belt out "The Irish Rover" and "Fields of Athenry" with the best of 'em! In fact, I have, in Boston and Savannah. Drunk of course! What else?

Now where do we start? Well, when I tell you that my banjo stories can include Paul McCartney and his banjo, plus an old acquaintance, Graham Nash, now of Hawaii, I'm sure you'll be interested!

There we were, me and my mates, on stage bashing our banjos in a famous nightclub in London, England. It was just by Grosvenor Square. You know, where the American Embassy is. Suddenly, Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda walked in. They sat at the back. The 'buzz' running around the club was terrific. I came off sweating, ten minutes later, Paul invited me over for a drink.

So, with the audience staring over, it's me, Paul and Linda, getting stuck into the 'ale'. I said, "Paul, I saw you in the Sunday Times newspaper with your banjo" He said "yeah." Or was it "Yeah, yeah, yeah"? "Do me a favour," I said. "Sell it to me." I can sense you all right now, from Maine to San Diego, falling about laughing! Paul, a great guy said, "Bernie, you can have it." Swear to God folks, that's what he sad. "Look," said Paul. "here's my aunt Fay's address in Liverpool, in the Wavertree area." He wrote the address on a ciggie packet (Woodbines). He even drew a little map and signed it. Can you imagine having that, and his banjo, now?!

Here's what happened. An Australian lady was in ecstasy! "Ah Paul, it's Paul!" she screeched. "Let me see that Bernie, perleeeeze!" So, I let he see it. Youve guessed it - off she went. Like a whipppet, as we say in these parts. Back to Aussie' and quick!

I like to believe that the 'ciggie packet' is still in existence, with the details intact. all the Beatle Fest memorabilia guys, in London, Paris and New York will be searching and a bidding, and then some! A zillion bucks, eh? Ah, but the memory of it all is golden anyway.

You see, as we're talking banjos, the Beatles, John, Paul, George and Ringo grew up with 'em. Paul plays one, George did too. John's aunt Mimi played oe as John sang to it. Ringo loved all banjo songs, especially those of Lonnie Donegan, a great star in England, who died just a few years ago. More about him (and me) next time. It kinda confirms my statement. "No banjo, no Rock and Roll." We'll look at that, next time as well. And, how about this: There's twenty kids over here (ten to thirteen year-olds) in a new uke and banjolele orchestra. They're composing an opera for banjos and ukes - can't wait!

I hope you liked the first "BRITS BITS" and I thought I'd finish with a bit of an original levity (all mine).

Adam turned to Eve and said "I think I'll give music a go".

Eve said "Good luck, invent something you can pluck, but I've got a headache, don't make a banjo!"

Read issue 2  Issue 2

 

 

 

 

 


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