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Eithne had been working on her album and the single, 'Orinoco Flow', was released while we were in the studio. We were so excited for her. It was already at number eleven in the charts and we felt sure it was going to go up. We'd watched her on Top of the Pops the week before, so come Sunday evening we expectantly gathered in the house near the studio to listen to the Top Forty. Our youngest brother, Bartley, was working in London and he came over to be with us to hear the news. Number one! We were all shouting and screaming and hugging each other and you couldn't have heard the record playing above the din in the room. First we spoke to Eithne on the phone. More squealing. She was so happy and we knew that sharing the moment with us, even over the telephone, was very special. Then we rang our brother Leon who was over in Donegal. He'd been driving Mammy to church and they'd been frantically trying to get the radio station on the car radio so they could hear the result. The whole family were over the moon. That evening at dinner we had a bottle of champagne and toasted Eithne's success.


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Playing in a family band has many advantages, but it can often mean that when the going gets tough you take it out on each other with a liberty that only family can tolerate. I suppose it had always been difficult for Eithne. We loved what she brought to the band, but I know it was hard for her to infiltrate our years as a tightly knit nucleus. Musically, Ciaran and Pol had always been the creative force, and Noel, Padraig and myself had then worked our own expression around them. It was a good formula that worked well. Inevitably, when Eithne joined us full time, she found it hard. She hadn't been part of the original song-collecting days and consequently didn't share our enthusiasm for the old songs. I suppose she always felt little more than a "guest musician". As sisters we had always been close and talked about everything together, so I was sorry when band business caused a strain between us. One day, just after the tour, Eithne announced that she had decided to leave Clannad. She was going to pursue a solo career with Nicky Ryan as her manager. In the long term it turned out to be a good decision. I missed her, but I'm sure the apprenticeship with Clannad helped Eithne develop her own sound and afforded her strong contacts in the music business. She is talented and ambitious and, in the years that followed, the family was delighted to watch the success that came her way.


On Christmas Day the traditional Brennan Christmas continued in full swing. It was wonderful that we could all be at home together. The girls set about preparing the meal while the boys rearranged the furniture so we could all sit around the table together. Eithne had just got a video camera and was skulking from room to room trying to catch everyone at their most embarrassing. It didn't take much to get us to act accordingly and the house was full of laughter and song.


This annoyed me: I was on the phone with somebody today tryin to get a phone number from that person and write it down, but they didn't have phone number rhythm and that pissed me off. You know what I'm talkin about? Phone number rhythm. Especially if there's like an area code involved, like 'two one two - bum bum buh - bum buh bum buh!' That is the rhythm I think we're all familiar with. This guy had no clue! I was like "Okay, Hank. Gimme the number." He's like "Alright. It's two one two nine - fifteen eight eleven six [mumbling incoherently] fou.. tw.. five.. eight.. seven.. two." "Did you throw in your zip code? Cause I got a lot of extra numbers over here. I have extra. I can almost start a new number! What do ya got?! Start again from the top!" They really screw you up on the last four numbers. That's where they get ya. "Five five five - six.. teen forty one" "Dude, I already wrote the six! I made the dash too close, I can't shimmy the one in there now! Forget you!"

Kevin James

On the second album I worked with a lot of people that I worked with on the Metamorphosis album. And when I worked on Metamorphosis I was so nervous and shy about going into the studio and working with people, they eventually toward the end made me feel so comfortable and so secure with myself. I loved working with them. I have a great relationship with them. I talk to them [all the time]. When we started talking about the second album, I was like, "I want to work with all the same people." They knew what was going on in my life, what I was going through. I would call them and say, "I feel like this right now. I want a song about this..." I never really felt like I had enough time to write my whole album and I don't know if I'm secure enough with myself to do that. But I wrote three songs on the album, one I wrote with my sister. It's so personal and these people really got what I was going through and how I feel inside. I think that's what makes it good and that's what makes me relate to them.

Hilary Duff

"Bob Wills taught me how to be a bandleader and how to be a star. [...] There was no time wasted between songs. I learned from him to keep the people moving and dancing. [...] The more you keep the music going, the smoother the evening will be. Another thing he taught me was people came and paid their money to hear what they wanted to hear. Even if Bob had a mediocre band that night, the people knew his records and his radio shows and they heard what they thought Bob Wills sounded like. Whether he had a good night or a bad night, every night was a good night."

Willie Nelson
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