Living life in the fast Slane!
Navan man Charlie Rogers had a very special reason to celebrate Slane Castle’s 40 years of concerts this week - he’s been to every single one and he has the receipts to prove it.
Charlie was just 14-years-old in 1981 when he made his way the 10 miles from his hometown to Slane to see Thin Lizzy, U2, Hazel O'Connor and more for the first of 25 concerts on Lord Henry Mount Charles’ front lawn.
The rock loving teenager made sure to keep the precious stub after that groundbreaking gig and he’s kept every ticket to every show he's been to since.
“Any gig I ever went to I've always held onto the tickets, no matter where I went or who I saw, I always held on to that stub and I've just kept it going”, says the 54-year-old father of three"
While he has lots of ticket stuffed away in drawers in his home in Johnstown where he lives with wife Niamh and children Niamh, Max and Billy, the Slane tickets take pride of place on a wall in a special frame he made himself - his skills as a welder fabricator with MR Trailers in Boyerstown coming into good use.
“There's every single Slane concert ticket in there. I never left a concert without making sure I had one stuck in my arse pocket or if I did lose it I'd search or ask around until I found one.”
Part of the attraction of the Slane shows, particularly in the early days was the bone-shaking sound rising up from Slane's Castle's natural amphitheatre. For the Navan teenager it was infectious.
“It's just that natural sound out there, especially in the beginning, it just gets you coming back for more. Sure there's people travelling from all over the country, all over the world to get to Slane and there was I 10 miles away, I had no business not going to Slane, what else would I be doing when I was that age.”
Recalling the first gig in 1981, Charlie says he already knew how good U2 were having seen them play in Leixlip the year previously but says Phil Lynott and Lizzy were sensational - one of the best rock acts to grace the venue along, perhaps with Metallica in 2019.
Looking to future gigs on the hallowed Slane turf Charlie believes there can only be one name in the hat to headline 2022.
“It has to be AC/DC, has to be. They'll sell out in no time, they want to do it, I'm sure Henry and Alex would love to have them, it'll be packed, people will come from everywhere. I thought Metallica was unbelievable with the sound and pyrotechnics but AC/DC will be just something else.”
Bring it on!