HE WAS FAMILY TOO…

Thank you, Scarlet, but, please, don’t start me on the problems with Mac-compatibility.
Glad to hear we have taken Manchester by storm.
Now, a little something I wish I had a photo for, myself.
But I can’t seem to find anything suitable.
Wrote this last Sunday for a paper don’t think it ever reached the public domain.
But. seeing as the brother won’t leave “the news” I thought I’d post here…

The news of Stephen Gately’s death is all the more shocking when I think of the young man I met in Dublin this Spring.
Reunited with his Boyzone bandmates for the band’s reunion tour Gately was  just as many of those closest to him say he was – warm, enthusiastic , full of energy and alive to life and all its possibilities.
He acknowledged a period of depression when the group had first split up and he was left to promote his solo album alone.
But he had found his feet and the true love of life – performing – when he had become a mucsical theatre star starring in big West End  shows Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Joseph And His Technicolour Dreamcoat.
The theatre reconnected him to the hard work he had loved with the band, and – crucially – a collective of people he loved to be around.
Boyzone had never been my sort of music but meeting them for the first time I couldn’t help me moved by the real love each member of Ireland’s most famous Boy Band had for each other.
“I have family but these guys are brothers in a special way too,” he told me.
Gately was the group’s joint lead singer with Ronan Keating.
He said that when he was a kid growing in Dublin all he wanted to do was  to sing, to dance and to act.
” I wasn’t sure if I could sing but a singer was something I always wanted to be.”
The first step on making his dream come true came when he answered an advert for Boyzone members in 1993.
THe group’s success was by no means guaranteed but manager Louis Walsh worked them hard insuring that, after over a year playing small clubs and pubs all over Ireland and the UK, the band’s performance power could be unleashed.
Taking the lead with Mikey Graham on Boyzone’s First Irish hit, a  cover of The Four Seasons Working My Way Back to You, turned Gately into an star overnight.
The group were on their way to 20 million selling success.
Stephen would shine out on many of their future hits including the number one smashes  All That I Need and When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going.
Stephen was the product of the new Ireland , he had grown up gay  at a time when prejudice was on the wane.
Nonetheless his decision to come out publically a decade ago was a memorably (and typically)  brave move.

“It was very difficult coming out, you had to do it in your own time.
“I was in a relationship and thought ‘lets do it’ .
“I think it made headway for other people to come out which was a good thing.
“Nowadays when a boyband forms there’s always a gay one.”
11/10/09
I just heard them talking about Stephen’s death on the BBC Radio.
Funny… how, when you turn on the computer, the interference – digital – happens.
Couldn’t hear what George O’Dowd was saying as a result .
I love George. Used to come up the NME when he was starting out.
A stand up guy.
He was making the point , I think, that the boyband culture of Gately’s era was so much different to the world he faced/played to
in the Culture Club times.
Anyway farewell Mister Gately your lifeforce will be sadly missed.
If they let it slip away…
18/10/09

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