Tutti Fruiti and Rocketman in Fields of Athenry?
ONE of Limerick’s best known entertainers is on the brink of fulfilling a lifetime dream by singing on stage with one of his all-time musical heroes.
Ger Cusack, former lead singer with the Empire Showband and still performing with a number of musical ensembles in this region,
could yet make a cameo appearance with superstar Elton John when he performs in Thomond Park on June 6.
It would not be the first time that the Tutti Fruiti leadman and Rocketman Elton performed on the same stage. “If it came about, it would bridge a 41 year gap,” Ger told the Post.
“The Ger Cusack Quintet were doing relief for Long John Baldry, a great rock back from London, in the Stella Ballroom in 1968 and I went down there around 6 o’clock to see if we could use their equipment, which they graciously agreed to lend us.
“I got chatting to their keyboard player who turned out to be Reg Dwight, later to be known as Elton John, and I invited him up to Jack Bourke’s hotel in Thomas Street for a few pints.
“There was only a small crowd at the gig but I never forgot that occasion. Aidan D’Arcy was on drums and ‘Fats’ Falahee was on the sax with us that night,” recalled Ger this week.
Ger Cusack has been involved in music all of his life and after the demise of the showband era, has been lead singer with the Bryan Meehan Big Band and a number of other local musical groups.
He is best remembered locally for his Empire Showband days. The band became the first to perform live on stage with a string orchestra when they released their first single, ‘It’s Only A Rumour’ backed by members of the Limerick School of Music at the City Theatre in 1966.
The band, managed by the late Tommy Hynes, broke up two years later with Ger Cusack following a solo career.
To mark over four decades at the forefront of Limerick pop music, friends of rugby-mad Ger Cusack are now trying to arrange for the local singing star to make a fleeting appearance on stage with Elton John at the iconic new Limerick stadium.
“It’s a nice gesture,” said Ger. “I’ve bought my tickets for the show just in case but if I was asked to go on stage with Elton then it would be one of the highlights of my life”.
Elton and Ger singing the Fields of Athenry in Thomond Park? That would be a moment to look forward to!