Baby You're a Star

Free Baby You're a Star by Kathy Foley

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Authors: Kathy Foley
long time and the break was very, very difficult.”
    Initially, Louis decided to remain with Hayden’s firm but when Hanna left, it was just a matter of time before he followed. Four months later, he went to work at 90 Lower Baggot Street. Hayden, who had been like a father to him, wished him all the best. “It was a good little partnership. It worked out well. And we made a few bob in the meantime, and we always paid our bills.”
    “Tommy Hayden was very honest,” says Louis. “He didn’t shaft anyone at all. He was a nice man and he wasn’t ruthless. If he were more ruthless, he probably would have been more successful. I learned a lot. And he was also good at hyping records, trying to get airplay. He was very good at all that. I did learn a lot from him in that respect.”
    “Myself and Carol wanted to stay in the live music thing, because we didn’t know anything else. We worked there for ages just selling bands, selling anything we could, be it a DJ, be it a band. I used to bring in acts from England like Sinitta, Sonia, Bronski Beat, Hazel O’Connor. I would buy them for eggs, and sell them for wine, and try and make money around the country.”
    Although the two were effectively sole traders operating from the same office, many people in the music industry came to believe one was in charge of the other.
    “People always thought I worked for him all the way through,” says Hanna. “We worked together. We managed Linda Martin together and Who’s Eddie and we had our own individual businesses then. He had his own thing with bands but we always worked together, and I always looked after everything for him. I always did everything, office work and things like that. I was doing it for myself so I would do it for him as well.”
    The business was harder than expected. Their respective fledgling businesses found it hard to make ends meet. The two found it difficult to keep the office in Baggot Street. The cost of renting was prohibitive, prompting Hanna to begin working at home.
    “I made an office in one of the rooms in my house and set it up there, so Louis said to me ‘Well, what’ll I do?’ So I said, ‘Come with me’ and he did.”
    Although Louis was his own boss by this stage, the years after leaving Tommy Hayden were some of the worst of his career. The local music industry was as ruthless as it ever was and Louis still had to deal with the sharks of the business.
    “The worst thing was not getting paid. Promoters just did not care,” he recalls. “It was a Catch 22 situation. We needed them and we couldn’t pull out because we needed them for someone else the following week. You just wouldn’t get paid. They were in control and they didn’t care. They were the most awful people. That’s why today, I’ve got agents, really top agents, and I do not begrudge them for making the money at all.”
    Rock music continued to dominate the scene in Ireland in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although Louis didn’t personally like the music, or the lifestyle that went with it, his job was to secure concerts and arrange tours for emerging Irish rock talent. He describes this period as “soul destroying”.
    “I didn’t like their music and I didn’t like their attitude. They had all these tour managers, roadies and gofers running around the country,” he says.
    The emerging talent he worked with included Aslan, Light A Big Fire, No Sweat, Paul Cleary and the Partisans, Fountainhead, Power of Dreams and In Tua Nua.
    “Some of the more talented ones were great but some of the others had dreadful wanker managers,” he says. “I would book out tours and I would be on 10 percent. And they wouldn’t pay me at the end of the tour. That happened me with this horrible manager who managed [names band]. He was really, really awful. There were other managers who were really difficult.”
    Of all the rock bands that sought his services, he believes Cry Before Dawn had the most potential.
    “I liked them a

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