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June 2019
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2002-05-30 Which of you lot is John McCormack?

Which of you lot is John McCormack?


Its been suggested to us on countless occasions that we compile a coffee-table book made up of some of the prize post-gig audience quotes, to include such gems as when one of us was told You have a beautiful voice, but Jaysus, youre desperate stiff. A photo with the fat one was requested by a particularly enthusiastic and pleasantly ample lady who clearly hadnt looked in the mirror of late.

Our harmonies continue to receive very positive feedback, and one person even helpfully pointed out which one of us was the bass. We have been told that we were every bit as good as Pavarotti, Domingo and Caracas (sic), and each of us has taken turns as being the best of the three. Youre my favourite has been overheard by each of us, and followed by but dont tell the other two.

Its been suggested we were so good that we ought to have singing lessons, and a very popular enquiry is what we work at during the daytime?

After a gig in Dublin, a little opinionated creature pushed his way to the top of the queue, and explained how even though he had been right at the back of the hall, he had observed that one of us definitely had it. I will not say which one of you has it, but one of you definitely has it!.

One of the more surreal moments happened in a bar after a show. My two colleagues were having an after-show drink when they overheard two ladies chatting. Youre right, that is him! Go on, tell him, say it to him!. The two proud performers prepared themselves for a series of compliments, when one of the ladies stormed over and exclaimed When are you going to finish my bathroom?.

On a similar vein, one of my fellow tenors had worked for several years as a microwave engineer, and was asked as he signed a serviette for a lady, if he could give his phone number as her microwave was acting up a bit.

Even we tenors get the odd come on too. One lady approached a tall curly-haired tenor colleague of mine and asked him if she could sleep with him! I have been told I had lovely eyes but that I could never be trusted.

I have been offered tissues to wipe away my perspiration, on the proviso that the lady can have the tissue back and put it under her pillow.

All Ill say is that on one occasion I had no need to put a full-stop after my name as there was one already there.

We have had several quote-worthy comments on our visits to the USA. In a concert in Rochester, up-state New York, a lady drew attention to the song I had sung in Irish. I am a fluent Gaelic speaker myself, she said.

I panicked, as I had this vision of her as a lecturer in Gaelic studies in some American university. I only have one thing to say to you, she said. Taa on ma egg Gaylick, goodbye. My worries had thankfully been unfounded.

On a much more serious note, as we were signing CDs in the foyer of Londons South Bank Centre, a lovely Birmingham lady called Julie broke down in front of us and explained how our music had saved her life.

Her abusive husband had pushed her off the top of the Eiffel Tower, landing her in the green mesh. He was imprisoned for a short period of time, but it took her three more years of horrific abuse before she could finally pluck up the courage to leave him.

She now travels the UK giving advice to other victims of domestic abuse, and has turned her own life around.I have suggested to her that she do a column for me on the subject, and she has agreed, so watch this space.

People are so open to us performers after they see us on stage. People feel it is their duty to tell us which of us is the best, the most experienced, the highest, the lowest, the sexiest, the widest, the tallest, or the oldest! Is it any wonder we are an insecure breed?