NHTE 201 George Millar

The Irish Rovers founder, lead vocalist, guitar player, and songwriter. Fifty years ago the band had a breakout hit with their second album The Unicorn, and returned to the charts 15 more times with other songs. They recently were named one of Ireland’s greatest exports, being so honored at The Irish Emigration Museum. Their latest release, The Unicorn: The Continuing Story, pays appropriate tribute on its golden anniversary, with new recordings, plus the sequel to the The Unicorn song. They’ve traveled the world, as far as the Arctic Circle, Japan, and Germany, and regular tours to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S., and two years ago their “50 Years” triple CD broke tour sales records.

Show Quotes: 

"I thought, what a great idea.  How many bands in the world can (re-)record one of their CDs - I should say, albums - of all those years ago?"

"If it feels like it's a grind then you shouldn't be doing it. I don't care what you do... if you're finding it a drag... then you shouldn't be doing it."

"Four to five weeks on the road of doing shows five nights a week at our extreme age, ya' don't want to do much more than that.  So, that's why we do about two tours a year; we take about six months off between them, and that way we recharge the batteries, we learn new songs, or write new songs, and everybody is excited to get back on the road after six months."

"If you stay on the road more than two or three months at a time, the bickering sets in and you actually end up hating each other and usually the bands break up.  And that's what happens to young bands... You need to get all of that work under your belt when you're young.  If you don't like each other and if you can't get along or if you have that wonderful saying, 'musical differences' after one hit, then you're not going to last.  You have to like each other, you have to respect your music, and respect each other too."

"If you get a little bit lucky in life and you get a hit... remember where you came from... You have to work your way up and when you get there you gotta be nice to everybody."

"If you're a young rock and roll band - or a country artist - and... let's say you have a song on your hands that everybody thinks is going to be a hit.  The first thing you do after it's recorded is make a video.  You cannot, nowadays, very seldom can you get a hit without a video to accompany it."

"We will get together exactly about a week before the tour starts... and we will pick a hotel where we're going to start and we'll rent a room in the hotel - sometimes we do it in the theater - and we'll rehearse for a solid week.  And then the tour starts and we don't think anything more of it."

"That's the secret of life, it's the secret of anything, of any relationship, is you must enjoy your life, it's too damn short."

"If you do get a hit, don't you ever stop doing it.  You have to do it.  It's what the people made you, it's what they want to hear... You don't ever forget your hit songs.  And, those are the ones that made you."

"It's pretty easy to be nice to people, it's a lot easier to be nice, it really is, rather than be rude to people and walk away."

Songs on this episode: 

“The Continuing Story of the Unicorn”
"First Love in Life"