Johnny Fean – gone but certainly not forgotten!

It’s hard to imagine it’s a year ago today since Johnny passed. I have many fond memories of him but one that stands out is teaming up with him when I was working on the “Beyond The Tears” album. All the basic backing tracks had been recorded, and some overdubs as well courtesy of Pat McManus, by the time I arrived in Limerick.

Johnny & Maggie met me at the bus station and we all trooped over to Dave (Keary)’s studio. Dave was as thrilled as I was to have Johnny in the studio. It was a very laidback atmosphere with plenty of tea and biscuits and music stories going down before any instrument was taken out of its case.

Mick Kinsella and Jo Marsh were also there. PJ Curtis reckoned they could bring something special to “The Sunset Waltz” instrumental and he was quite correct. Johnny started playing along on acoustic guitar as they were working out their bits in the studio and it all sounded so good I told him to go ahead and do the acoustic guitar part.

Johnny had brought his ’52 Gibson Les Paul for the electric part of the session. As soon as I’d written the song “Trouble”, I knew I wanted Johnny to play a solo on it. I could hear it already in my head and I have to say it turned out even better than I’d expected. I also thought it was funny to have him on another track called “Trouble”. I knew I wanted him on “Lonely Road” too and that worked out equally well, with him laying down some more distinctive guitar work on it. His wonderful vibrato style is so clear to hear on that track.

(Another photo from the “Beyond The Tears” photo shoot with Anne de Vries)

Having successfully recorded all we wanted to get, we were just sitting there talking and listening to the other tracks when “Crazy Love” came on. I’m as big a fan of Johnny’s singing as I am of his guitar playing so I was delighted when he suggested he could do some backing vocals on it if I wanted. I can tell you, he didn’t need to propose that twice. I think he did a lovely job on it and it’s always a pleasure if I hear that song being played somewhere to listen carefully and hear Johnny’s voice singing harmony on the choruses.

All good things much come to an end and so it was that we parted and went our separate ways but feeling good about a job well done. It was not only a most enjoyable day but a productive one as well.

You can listen to Johnny’s playing here on the track “Trouble”

You can listen to Johnny’s playing here on the track “Lonely Road”

You can listen to Johnny playing acoustic guitar here on the track “The Sunset Waltz”

You can hear Johnny singing harmony here on the track “Crazy Love”

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments