Gavin Friday & The Man Seezer Biography
Last updated: 08/27/2001 12:57:01 AM
After breaking up his band 'Virgin Prunes' in 1985, Gavin Friday concentrated on painting which culminated in 1987 with an exhibition of his paintings under the title 'I Didn't Come Up The Liffey In A Bubble' at the Hendricks Gallery, Dublin. 1987 also saw Gavin return to the music scene acting as Master of Ceremonies in his own creation, a Friday night cabaret called the 'Blue Jaysus' where he teamed up with a new musical partner, the classically trained pianist, Maurice Seezer. They started working on a demo tape of original material that attracted the attention of Island Records. They played their first gig together in October 1987 at an AIDS benefit in Dublin.
Gavin and Maurice signed to Island Records in 1988. Between April and July 1988, the album 'Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves' was recorded in the RPM studios in Greenwich Village, New York. Musicians included such well known names as Marc Ribot, Michael Blair, Fernando Saunders and Bill Frisell and was produced by Hal Willner. Before the release of the album, Gavin and Maurice played a six date tour of Ireland. The album was released in May 1989 and was followed up by tours of Europe and America. The touring ended in April 1990 with a sold out show at Amsterdam's prestigious Royal Carre Theatre.
A second album followed on Island Records in 1992. 'Adam 'n' Eve' was recorded in London and Dublin, and was produced by Hal Willner, Flood and Dave Bascombe. Determined not to be pigeonholed, Gavin and Maurice moved away from the moody introspective production of their first album, with influences as far apart as Erik Satie, Burt Bacharach, Roxy Music and Marc Bolan.
The first single off the album, 'I Want To Live' charted in the Benelux countries and Israel. Following the album release they embarked on a tour of the UK, Europe and the USA for the next one and a half years.
Late in 1993, film director Jim Sheridan, approached Gavin for the soundtrack of his acclaimed film 'In The Name Of The Father'. Collaborating with Tim Simenon and Bono, Gavin and Maurice contributed three original songs to the soundtrack including the hit single 'You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart' with Sinead O'Connor on vocals. They also contributed a track to the Hal Willner produced soundtrack of Robert Altman's film 'Short Cuts'.
While working on a third studio album entitled 'Shag Tobacco', Gavin, Bono and Jim Sheridan went into the restaurant business. They opened up 'Mr. Pussy's Cafe De Lux' in the heart of Dublin city. The cafe is named after its MC, female impersonator Alan Amsby a.k.a Mr. Pussy. The song 'Mr. Pussy' a tribute to the fifty-something entertainer appears on the Tim Simenon produced album 'Shag Tobacco' which was released on Island Records in August 1995. The album uniquely blends 90's dance rhythms with more traditional European pop.
The Shag Tobacco tours commenced late August 1995 and continued until October 1996. Shortly after this time, Gavin and Maurice parted company with Island Records. Their song 'Angel' was then remixed by Nellee Hooper for the successful soundtrack of Baz Luhrman's hit film 'Romeo and Juliet'. It exposed a whole new audience to their music. Around this time, Gavin appeared on stage with The Heads, alongside Debbie Harry. He provided vocals for the song 'Blue Blue Moon' on The Heads' album 'No Talking, Just Heads'.
During this year (1996), Gavin and Maurice worked on the soundtrack of the award winning Australian film 'Angel Baby'. They wrote their first fifteen minutes of film score and contributed two tracks 'Blue & Green' and 'Until I'm In You' sung by the Norwegian singer Anneli Drecker. They also recorded and arranged Michael Hutchence's track 'The Passenger' on the 'Batman Forever' soundtrack.
In the late summer of 1997 Jim Sheridan asked them to score the soundtrack to 'The Boxer'. The soundtrack was recorded in Dublin and New York and was finished in time for the film's American premier on December 31st 1997. The soundtrack album was released on MCA worldwide in late February 1998.
At present, Gavin and Maurice have started to work on their fourth album here in Dublin while also working on 'Emerald Germs' radioplays and the soundtrack for the film Disco Pigs. Early 2001 they recorded a cover of T Rex's Children of the Revolution for Baz Luhrman's musical 'Moulin Rouge'.