Bon Jovi to headline at Slane
FOR A lot of the artists who play the venue, Slane is a castle, a big field, a reputation to live up to or a place to fly over on your way to a gig.
Singer Jon Bon Jovi became the first to do a public tour of the village after flying into the grounds of Slane Castle in a helicopter (how else?) to announce his band's headline concert on June 15th next year.
Bon Jovi (50) and Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mountcharles posed at the cross at Slane yesterday before repairing to the local pub, Boyles, trailed by a large media presence.
It was a little like the scene in The Quiet Man when John Wayne and the Squire Danaher stumble into the pub in the middle of their fight with half the village in pursuit.
After a quick whiskey, a few photographs, including one with Slane's youngest citizen, six-week-old Jim Gleeson, it was time to leave the common man shtick behind and hop back into the blacked out people carrier.
Earlier Lord Mountcharles and Bon Jovi tried to outdo each other in effusiveness about the forthcoming concert.
Lord Mountcharles, never a man to underplay the importance of the acts playing his backyard, described Bon Jovi as an "extraordinarily diverse artist", a "distinguished songwriter", and "an actor and all-round good guy".
Bon Jovi, who has the type of white teeth reserved for mega-rich rock stars and Hollywood royalty, said he wished he was Irish. "I've said it 100 times," he stressed in case anybody thought he was making it up on the spot.
"There is some spiritual connection, maybe because I'm married to a woman of Irish descent or my kids aspire to go to Notre Dame. I don't know what it is. There is something about Ireland that is more special to me than just about any other place."
Bon Jovi has been to Ireland quite a lot in recent years with concerts in Croke Park in 2006, Punchestown in 2008 and two in the RDS last summer.
Even he seemed to have lost track. "From the Point, to the RDS, to the Olympic Stadium to Lansdowne, this was always the goal," said Bon Jovi who took photographs on his phone flying over Slane Castle to send back home "as soon as New York gets the power back".
An Olympic Stadium in Dublin? We wish.
Tickets, at €79.50, will be available from November 8th.