‘I used to collect music memorabilia, like Beatles and Elvis autographs’

Me & My Money: Pat Egan, music promoter and author of Backstage Pass

Pat Egan: ‘Concert promoting is a form of gambling and I have done that every week of my life for the last 50 years.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Are you a saver or a spender?
I try to be a saver but there is always some big bill or other that takes my efforts back to square one and I have to start all over again.

Do you shop around for better value?
I don't do much shopping anymore except the weekly grocery shop, but I am very aware if I go to Dunnes, I must have a bunch of tokens that can reduce my bill by €40. Unless you're rolling in it, I think shopping around for better value is now a must.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Back in the day, I used to collect music memorabilia, which included buying Beatles and Elvis autographs. I got them for one or two grand in the 1980s, but nowadays a good set of Fab Four autographs will cost you €10,000 if not more.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I used to buy designer gear when I was younger and the funny thing is that, 30 years on, most of it is still in good nick. Good-quality stuff stands the test of time. Sadly, I am not hip any longer but I do try hard to be cool. My daughter Layla says I have lost the plot.


How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
Local. You just have to get out and see people, and it was almost a treat to go to the supermarket during Covid. The only problem was that everyone was wearing a mask.

Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, I do, but only if I am at a market or car boot sale. I try to pay as little as possible for memorabilia and books. Haggling is what it's all about. "€50 for that junk? You must be joking. Will you take €20?" The most frequent answer is, "Well, okay, give me €30." I always ask for something off every deal but I don't always get it.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
My spending habits changed very much. I spent more on the Lotto and I drank a bit more. Everything about Covid was different. I think we just gave up having any spending habits whatsoever.

Do you invest in shares?
The company invested in some shares in Bank of Ireland, but they have been going nowhere fast for a very long time.

Cash or card
More and more it's the card, but cash in your pocket still feels better by a mile.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought a new big bed for €150 for my dog. He loves it! Because it's so comfortable, he refuses to get up in the morning, so I give him breakfast in bed now.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, I have, in 1966. I wanted to buy a Pye Radiogram record player, which cost a whopping £80. I saved for a full year to get the £10 deposit and then saved regularly to pay off 36 payments of £6 a month.

Have you ever lost money?
I most certainly have – £180,000 on a Julio Iglesias gig at Dublin's 3Arena.

Are you a gambler and if so, have you ever had a big win?
Concert promoting is a form of gambling and I have done that every week of my life for the last 50 years. Otherwise, I never gamble because I never win or have won anything in my entire life. That said, I have won life's raffle many times by never being sick and having my health every day of my 75 years.

Is money important to you?
Only to pay my bills and look after those less lucky than myself.

How much money do you have on you now?
I have €10, which is all I need to get two great pints at the Straffan Inn.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea