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All the best: Musician Pat McManus' favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Pat (53) was the lead guitarist of rock legends Mama's Boys along with his brothers John and Tommy. He now lives in Derrylin with wife Sallie and their daughter Shannon (19) and performs with the Pat McManus Band.

My best moment

The Knebworth Festival in 1985. We played on the same bill as Deep Purple, Meatloaf and Scorpions in front of 100,000 people. We flew in from America that day as we were on tour with Bon Jovi and everyone said we wouldn't make it as we were on stage in Minneapolis the next day. It was an incredible day and we made it back to the US the next day. Mind you, I fell asleep behind the amp when my brother was doing a drum solo.

My best song

It would have to be our song The Needle In The Groove because it was the catalyst for everything that happened to us and followed us everywhere.

My best way to relax

It's actually playing the guitar. I'm very fortunate that my hobby is also my work. I have quite a few guitars now but I tend to get rid of instruments as I get bored with them very easily. I like having a new instrument as it inspires you.

My best job

I've never done anything that doesn't involve music. Even when I was a kid I was in a small group with my mum and dad. I wouldn't have wanted to have done anything else, either.

My best advice

Just be yourself and be humble because no matter where you are in the world there will be someone better than you. You should respect others the way you would like to be respected. I remember Phil Lynott (pictured) from Thin Lizzy coming into the band room and going through the stuff that we played and giving us little bits of advice. Then at the end he told us you met the same people on the way back down again as you did on the way up so if you're nice to them they'll be nice to you.

My best gift

A guitar that my dad gave to me. When I was eight or nine I stayed with friend who had a beautiful Framus guitar and I fell in love with it straight away. My dad went to Dublin and bought one for me. He tried to trick me by saying he couldn't get one but I could still play with the ones my friends owned – he had swapped them – but I knew straight away that it was a different guitar. I still have that one.

My best achievements

Me and my brothers played the Reading festival in front of 50,000 people and we were and still are the only unsigned act to every play it. That was in 1983 and Black Sabbath were playing at the festival, too.

My best buy

An amplifier – it set me on the road to playing and developing our tone. It was very early on and I used it when rec ording all the Mama's Boys albums. It was a very shrewd buy.

My best movie

Being There with Peter Sellers. It's a very innocent movie and Peter Sellers was quite a special person. It's lovely and definitely one of my favourites.

My best book

I love autobiographies but I'm a big fan of Clive Cussler's books so I'd go with anything by him.

  • Pat McManus and his band will be performing at the opening night of the Wilgar Rock and Blues Festival at Dundela Football Club, Belfast on Friday, July 25. For tickets contact the Dundela club

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