In 1988 The Irish Times claimed that an Irish rock magazine was "noted for its probing interviews conducted by" author, journalist and broadcaster, Joe Jackson. That same year, Jackson interviewed Gabriel Byrne for the first time. After reading that interview Byrne told the interviewer, I loved it. At first I was nervous about the controversial aspects but now I am excited about it all. Those really were provocative questions and you set them in such a way that I came up with answers I mightn’t otherwise have expressed, in some cases even articulated to myself! It’s the first totally honest, soul-searching interview I’ve done.”
Ellen Barkin, Byrne's new girlfriend at the time, meanwhile, said “People just don’t ask those kind of questions here (in Hollywood). What was so good was the balance, the blend of psychological and socio-political questions was such that it wasn’t just actor-based. It was a guy expressing his opinion on an unbelievable, wide range of subjects. You ask powerful, different questions.”
In Gabriel Byrne:The Joe Jackson Interviews Plus, the author presents for the first time what he describes as "the original, unexpurgated nearly 9.000 word typescript of that interview, one third of which has never been published." He also includes the original, uncut version of a similarly soul-searching, nearly 9,000 word 1992 interview plus the nearly 9,000 word long Back Story of each interview - parts of the booklet which are based on diary entries and notes Jackson made at the time but which have never previously been published.
Please note that The Joe Jackson Interviews Plus is a series of booklets which are described by their author as "similar to the Amazon concept of 'Singles' in that they are texts that range in length from 5,000 words to 30,000 and are not full length books." The Gabriel Byrne booklet is 27, 000 words.
Finally, if you know nothing about Joe Jackson's interviews, here is another quote from The Irish Times: ‘Jackson is a tenacious interviewer. Just as his subjects start to relax, he throws them that question from hell you wouldn’t have the nerve to ask, “Tell us abut the wife-beating, Richard” - this, more or less to Richard Harris whose self-deprecating halo was starting to glint. “Is killing children in Warrington part of your peace strategy?’ - that, paraphrased, to Gerry Adams...Match him against someone he believes is a hypocrite and he enters the fray like a latter-day Danton. Ben Briscoe, then Lord Mayor of Dublin, storms off in a huff when Jackson queries his remarks on homosexuality and Charles J. Haughey. But men like musician Christy Moore, writers Tom Murphy and Paul Durcan, open their hearts because they sense they can trust him – and you never doubt it. Jackson’s research is impeccable, his commitment is everywhere.”
(Medb Ruane, The Irish Times.)
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About the Author
Joe Jackson, June 18th 2012,that pic of me is memory of a wonderful moment last Saturday, Bloomsday. Along with 110 other Irish writers I took part in a 28 hour reading session at the Irish Writer's Centre where we all attempted to break the Guinness Book of Records world record for public reading and did! I was thrilled.
I'm probably best known as an interviewer who has published five books and had my articles included in newspapers and magazines all over the world, from The Irish Times - I was their music interviewer for a decade - to Playboy and Rolling Stone. But I'm a writer! I decided at nine years old to become a journalist, when I saw a movie called Deadline Midnight, starring Jack Webb, that made journalism seem like a knightly quest. But when I was 20 my dad told me one night that he was abandoning his secret dream of "becoming a literary creator"and, in a knightly fashion, I picked up the gauntlet and decided to become both a journalist and literary creator. What a stupid thing to do, right?
But I can be stupid in ways,and after years of working on plays, poetry, memoir, and even giving readings of my own poetry, I moved into music journalism in 1985, with an Irish magazine that sadly now I'd rather not name. By 1988 The Irish Times was saying that magazine was "noted for its probing interviews conducted by" little old me. I loved interviewing right away, it helped me bring together my passion for literature, psychology, and even poetry, in ways. Then I did a degree in Popular Culture and started to apply also a socio-political microscope to people I interviewed and it all became even more fun.
I mean that seriously, folks. At the time, during the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, I was interviewing, or rather "grilling" terrorists, politicians, even a Taoiseach and two future presidents of Ireland.
So, now, I've drawn back from interviewing and with my new series of self-published book, The Joe Jackson Interviews Plus, I am making available the original, unexpurgated typescripts, plus the Back Story of my experience with each interviewee, and drawing heavily on diaries I kept at the time. I'm also exploring the option of making my more than 1,000 interviews available as MP3's and/or CD's.
Upcoming subjects for The Joe Jackson Interviews Plus series include, Bono, Tori Amos, Gerry Adams, Richard Harris, Elvis, Sam Phillips, Johnny Cash, The Chieftains, Bob Geldof, The Corrs and themed books such as 'Sex', 'Drugs' and, you guessed it 'Rock 'n' Roll'!
I do hope I sell a few copies and can continue creating what will be my real legacy, as opposed to the versions of my work that are sold without my permission elsewhere and too often bastardised version of my writings, sadly!
If you read this far, I thank you for that! You must be a sucker for punishment!