Arts Q&A: Louis Walsh on U2, his dream band line-up and Simon Cowell as god
Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Louis Walsh
1. When did you think about a career in music management and what were your first steps into it?
My first step was when I promoted a band in Mayo which supported all the showbands. They were called Time Machines, a three piece that bore similarities to Status Quo. I was still at school and used my local phone box to ring major promoters and got them into all the big gigs. Then I got to work in the showband office in Dublin with Tommy Hayden and I got to work with Linda Martin and manage Johnny Logan in the 1980s. I went to Eurovision and learnt about the music TV shows in Europe.
2. Best gigs you’ve been to?
I saw U2 last November. It wasn’t their best performance, but a brilliant atmosphere. I have great memories of seeing Crosby, Stills and Nash in Dublin’s Bord Gáis about three years ago.
3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?
Elton John on keyboard, Phil Collins on drums and George Michael, Justin Timberlake, Shirley Bassey and Diana Ross on vocals.
4. The record you’d take to a desert island?
Patsy Cline or Dusty Springfield Greatest Hits.
5. And the book?
A cheque book, so that hopefully someone comes along that I can pay to get me out of there.
6. Top films?
I always loved the The Exorcist because it makes me scream and The Shawshank Redemption is a brilliant film.
7. Worst film you’ve seen?
There are so many bad television movies – I can’t name just one.
8. Favourite authors?
I don’t really have any. I’m more into reading magazines – Q, Rolling Stone and The Sunday Times magazine.
9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?
I don’t care. I’m running all my life chasing hits.
10. Ideal holiday destination?
Miami and Dublin on a nice day. I also want to go to Russia.
11. Pet hate?
People smoking cigarettes in my face and rude, loud people. I love quietness, especially at night.
12. What’s your favourite:
Dinner? Anything Italian – so pizza and pasta.
Drink? I don’t drink alcohol. I like sparkling water.
13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?
Simon Cowell and Sharon Osborne, my fellow X Factor judges. We still talk all the time.
14. Is there a God?
Simon Cowell thinks he is a God, so I’ll go with that.
:: Louis Walsh is joined by fellow judges Jason Byrne, Michelle Visage and Denise Van Outen in Ireland’s Got Talent. The series continues on Virgin Media One on Saturday evening.