Johnny Bongos Horgan
Johnny Bongos Horgan May 25th 2011
This week we had the pleasure of speaking with Johnny Bongos Horgan, Johnny from Mallow has become well known in recent time from his television appearances in 2010s All Ireland Talent show in which Johnny represented Cork and Munster with his own unique skill. Johnny would be best known for playing the spoons a tradition of making music using items you find around you in the house.
Now playing the spoons sounds easy but once you see Johnny operating the spoons you begin to realise that its more then just banging two spoons together
The speed with which Johnny can move the spoons around his body up along his arms on his leg and against his own hand would lead one to believe that a lot of practice must take place to get that good. Not only does Johnny play the spoons but he also plays the bongos hence the name Johnny Bongos Horgan, He uses a small piece of copper pipe to get different sounds from the bongos, He came across two tea coasters in a restaurant one day he asked the owner could he keep the and with the aid of some cable ties he made another percussion instrument. Now you may ask what playing the spoons has got to do with music and the heady world of rock and roll well let me explain further.
Johnny plays with different groups from time to time and on one occasion when they were playing in Cork during the gig in walked some very famous people. Stewart Copeland drummer from the band the Police he was accompanied by the drummer from Elton John’s band who happened to be playing at the Marque in Cork. they stayed for awhile and noticed Johnny was playing the spoons bongos etc and found this to be intriguing, when the band finished Johnny was approached by our two famous drummers and they asked him
to come to their hotel the following day and give them lessons on playing the spoons etc. Johnny obliged and the following day he headed off to do his percussion clinic for this elite group of students, He spent the day showing the lads how to play the Bodhran, the bongos, the spoons, before he finished up. On completion he was asked how much did the lads owe him to which Johnny replied “Lads it was a good day tell you what make a donation to a charity instead of paying me”. To this day Johnny and the lads stay in touch and anytime they visit Ireland they get in touch with him. Now as if it wasn’t enough other stars from Imelda May, Elton John, Damien Dempsey, the Furry Brothers, all have links to Johnny’s Youtube page. I asked Johnny if he was winding me up and he replied “not at all go online check out for yourself”.
Johnny has been involved in the music business all his life and not only does he perform with the group Arundo on a regular basis he also gives percussion lessons to various schools and groups that have an interest. It’s important to get out and get involved with everyone. If Johnny has the time he makes the effort to pass on his knowledge and skills to those that wish to learn. You can check Johnny out online at Youtube just type on Johnny Bongos Horgan and you will find him
Johnny Bongos Horgan