Gerry Ryan, was found dead in his Dublin apartment this morning. A cause of death, is so far publicly unknown.
I grew up listening to Gerry Ryan, and even though he might have seemed like an annoying in-law at times, he nevertheless became part of the family. Only this morning, I was thinking of how Gerry Ryan, in many ways, reminded me of myself. Viewing life from perverted angles but striving never to be full-out vulgar about it. My prevalent use of words like: "willy", "bum" and "bottom" can be put down to listening to Gerry Ryan on the radio for years. I hadn't listened to him all that much in recent times, but I would always try and catch what he had to say about the daily papers just after his show started, every morning after 9am.
In writing this blog post I am drawn to a song by Tom Waits which I will always associate with Gerry.
Last year (or the year before, I can't be sure) Gerry played this song nearly constantly for week(s). While I enjoy Tom Waits, he is nevertheless a performer which you often... well, often have to be in the mood for, and week day mornings rarely lent themselves to this kind of music. In truth, if it weren't for me being so lazy I might have just tuned into a different radio station each time he started playing it. When he finally lost interest and stopped playing the song (or was forced to by RTE bosses), I thought "thank god for that!". But you know, a couple of months ago, I found myself searching youtube for the song which had slowly begun to haunt me. And quickly, I found myself playing the song repeatedly also.
I think that may be the way Gerry Ryan's death will be greeted. To many, he will have been an annoying creature, taking up valuable airtime and TV licence payers money broadcasting nonsense for three hours a day, five days a week. But with his passing, I wonder how many hardened anti-RTÉ snobs will be unable to at least appreciate the gaping hole in Irish broadcasting that has been left in his wake. A gaping fallujah, as Gerry himself might have said.