The
Urge

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Front left is the late Don Harris, centre front is Jodi O'Keefe. 
Right front is Noel Cullen. Back: Bernie Torme and Carl Geraghty.

Town/Village/County: Dublin

Vocals: Jodi O'Keefe
Lead Guitar:
Bernie Torme
2nd Guitar:
Bass:
Jodi O'Keefe / Noel Cullen
Drums: Don Harris
Piano/Organ:
Sax:
Carl Geraghty
Manager:
Shay O'Keefe
Recently, I was delighted to receive a long email from Urge guitarist Bernie Torme and here is his fascinating story:

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your beat group site, it transported me back all those years to Dublin in the late sixties and early seventies: seeing it I remembered things I've tried hard to forget, but was actually very pleased to remember, utterly fantastic!

Most importantly (for me at any rate) the guy on the top left with the Afghan coat (hippie!) is me, Bernie Torme, guitarist, though I was a bit less pretentious then and was known as Bernard Tormey! The picture was taken in 1971 I think, I left shortly afterwards for England. I subsequently became a punk, released a few singles, joined a band called Gillan with Ian Gillan from Deep Purple as singer, we had three top ten albums and four or five hit singles in the '79 to '82 period in Britain and parts of Europe.

I then played with Ozzy Osbourne following the death of his guitarist Randy Rhoads in an air crash (I was asked to stand in, in the course of which we headlined at Madison Square Gardens). After that I formed my own band, Electric Gypsies, which toured the UK (and also included Dublin's SFX and Belfast's Ulster Hall as special guests to Budgie) a lot and released three solo albums (Turn Out The Lights, Electric Gypsies and Live), played and recorded with Atomic Rooster. I then formed a band with ex Girl and future LA Guns singer Phil Lewis, humbly enough called Torme. I think I played the Marquee more often than any other person on the planet, it paid the bills!

After that I formed a band called Desperado with ex Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider and ex Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr: that came unstuck due to the record company having a problem with the guy who signed us, and the album got shelved and only saw the light of day for the first time on 3rd July this year. Also released three further solo albums, Wild Irish, White Trash Guitar and Scorched Earth.

I'm currently working in a three piece with ex-Gillan, ex-Mammoth bass player John McCoy and ex-Bruce Dickinson drummer Robin Guy, we're playing a festival in Sussex in a few weeks supporting Gary Moore, I've never met him and he was a huge hero of mine from my teenage years in Dublin, so I'm looking forward to that! All in all not too bad for a kid from Albany Road in Ranelagh! I must've been lucky!

The guy in the picture on top right is Carl Geraghty (sax and flute), who also played with The Victors, and is a brother of Tony Geraghty who was killed in the north with the Miami Showband. Tony is the only guy I ever lent my guitar to (we both played Strats), when he had his stolen when he was with Adolf J Rag and they had a gig at the Osibisa Club on Stephen's Green. Carl was fantastically talented and musically educated and taught me lots.

Bottom left is the hugely talented Don Harris, subsequently with Peggy's Leg. Don was a great drummer and keyboard player, and we played together in our first band when I was 16 and he was 14, called by the very uninspiring name of Wormwood. Wormwood supported Lizzy and Portrait/Elmer Fudd among others at the Countdown Club near Roche's Stores and did various other shitty little gigs around Dublin. I saw on the Peggy's Leg section that Don is dead? That's very upsetting.

The man in the front middle is Joe O'Keefe, aka Jodi Keefe and/or Jodi O' Keefe. Joe was the Urge's original bass player/singer (they had originally been a three piece, original guitarist was called Andy who emigrated to Australia which was how I got the job, and I think the original drummer was a guy called Blue O'Brien). The Urge as a three piece had recorded and released a single called "Listen", which was a big thing to have done in that scene in Dublin at that time. At the time of this picture Joe no longer played bass, he just sang. incidentally, the band was  managed by Joe's brother, Shay. Bottom right is Noel Cullen from Bluebell who played bass and was a lovely guy and as solid as a rock as a bass player.

We quite often had a complete horn section (reminiscent of Rob Strong's Platterman) at clubs like the Osibisa which would be organised and arranged by Carl. Carl left the band soon after this picture and we carried on as a four piece for about a year and then Don left or got sacked (I don't remember), we did a couple of semi-abysmal gigs with Blue O'Brien and then I left (or was sacked, I don't remember!) and went to England. I don't know what happened The Urge after that.

Connect with Bernie at http://www.gmtrocks.com or http://www.myspace.com/gmtrocks

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