It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n’ roll: Ciaran Gribbin

Ciaran’s unusual life story begins in rural North Ireland, when the area was still a war zone. He told us about writing his first song at the tender age of nine, and how we always knew that music was what he had to do in life.

Starting a rock band as a teenager, he spent many years travelling around playing in clubs throughout Ireland, under conditions that probably few other musicians would ever have experienced. The clubs were often heavily populated with soldiers from the IRA and UVF. Given that the education system in Ireland is still segregated to this day, the religion of Ciaran and his bandmates sometimes came under fierce scrutiny. In one instance a bomb went off outside the club – which fortunately did not lead to any fatalities.

Ciaran found himself at the age of 27, having been in a band for over 10 years, still waiting for his big break to come. And finally that break came – a song that he co-wrote ended up being picked up by Madonna. That song ‘Celebration’ was also nominated for a Grammy, and suddenly doors started opening for Ciaran.

On a trip to Australia he met with some of the INXS members, and ended up jamming with them late one night at a party. After another trip back here to write with one of the bandmates, he was invited to join them on an international tour as lead singer – which was an absolute career highlight given his affection and respect for the band. One of Ciaran’s songs will also be appearing in an upcoming movie, sung by Al Pacino himself.

Ciaran’s story was inspirational in providing hope throughout periods of challenge in life, and the merits of sticking to your guns and achieving your goals through hard work, determination and stamina.  

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