Rocky de Valera and The Rhythm Kings

The Rhythm Kings were Rocky de Valera (vocals), Martin ‘The Lizard’ Meagher (lead guitar), Ritchie ‘Milkboy’ Taylor (rhythm guitar), Eamon ‘The Individual’ Murray (sax, harmonica, b.vox), Mark ‘Clint’ Clinton (bass) and Eugene ‘Southside Geno’ Levins (drums). They were a blues boogie/pubrock band who existed in an earlier incarnation as Rocky de Valera & The Gravediggers. Rocky de Valera aka Ferdia MacAnna details much of this in his novel ‘Rocky Years: The Story of an (Almost) Punk Legend‘ which is well worth checking out. Their Irish Rock Discography bio makes interesting reading and this in particular stood out..

The fourth single “Baby Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” released the following year was selling well until it was banned by RTE after the band did an interview with pirate radio station Radio Nova, thereby effectively killing it off.

Last Sunday on his 4FM show Dave Heffernan read out a letter he received from none other than Rocky de Valera:

“Rocky de Valera and The Rhythm Kings have unearthed their long lost second album and the master tapes of all their singles and B sides along with Fanning sessions, tapes of celebrated live performances at Lisdoonvara and Galway’s Leisureland and several really cool demos. The music sounds mighty and we’d like to share our original wild rock and roll with the world as we had intended to play it back in the day until we got side tracked by parties, fun and bad behaviour.” They’d love to hear from anyone who has videos of the band including the notorious video for ‘John Wayne’ as well as other video for RTE’s youth programme ‘Anything Goes’. The outcome of this endeavour will be a best of CD provisionally titled ‘Drinking To Forget: The Best Of Rocky de Valera And The Rhythm Kings 1980 – 1983

Rocky de Valera can be reached here.

In September 1981 they recorded a Fanning session featuring five tracks, ‘Want Ad Blues’ (John Lee Hooker) / ’54-46 That’s My Number’ (Toots and the Maytals) / ‘Drip Drop’ (Dion and the Belmonts. Ritchie sings lead) / ‘Ain’t Got No Home’ (Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry) / ‘Fine, Fine, Fine’ (The Fabulous Thunderbirds). ‘Want Ad Blues’ was released as the B side of hit single, ‘John Wayne’.

Want Ad Blues (1981)

6 Responses to “Rocky de Valera and The Rhythm Kings”

  1. john dundon Says:


    great track , do you have the other ones on the session

    p.s Southside Geno was the bass player and Dave Moloney was on drums

    John +

  2. Fanning Sessions Says:

    Thanks John, that’s the only track I have.

    The lineup indicated was the one present at the session as far as I know.

  3. Dave replaced Geno on Drums Summer 1982.

  4. Fanning Sessions Says:

    Rocky de Valera and the Rhythm Kings will be making a comeback at Thomas House, Dublin on March 1st, admission includes a Best of compilation CD..

  5. Just to complete the circle, The Milkboy has left the building, a personal tribute attached as website: “Pass the bottle baby, I was only Drinkin to Forget…”

  6. Ok, does not seem to have posted the link, hope I can here: Richie Taylor RIP:

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