Skid Row – Comin’ Home Again / Flight Of Earls
During the 1980s, veteran rocker Brush Shiels became almost as well-known for his social causes as for his music. With singles like Better Than I Expected (But Not As Good As I Hoped) – about a close friend in the grip of a terminal heroin addiction – and Battered Wives, Brush realised the potential to raise public awareness through his records, and in May 1986 he was the opening act in the massive Self Aid concert in Dublin. Inspired by Live Aid, the event aimed to combat the chronic unemployment situation in Ireland, and Brush kicked off proceedings with a tribute to his very recently deceased old pal and former Skid Row bandmate Phil Lynott.
Brush Shiels – Old Pal (1986)
Apart from a 1981 EP, Shiels spent the ’80s as a solo artist, but revived the Skid Row name for a single released on his own Bruised Records label around 1990. The line-up included Brush’s son Matthew Shiels (guitar), Dave White (drums), Peter Eades (keyboards) and Brush’s long-time bass player, the late John Brady, with a nostalgic roll-call of former band members listed on the sleeve. In keeping with the spirit of Self Aid, the single paired two songs on the theme of absence – the earlier Skid Row track Comin’ Home Again and a defiant cover of Liam Reilly’s emigration lament Flight Of Earls. More than twenty years on, Brush Shiels eventually issued another Skid Row record in March 2012: an album with the tongue-in-cheek title Bon Jovi Never Rang Me, in reference to his ongoing dispute with Jon Bon Jovi’s one-time protégés over the use of the Skid Row name. Sadly, the subject of unemployment and emigration which inspired Brush in the late ’80s is just as relevant today.
- Comin’ Home Again
- Flight Of Earls