Boyzone

Boyzone’s Keith Duffy Won’t Write A Song In Memory Of His Late Father

Yet Keith Duffy sums up his three decades on the road with a sigh: “I’ve lived a very lonely life.

He says being on tour without his wife and two children has left him with a hole.

Thirty-five weeks ago he was left with another huge void in his life when his father and musical mentor, Séan Duffy, died aged 76, killed by his fifth bout of cancer.

Devout Christian Keith told Sunday World in his most candid interview to date about his father’s death that he was trying to hold on to “positivity” amid his grief.

The father-of-two (47) said in a chat from his €1.3million (£1.12) mansion in Swords, Dublin, draws hope from his belief that he will now have a constant companion on tour buses, planes and stages in the form of his father’s spirit.

Keith said that in addition to believing Séan’s presence is constantly by his side, he wears a religious medal the 76-year-old musician gave to him before he was killed by his fifth bout of cancer.

As he prepares to leave his family again for a 100 date tour with Boyzlife, alongside former Westlife crooner Brian McFadden, he said: “I believe in heaven and hell, and I believe in the afterlife, so I feel my dad with me all the time, not just when I’m on stage.

“I wear a religious medal that my father wore. and I wear it now and feel like it’s part of me everywhere I go.

“I’ve lived a very lonely life – I’ve been in the music business for 30 years and traveled the world without my family all that time, so you get used to being alone and now I don’t like that. doesn’t need to be anymore – my dad comes everywhere with me now, so that’s a positive way of looking at it and a beautiful way of looking at it.

Surprisingly, there’s a way for the Boyzone veteran to admit he can’t pay tribute to his old self – with an original song.

Guitarist and vocalist Séan – whom Keith considers to have sung “better than Sinatra” – has guided his son through the making of his latest Old School record.

It’s a collection of 1980s-inspired rock tracks with Brian McFadden (42) with whom Keith formed Boyzlife in 2016.

Although the record is dedicated to Sean and the CD version bears a picture of Keith’s father, he says he doubts he’ll ever try to put his devastation into song as he wants to stay true to his “band” roots. pop” and don’t think he’s on the same level as Bob Dylan in doing justice to his dad.

Keith added: “We don’t write about real subjects – we’re a pop band, we sing songs about love and loss, but writing a song about my dad isn’t something that bothers me. Interested – I’m not Bob Dylan, you know? I’m in the remains of a boy band.

He continued on his daily battle with grief: “My father passed away on January 8, and you just have to learn to live with it. I think you never get over the loss of a parent.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. That said, I’m no longer a child and it’s a fact of life that eventually most of us are going to lose a parent or parents in our lifetime, and you don’t really know to what it looks like as long as you haven’t experienced it. , and I’ve been through it now and it’s not very pleasant.

“It’s not a nice feeling, it’s not a nice time – it takes time to heal and he’s been gone eight months now, and I still miss him every day.

“He’s been a big part of my life – he’s been a big part of my career. He was a great music coach because he was a musician and singer himself, so, you know, I found great support from him in everything I do, especially with Boyzlife.

“He really helped with the A&R of our album and gave us his thoughts on how he thought the mixes were going while we were recording songs, so I’m thrilled in one respect that he got to hear the results finished before his death.

“It was good for me to have the fact that he heard the finished songs before he passed away, and in fact we dedicated the album to him.

“There’s a CD of the album on paper and it’s actually dedicated to my dad’s memory, and there’s a nice picture of him on the album playing guitar. He would have loved the idea of ​​his face being on the album, you know?

One thing Keith doesn’t need his father’s spirit to do for him is keep him out of temptation on the road.

Although he’s a multi-millionaire thanks to his days with Ronan Keating and Co in Boyzone and now his new band Boyzlife, he insists he’s never fallen into the ‘sex, drugs and rock’ cliché don’t roll.

“I’ve never been a heavy drinker or drug user,” he says. “I grew up like everyone else, but Boyzone wasn’t a heavy metal rock band. We were very aware that we had impressionable fans and that we had a young audience that followed us and respected us, and we had to make sure we showed them and set a good example for them, so that was something in which we didn’t have never fallen.

He adds that he was brought up by Séan and mum Pat: “It may be in the upbringing – the Boyzones are all mum’s boys. And an Irish mum will have great control over their sons, and the relationship between an Irish mum and their son is very close.

“I would go so far as to say that all five of us had wonderful mothers and were brought up very well and raised to respect our elders.”

He has told how his faith helped him through the death of fellow Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, who died in 2009 aged 33 from fluid in his lungs resulting from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect .

Keith said he struggled to sleep at night with ‘really bad nightmares’ and ‘probably drank too much’ as ​​he beat the grief – but found that constantly repeating the Hail Mary until ‘It becomes like a mantra has helped “prevent my mind from wandering or thinking about things I didn’t want to think about”.

He spoke to Sunday World about his current approach to worship: “I go to church when I need to. I wouldn’t attend church every Sunday and my life wouldn’t allow me to go to church every Sunday – I travel a lot.

“My faith comes from my family and my upbringing – my “My faith comes from my family and my upbringing – my mother and my father

instilled in me what their beliefs were and i took what they taught me and i took what i believe to be true and i kind of found faith

I believe it. It helps me if I lose people. It helps me if I’m going through dark times.

But Keith’s faith-induced positivity has limits.

He admitted last week he was not going out and socializing in his hometown of Dublin as he believed he and team-mate Brian were being hammered by negative publicity. Keith said: “You come here and whether it’s radio DJs or certain journalists, they write in derogatory terms about us. They are just negative.

Ex-Boyzone and Westlife manager Louis Walsh (70) also slammed the ex-boybanders, saying he hated the idea of ​​them ‘murdering’ the ‘classics’ of both bands with their new number.

Family man Keith, who shares son Jay, 26, and daughter Mia, 22, with 24-year-old wife Lisa Smith, is brushing it all off for fans who have stuck with him for decades – saying that He wants new Boyzlife tunes to invoke a ‘nostalgia’ that takes them back to a time when they didn’t have to worry about the responsibilities and trivialities of life, including ‘bills and mortgages’.

Keith and Brian begin their UK-wide tour for their ‘Old School’ album in Liverpool on September 26 and will perform at the Reminisce Festival in the city on September 10.