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Freedom Story (1970-71)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

John Farrell started his musical career with The Movement, one of the most popular groups on the Dublin beat group scene for several years. As was the custom at the time, any beat group musician or singer with talent and a following was soon drafted into the world of the showbands. Tony Kenny, Bobby Kelly and Fran Byrne (of the Sands), Fran O'Toole and Paul Ashford (of the Miami), Mick Roche (of the Arrows) and John, along with many many more all came from the same small group of musicians in Dublin. In 1968, John joined The Dreams

The original Dreams lineup included two members of the Debonaires - bandleader Shay O'Donoghue (keyboards) and Joe Geoghegan (sax) along with group players: Eric Bell (previously with Van Morrison's Them and Shades of Blue and soon to be Thin Lizzy guitarist), Mark McCormack (Duffy's Circus trumpeter), Jim Hudson (formerly bass player with King Bees), and Dougie McIlwaine (drummer formerly with the Mad Lads).

In August 1970, the band underwent a major upheaval when John Farrell and a the rest of the band broke away to form a new band called "Freedom." The reason for the new band was explained by John in a 1970 Spotlight article, "we'll be much more progressive, now than we were in the Dreams. We'll be doing stuff by Chicago and The Band and a lot of stuff by Van Morrison."

The new band's lineup included John Farrell (vocals), Mark McCormack (trumpet), Pat McCarthy (trombone), Dougie McIlwaine (drums), Jim Hudson (bass), Joe Geoghegan (sax), and Damien McKerr (guitar). Leaving ace manager Jim Hand, a powerhouse on the Irish entertainment scene, they went with George O'Reilly as their new manager. 

Freedom brought out a single, I've Been Hurt, on the Release label which made no impact on the charts. In fact, despite high promise, Freedom started off slowly and then fizzled out altogether. The band was off the road by June, 1971. At that time, Mark McCormack found worked with Frankie Carroll's Ranchers. John Farrell would end up with a large band called the Groundhogs.    

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Freedom - 1970 (KS)

Freedom - 1970 Freedom - 1970 Freedom - 1970 Freedom - 1970
 
Freedom - 1970 Freedom - 1970 Freedom - 1971 Freedom (RF) Coming Soon
Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Trombone Sax Trumpet
1970 John
Farrell
Damien
McKerr
Jim
Hudson
Dougie
McIlwaine
Pat
McCarthy
Joe
Geoghegan
Mark
McCormack

Discography

I've Been Hurt / Take A Freight Train - #3 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.556 - October, 1970

Audio Clips

         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

John Farrell: Unknown, if you know more, please let us know.
Damien McKerr: Unknown, if you know more, please let us know.
Jim Hudson: Unknown, if you know more, please let us know.
Dougie McIlwaine: Unknown, if you know more, please let us know.
Pat McCarthy: Unknown, if you know more, please let us know.
Joe Geoghegan: Unknown, if you know more, please let us know.
Mark McCormack: Unknown, if you know more, please let us know.

 


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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006