1974 and I'm working in London as Director of A&R for Phonogram UK. I get a call from our Marketing Director, Ken Maliphant, who has heard a whisper, that hot Irish folk band The Chieftains are out of contract and could be available to sign. We arrange an appointment with the group’s leader Paddy Moloney in Dublin for later in the week.
We fly over to Dublin early in the morning and are at Paddy’s office on time for our morning meeting. The secretary welcomes us and says she will let Paddy know we are here. “Would you like a cup of tea, Mr McCready and Mr Maliphant?” says the lovely lady. We have tea and we wait: we wait and we wait.
“Mr McCready; Mr Maliphant, would you like another cup of tea”, the lovely lady inquires again after about an hour and several requests by us as to “Where’s Paddy?”
We are then informed that, “Regrettably Paddy has been unexpectedly tied up with an urgent problem. Mr McCready: Mr Maliphant why don’t you go and have a bite to eat and Paddy will be delighted to see you at 3pm.”
At 3pm we are back. “Paddy shouldn’t be long” the secretary says, “Would you like a cup of tea while you wait, Mr McCready: Mr Maliphant?”
So: more cups of tea, more waiting but no Paddy. Around 4pm the secretary comes over; “Mr McCready: Mr Maliphant” she says, “Paddy has gone off to the Guinness office and is unlikely to return today. Would you mind coming back to meet with Paddy at 10am tomorrow, Mr McCready: Mr Maliphant?”
We organise a hotel for the night and change our return flights to London for the next evening.
Next day promptly at 10am we arrive and are greeted by the lovely secretary “Good morning Mr McCready: Mr Maliphant, would you like a cup of tea while you wait?”
So, more tea and we wait, but still no sign of Paddy!
At around 11am the secretary says “Mr McCready: Mr Maliphant, regrettably Paddy has gotten himself delayed at another appointment; but he will be here to see you at 2pm, if that’s convenient, Mr McCready: Mr Maliphant.”
We graciously admit defeat and go to the airport and get a flight home to London.
On the aircraft Ken turns to me and in his Scottish accent says “McCready: it’s a strange place that Dublin,”
We never did get to have a conversation with Paddy or sign the band.