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Hold me (back) now: What's all this about Johnny Logan and Dickie Rock?

Today has been dominated not by Covid-19 but a spat between two veteran Irish performers.

Singers Dickie Rock (L) and Johnny Logan
Singers Dickie Rock (L) and Johnny Logan
Image: RollingNews.ie

WHAT GLOBAL PANDEMIC? Singer Dickie Rock’s baying for blood folks, gloves off, ready to give fellow-crooner Johnny Logan a “f***ing box”. 

Today has been dominated not by Covid-19 but a spat between two veteran Irish performers. 

In one corner, 65-year-old Eurovision legend Johnny ‘Hold Me (Back) Now’ Logan. His opponent? 82-year-old showband superstar Dickie ‘The Rock’ Rock. 

It all kicked off between the two men on Saturday.

In an interview with The Irish Times Logan branded Cabra-born Rock – who made his name in the 1960s as a showband singer and performed for Ireland in 1966′s Eurovision – a “legend in his own head” who “lives in a fantasy world”. 

It seemed Irish Times journalist Roisín Ingle had struck a nerve by even mentioning Rock’s name in front of Logan, who won the Eurovision Song Contest a record two times as a performer in 1980 and 1987, and a third time in 1992 as writer of Linda Martin’s winning song Why Me?, and later starred in McDonald’s ads. 

Logan then launched into chapter-and-verse, assessing his own career against Rock’s, whom Logan said is unknown outside of Ireland and who – unlike Logan – had never sang for Pope John Paul II or Queen Elizabeth, both denizens of Logan gigs it appears. 

Fast forward to this morning, pick up The Sun newspaper and – like Stone Cold Steve Austin’s glass-shattering intro – out comes Rock, all guns blazing. 

“Give Johnny a hug? I’d give him a f***ing box,” Rock told The Sun reporter Ken Sweeney, in response to Logan’s Irish Times interview.

“I’m 82, even now I’d give him a box,” said the singer, who has been alive for at least eight decades. 

As Monday rolled on, the Irish public were drawn in by a row none of us expected, or even needed right now. 

Where did it come from? Why such animosity between both men? There was only one place to turn: Liveline. 

“Very odd, very unusual,” is how referee Joe Duffy described Logan Vs Rock. 

“If Johnny Logan is man enough he should apologise to Dickie Rock,” one caller told Joe Duffy this afternoon.

And then, as quickly as you could say ‘That’s tinted moisturiser ya plank!’, the Crooner War was over. Both men had called a cease-fire. 

Logan said he uttered his remarks about Rock “jokingly”, said he regretted his words and apologised to Rock, in a statement to Liveline. 

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“Dickie and I have been friends for many years and I hope that no lasting damage has been done to our friendship,” he said. 

“He’s an Irish icon and has my respect,” said Logan, ending his run and leaving the arena. 

In response, Rock threw down his Dickie Rock-themed towel and accepted Logan’s apology gracefully. 

“Johnny Logan was and still is a gentleman and a great performer,” said Rock. “We were all friends in the crazy business and we still will be going forward.”

With that, both fighters were homeward bound. 

Stay Safe Johnny and Dickie, and wash your hands of it all.  

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