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If you want to be a true rock and roll star ... sell some records

It's nearly 30 years to the day since Bob Geldof gathered together the then cream of the UK music world, the end result being the Band Aid charity single, Do They Know it's Christmas?

And to commemorate the occasion, a newspaper did a "where are they now?" retrospective last week on all those who turned up on that early morning in November 1984.

The biggest bands at the time were all represented, and a glance through the line-up would be an enlightening exercise for all those who consider the knocking of Ireland's greatest ever rock band to be their favourite sport.

Bananarama, Wham!, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Police... all gone.


Spandau Ballet, Heaven 17, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Boomtown Rats...now surviving essentially as tribute acts, having broken up then re-formed in order to cash in on the nostalgia market by re-hashing all their greatest hits from 20 years ago.

In fact only two bands have kept gigging, and releasing albums, uninterrupted since that day - Status Quo and U2.

And the continued ability of the latter to release original albums and attract millions every time they tour is something of which Ireland should be proud.

People should focus more on that rather than creating a melodrama about getting an album into your iTunes account you didn't specifically ask for.

Rock and roll is in most cases, after all, a career marked by fleeting success, because for every U2 and Rolling Stones, there are a thousand bands like, well, The Cranberries.

It's a topical analogy, of course, as the lead singer of that almost forgotten act was back in the news this week, taking centre stage in what seems, from a galloping horse, like a very rock and roll story.

The lead singer of a famous band flying from New York to Dublin - Business Class, of course - starts throwing a diva strop during the flight, gets arrested once the flight lands, allegedly injures an air hostess and then head-butts a garda. The way you do.

In so doing, Dolores O'Riordan has simply joined a long line of artistes whose creative temperament doesn't agree with being kept in confined spaces for too long, and after years of pampering, are used to getting exactly what they want, and kick up a fuss when the don't.

It's 18 years, however, since The Cranberries had a hit of any sort, and it is only courtesy of her stint on The Voice of Ireland that many people know of her.

So here's a hint, Dolores. If you do want to behave like a spoiled rock star, how about fulfilling the minimum requirement that is demanded of bone fide stars such as U2.

Sell some records.