The book that took 30 years to write
11th September 2007. Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds is one of the guest speakers at The Miami Showband Massacare book launch, an eye-witness account written by Stephen Travers. The book was co-written by Neil Featherstonhaugh and is published by Hachette Ireland.
(c) Lisa Richards Agency
Fr Brian D’Arcy
Fr Brian D’Arcy recalls his memories of the golden era of showbands in Ireland and in particular The Miami Showband.
Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds
Introduced by Fr Brian Darcey, former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, relates his personal memories of The Miami Showband and talks about The Miami Showband Massacre book. He explains his pivotal role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and also the time he ran out of petrol in Northern Ireland.
Neil Featherstonhaugh & Stephen Travers
First Neil and then Stephen explain the journey to the book that took 30 years to write. For Neil it was not as he expected when he started out and for Stephen it was a journey back in the time machine.
The Miami Showband Massacre Book Launch
A big thank you to everyone for their support on the day.
This is a terrific book and an important book.
RTE Today Programme
Trying to understand the past is what this book is all about. On a deeply personal level for Steve Travers, who, though shot and badly injured, miraculously survived that night in July 1975 when three of his fellow Miami band members were killed by the U.V.F. at a road block returning from a gig in the north of Ireland; and on a more detached level for those of us who were not part of these events first hand, but who nevertheless vividly remember the shock, horror and revulsion we experienced when we heard of the news as it broke on our T.V. screens back then. The quest for a better understanding of terrible past events is the surest way of avoiding them being repeated, and in this regard this book may make a not insignificant contribution to safeguarding the peace which has now been found on the island of Ireland. For Steve Travers, co-writing the book has clearly been a cathartic experience, and his journey to that point is recounted in a way that takes the reader deep into his private thoughts and emotions, as he grapples with trying to make sense of that horrific night that turned his world upside down. It’s a rewarding journey as the result is to witness the incredible power of the human spirit to overcome such events. On another level, the book is a celebration of the way musicians, weaving their magic, can reach into people’s souls in ways that transcend sectarian political and cultural divides. His memories of the showband era are both fascinating and thoughtful in this regard. One of these is his recollection of being auditioned for the bass guitar vacancy with the Miami; he recalls how he listened to several of the best bass players in Ireland get up one by one and do their paces and was understandably impressed; yet after only two minutes jamming with the band at his turn, it was Steve who got the job, with the guitarist in the band( Tony Geraghty) shouting out ‘No Contest’ and the singer (Fran O’Toole) saying ‘This is the man I want!’. Anyone who has seen Steve Travers play bass guitar will have no doubt as to the accuracy of his recollections-his musical talent is as awesome as it is unique.The contribution from the other co-author, Neil Fetherstonhaugh, is also skillfully effective. The combination of his contextual narrative interspersed with Steve’s poignant quotation passages, results in a seamless account of the events as they unfold, as well as plenty of scope for reflective analysis. Overall a very worthwhile endeavour; one that is ultimately uplifting and, on many levels, offers hope for a brighter future.
At last the lid has been lifted on one of the worst atrocities ever to take place on this island. Stephens story of it is at once informative, frighteningly sad, tension filled, but never less than truthful. If one never had the privilege of meeting Stephen Travers in person, his almost apologetic tone throughout this book is indicitave of a man whose sense of forgiveness is noble in the extreme while at the same time, cogniscant that the families of those who perished may be at odds with his point of view. One can also gauge that here is an individual who though by nature is a person of utter gentleness, possesses a unique sense of determination and steely resolve. This book, for all its sadness, is a must have and for Irish music fans, is highly recommended. That it is written by a gentleman and top class bass player (with Neil Fetherstonhaugh) is an added bonus
This is a chilling read, culminating in a chilling encounter with a UVF man who regrets that he and his fellow butchers ‘didn’t do more’.
It is a fascinating read from a man who just wanted to be a musician and entertain people regardless of their religious or political beliefs.
This is a remarkable story of an extraordinary man who was eventually willing to face his would-be assassins.
RTE Guide (Ireland's biggest selling weekly magazine.)
‘The Miami Showband Massacre – A survivor’s search for the truth’ by Stephen Travers and Neil Fetherstonhaugh is available online at the following outlets:
<<Trade Paperback: Ireland & U.K. / U.S.A. / Ireland
Paperback: Ireland & U.K. / U.S.A. / Ireland