In 1990 Christy Maye commemorated 25 years of disco music in Ireland, which all began with his own brainchild, ‘Disc A Go Go’ in 1965. Now, 20 years on again, Christy is still going strong.
Disc A Go Go started in Mullingar Parochial Hall, when Christy came up with the idea of holding a ‘discoteque’ during the interval of showband acts.
Before Christy Maye launched his Disc A Go Go – which gave rise to ‘disco’ music and disc jockeys all over the country within a few years – putting together equipment capable of producing the right sounds and creating the atmosphere he wanted, was Christy’s biggest problem.
“There were record hops in those days, but you could only use two small speakers, and there was no atmosphere. I had to find a way of cushioning the turntables, and used a spring from a car seat, and foam, and other padding, so that we could get the volume. We managed to separate the bass sounds and got the hi-fi effect, and we improvised in various ways to get the lighting effects,” says Christy.
By modern standards the twin turntables, and all the equipment Christy used were primitive, but all the time it was something completely new, creating an atmosphere for dancing – and the crowds loved it!
Proprietor of the Lake County, Mullingar, Paddy Fagan, asked Christy to hold Disc A Go Go in his hotel. Christy recalled, “On the first night, 70 or 80 people were there, after that the crowds just got bigger and bigger. He built a bigger ballroom and after a while built an even bigger one!”
Disc A Go Go went from strength to strength, spreading throughout the Midlands at a very fast rate, gathering hundreds to the local parish halls.
Today, Christy lives in Mullingar with his wife Ellen and three children. He is proprietor of the Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar and the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, where he holds discos regularly.
“A lot of the success at Disc A Go Go at Greville Arms Hotel Mullingar and Bridge House Tullamore has been due to loyal and supportive people and staff who have contributed a great deal to our success. We try to offer as much variety as possible and I am always looking at new ideas and thinking of new approaches,” says Christy.
The public do not need much convincing, with a €400,000 development under way in the Greville Arms Hotel, involving a new restaurant, foyer, bar and extension, and 15 additional rooms involving new suites, bringing the hotel’s capacity to 52 rooms. There will also be a completely new kitchen and stores area and a conservatory and rooftop garden. In Tullamore, Christy is transforming his premises into a 40 bedroom hotel, and he is also involved in the new shopping centre project in the heart of Tullamore.
Whether it’s Disc A Go Go or whatever, you are always likely to find Christy Maye out there in the vanguard. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.