At U2.com we were sad to hear of the passing of the Irish broadcaster Gerry Ryan. Paul McGuinness counted Gerry as one of his closest friends ever since first meeting him when he was broadcasting on pirate radio in Dublin. Paul joined John Banville, John McColgan and others in remembering Gerry in a special tribute programme hosted by Marian Finucane.
'He was a larger than life figure. He had extraordinary breadth and depth... a great broadcaster.'
Paul also recalled the many times Gerry had broadcast from U2 shows, not just from different tours.
'Over the years U2 and myself got into a routine, a habit, of doing items which became models for producers courses in RTE radio - like backstage at The Oscars or at The Grammies, which turned into proper programmes.'
Edge also remembered the times Gerry travelled out to see the band, in an interview he and Bono gave to 2FM. (video clip below)
'He would always want to talk about the songs and he did so with sort of great insight and with an enthusiasm of a fan,' recalled Edge. 'That was the great thing about Gerry, he would never loss the pure excitement and joy of the music...'
He was a 'weather vane' for the national mood: 'I don't know how the country can fill this hole that's left because when I say the weather vane, he really is, if you listen to his radio show, you really sense the mood of the nation. He managed to... let people sound off but never surrendered to the melancholy.'
Bono recalled a visit from Gerry just after the band had completed the recording of No Line On The Horizon: 'We were in celebratory moods, we finished the album and we were playing it to him and he was bouncing off the walls and that's how I will remember him, you know, just that energy in the room, he's like a light in any room, it's just brighter when he's in it, a brighter mind; an optimist when you really need one.'