Monday, December 22, 2008

Tangled up in Blues (A must read for a Rory Fan)

ORIGINAL: The Rory Gallaghe Story
By "Hot Press” - The Rock `n' Roll Issue (Anniversary Special No. 3) 1992 at  "Rory Gallagher Tribute Page"

"Tangled up in Blues"

The Rory Gallagher Story - a star-studded saga of music, magic, mayhem, merriment and the highs and lows of the long and winding road. Interview by Liam Fay.

He suffered a lot. His health was bad. He had a problem with drink. His relationships with women were all messed up because of his work. And he got a lot of hassle from the authorities and the establishment. But still, he stayed true to what he wanted to do and he laid down the definitive rules for what's become known as the hard-boiled school of writing.”

Rory Gallagher is talking about his great personal hero, Dashiell Hammett, but there is a strong sense in which he is also talking about himself. At forty-four, Gallagher is not a man without regrets. "I've toured more than any other artist in Europe” he says ruefully, "I've toured too much for my own good. It hasn't left time for very much else, unfortunately. You don't develop any family life or anything like that and it makes all your relationships very difficult. There's always a certain percentage missing from your life. As a human being, you only have so much to give, not just in terms of your physical body but in how you deal with people.”

It's Rory's physical body, however, which bears the most visible effects. No longer the lean-looking guitar-slinger of yore, he nowadays favours dark sunglasses, not as a fashion affectation, but because light, any kind of light, hurts his eyes. Over the years, he has also developed what he calls a "ragbag” of neuroses. For example, he has become an obsessive painting straightner and cannot stand to be in a room where there are pictures hanging at even the slightest slant.

"The blues is bad for your health,” he says with a shrug. "It's as simple as that. Look at the list, Jimmy Reed was epileptic, Howlin' Wolf ended up on a kidney machine, most of all the other big names were alcoholics. Muddy Waters was one of the few guys that got that under control. People like Skip James never could. And when Howlin' was on dialysis and he stopped drinking, it affected his performance, strangely enough. So drink and the blues are closely linked, one feed off the other. It goes with the territory.”

Rory is on a roll now. We're sitting in one of his favourite London haunts, a small Chelsea wine-bar where the waitresses buzz about their most famous regular customer with a maternal and protective air, relaying phone messages for him and playing his favourite tapes on the bar sound system. Rory is taking alternate sips of cappuccino and white wine, and literally rubbing his hands together with glee as he talks about people like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Jimmy Reed.

"It's a hoary old cliché but I still live and breathe the blues,” he admits. "I'm still fascinated with it and with the people who make it. It's my life. Even when I'm not touring or writing, I listen to it all the time. I don't watch television. I might watch the odd bit of tennis, or boxing or football but since the Tories won the last election, I've given up on television altogether. The only newspapers that I read are the Irish Sunday papers, just to keep up with what's happening on the mainland (laughs). I still like trillers, Hammett, Chandler, Patricia Highsmith. But apart from that, music is all I do. I listen to a lot but keep going back to the big guys, the all-time blues greats.

He's far too unassuming and modest to ever say it, or probably even think it, but Rory Gallagher himself is now one of the all-time blues greats. His popularity has ribboned the globe and the esteem, and indeed awe, in which he is held by most of his peers, is unquestioned. From Muddy Waters to The Rolling Stones to Jerry Lee Lewis, he has also received the personal imprimaturs of most of rock's truly great legends.

It's also worth noting for the record that, in Irish terms, Rory Gallagher's contribution is immense. Long before Thin Lizzy, U2, Sinead O'Connor et al were ever even heard of, Gallagher was making inroads into international markets and putting Ireland on the world's musical map. He was, quite simply, the first ever Irish rock star.

Born on March 2nd, 1948, Rory Gallagher was originally christened Liam Gallagher but, unforgivably, decided to jettison that excellent first name at an early stage and adopt the infinitely more banal `Rory'. "There was no saint Rory and I liked the idea of not having a saint's name. Anyway, I think my mother preferred `Rory' to `Liam', he says in a flimsy defense of his actions.

He grew up in West Cork and was enthralled by music from an early age, especially the traditional music which his parents and their friends would play in the Gallagher household at weekends. At the age of nine, he acquired his first acoustic guitar and it was around that time too that he developed what was to become a life-long love of twiddling radio knobs.

"We didn't have a record player when I was growing up,” he recalls. "So I spent a lot of time tuning into Radio Luxembourg, BBC and the AFN (Armed Forces Network) from Germany. The first electric blues I heard was Muddy Waters on AFN. It was very late one night and it came across real clear. He was playing a slide Telecaster and that really hit me. So the following weekend, I went into the library in Cork and I got books out on the origins of blues. Then I started getting into Lonnie Donnegan and Ledbelly and Big Bill Broonzy. And then Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and all the rock `n' rollers. The more I heard the more I got addicted.

Having spent several years touring Ireland and England and playing Jim Reeves covers with The Fontana Showband (who were also known as Impact), Rory Gallagher formed his own band in 1966. They had numerous false starts and setbacks - the fact that they were a guitar-based blues trio initially made them very unattractive to most club owners who favoured four-piece `beat' combos at the time - but the group eventually established itself and after numerous name-changes finally settled on the moniker of Taste.

With Richard "Charlie” McCracken on Bass and John Wilson on drums, Taste gigged extensively throughout Europe and quickly earned a legendary reputation as the hardest working band on the blues circuit. Albums like "Taste” ('69), "On The Boards” ('70), "Live” ('70) and the posthumous classic "Live At The Isle Of Wight” ('71) won them huge acclaim, with Rory's incendiary axing already being described as one of the most distinctive sounds in rock.

Against the backdrop of the death of Jimi Hendrix in September 1970 and Eric Clapton's ongoing descent into parody Gallagher seemed perfectly poised to become the world's top international guitar hero. Unfortunately, severe managerial problems and the realisation that they had been mercilessly ripped off by a variety of parties brought about the premature demise of Taste in October 1970.

Rory Gallagher is reluctant to go back over what he describes as "ancient history” but his rage is still palpable when he recalls how ruthlessly he was exploited during The Taste days.

"Yeah, I feel very angry about all of that,” he says. "I don't like to think about it that often because it upsets me. I always believe that what I do should be outlaw music. My attitude in a funny kind of way was always a punk attitude. I think all the best artists are outside of the system so I was never into being all wise and clued-up on the financial side of things. But I obviously ignored it too much and allowed people to rip me off.

"I don't want to get wound up about this. I don't hold grudges and some of the people involved are actually dead since (pause). But, contrary to popular opinion, I never made a penny out of The Taste. There's been legal things going on until this year so it has actually cost me money. The whole thing has made me very wary of music business people. I don't give a damn about the money. It's people who let you down that bothers me most.”

Signs on it. For most of his solo career, Rory Gallagher has been managed by his
younger brother, Donal. "He's a superb character, a gift from God,” says Rory. "I don't think I'd have stuck with it so long if it wasn't for Donal. I'm so suspicious of people and I don't think a different manager would put up with my whims. It's not that I'm difficult - I find myself very easy to understand (laughs) - but the business side, you know, really bugs me. I'd love to move out of London. I'd like to go back to Ireland. It'd be great to live in Dublin and let all the business stuff just tick over in London.

As for the oft-suggested prospect of a Taste reunion?

"Well, I've recently re-established a friendly atmosphere with the guys,” says Rory. "They want to do a reunion but I don't know. I think Taste is not something that will ever happen again. I don't like going back. I just want to go forward and try to stretch myself.

During the early seventies, Rory Gallagher's numerous sorties into America, coupled with his fast-swelling reputation brought him into contact with the blues pioneers whom he had grown up listening to, people like Freddie King, Howlin' Wolf, Albert King and, of course, Muddy Waters.

In small, smoky acoustic clubs across the continent, he would sit and watch his heroes play and, on occasion, would even be called onstage for a jamming session. It was in this way that he made contacts which eventually led to his being asked to play on Muddy Waters' historic "London Sessions” alongside such notables as Stevie Winwood, Georgie Fame and Mitch Mitchell in 1972. The very mention of that period now is enough to light up Rory's face.

"It was a real honour,” he recalls with a smile. "The whole thing has stuck in my memory like a video. I can plug it in at any time and replay it in my head. I only wish I could do it again with my experience now because Muddy taught me an awful lot during those sessions and I came out a much better player than I went in.

"I used to have to play gigs in different parts of the country in the evenings and then, afterwards, I'd drive up to London for those recordings, and they'd hold up the sessions `till I arrived. So I'd finish in, say, Birmingham at 10.30 p.m. and then I'd jump in the car and drive like the devil to get there as soon as I could. Muddy'd give me a glass of red wine when I'd arrive and we'd start playing at midnight or 1 am which is my time of the day. Just watching him tuning his guitar or doing something like "Walkin' Blues” was wonderful for me. And the great thing about that album was that it wasn't just a token black `legend' with a load of Europeans. He had his own musicians as well. He had Carey Bell on harp and Sammie Lowe, lately deceased, God rest him, on guitar. They were magical nights.

"Muddy Waters had great strength of character,” continues Rory. "He was always very polite but he could also be very powerful if he didn't like something. He could do it with the click of his fingers, without causing an argument or ruining the vibe. He'd just quietly say to the drummer `pick it up a wee bit there' and it happened.

"He had a lovely Buddha-like countenance, great authority. You knew he was in charge of things but you could also make suggestions to him. Georgie Fame suggested a few things and so did I and he always listened. This was the early seventies and he still had a few years to live but it was after the crash and his back was bad. He was often in great pain but he never got nasty. That wasn't his nature at all.”

To this day, Rory has kept a special momento of those sessions.

"After the recordings, I drove him back to his hotel a few times,” he explains. "I've kept that car ever since as a sort of shrine because Muddy sat in it. It's an old Ford Executive, a real Hawaii 5-0 car with stars and stripes down the side, and it's sitting at home in front of our house in Cork. It's falling apart at the seams but I refuse to scrap it or anything. I can still see Muddy in the front seat, smoking these cigars with a big plastic tip on them.

"I only wish I'd had a Super 8 camera to capture all that stuff. I know one of the guys from Chicago took some shots and I'd love to get them for my grandchildren, if I ever have grandchildren. It's a beautiful memory for me.”

Throughout the seventies, Rory Gallagher's services as a guitar-slinger for hire were in premium demand. He played on a vast array of seminal seventies blues albums including Mike Vernon'' "Bring It Back Home”, Lonnie Donnegan's "Puttin' On The Style” and Mike Batt's "Tarot Suite”. In 1973 he also appeared alongside Peter Frampton, among others, on Jerry Lee Lewis' infamous "London Sessions”.

Rory does not recall those recordings with the fondness of the Muddy Waters sessions but he says he did find it intriguing to work in close proximity to such a volatile character as The Killer.

"There was a strange sense of violence and madness around whenever Jerry Lee was in the room,” he says. "Whenever anyone annoyed him, he'd immediately pull up his left trouser leg and go for his sock as if he had a gun in it. I never actually saw him with a gun in the studio but I'm sure if he'd had, he'd have shot somebody. There was always a borderline of danger about him which I think is necessary for real rock `n' roll.”

A year or so after the release of those "London Sessions”, Rory and a few friends were invited to a special Jerry Lee Lewis showcase gig at the Roxy club in Los Angles. The concert began equably enough and the audience was really starting to get into it when who should walk in but one John Lennon.

"Lennon was going through his LA phase at the time and his hair was really short but everyone still recognised him and they all turned around to look at him as he took his seat in the balcony,” recalls Rory. "Needless to say, the fact that he was being upstaged drove Jerry Lee wild. He started to do the "Jerry Lee Rag” but everybody was still looking up at Lennon and whispering about him. All of a sudden, Jerry Lee stopped and started on about how The Beatles were shit and The Stones were shit and there ain't nobody could play real rock `n' roll the way Jerry Lee could. Lennon loved this. He had his boot up on the balcony and he started egging Jerry Lee on, shouting (adopts convincing Lennon voice) `yeah, you're right there man, The Beatles are shit!' People started laughing but Jerry Lee thought that Lennon was shouting abuse at him so he freaked out altogether. He just pushed the piano across the stage and stormed off.”

The atmosphere in The Roxy was understandably tense. Most people left, fearing that Jerry Lee might go on the rampage with one of the firearms that everyone knew he always carried with him. Others stuck around hoping to witness just such an eventuality. As it happened, Rory Gallagher had a backstage pass and wanted to go in to Jerry Lee's dressing room to try and cheer him up and calm him down. Rory's brother and manager, Donal, warned against this and argued that he would be risking his life to enter such a fearsome lion's den at a time like this. Enter, at this delicate juncture, Tom O'Driscoll.

O'Driscoll is a brick-shithouse of a man from Scull, Co. Cork. A fisherman by trade, he has acted as Rory's unofficial bodyguard for almost two decades and still travels most places with him today. Donal Gallagher agreed that Rory could go backstage provided that O'Driscoll went with him. "I wasn't too afraid of Jerry Lee because I had worked on the sessions with him,” says Rory. "But everybody else was obviously very scared because there was nobody else in the dressing room when Tom and I went in.”

It took considerable diplomacy and tact on Gallagher's part but gradually he managed to coax Jerry Lee out of his sulk. "We actually got to the point where we were just chatting away, reminiscing about the sessions and that kind of thing.” Rory recalls. "Then, all of a sudden, the door opened and in walked Lennon. There was dead silence for a couple of seconds. I just stared at Jerry Lee to see how he was going to react. But Tom O'Driscoll couldn't resist this opportunity. He was a huge Beatles fan and he just went over to Lennon, dropped down on his knees, kissed his hand and said `I've been waiting twenty years to get the autograph of the king of rock `n' roll'!

"Of course, this drove Jerry Lee completely wild. He went for his sock, thinking that he had a gun in it and then he started looking around for something to throw or break. Lennon could see all this so he quickly signed Tom's piece of paper and then, to diffuse the situation, he took the pen and another piece of paper from Tom and went across the room to Jerry Lee. He did exactly what Tom had done to him. He went down on his knees, kissed Jerry Lee's hand and said `I've been waiting twenty years to get the autograph of the real king of rock `n' roll'. Jerry Lee was delighted. He signed the scrap of paper and they started talking then and everything was fine. It was a wonderful moment.”

Despite possessing an extensive canon of stories as eminently quotable as the foregoing, Rory Gallagher is not someone who drops names lightly. In fact you'd need something resembling a crow bar to prise some recollections from him. For example, he is particular reticent about recalling the time when he almost became a fully paid-up member of The Rolling Stones. When I ask about it, he just shrugs and gives me a sure-t'was-nothin' grin.

"Well it was before Ronnie Wood joined and they were auditioning lots of players,” he concedes. "I did a little stint with them and I think Mick Jagger liked me and wanted me to join. But Keith was in a pretty bad way at that time so I wasn't sure if they were going to get it together at all. There was a lot of uncertainty. Then, I'd been booked to do some gigs in Japan so I headed off and that was the last I heard. It just wasn't to be I guess.”

Rory is equally understated about another close encounter with yet another rock legend, which happened after a gig in The Shrine Auditorium in LA in late 1978. Gallagher had played a stormer of a show and the capacity crowd had loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, the jet lag and the general rigours of touring were catching up with him and he was too exhausted for any post-show meeting and greeting. Conscious of this, Donal positioned himself outside Rory's dressing room and proceeded to turn all visitors away.

Most of the well-wishers understood the situation and left without any hassle but there was one strange-looking guy with straggly hair and a scarf around his face who wanted to talk to Rory and just wouldn't take no for an answer. When he became too insistent, Donal started to get more forceful and told him in no uncertain terms that Rory wanted to be left alone.

Eventually, this over zealous fan relented and turned to leave but not before telling Donal that he was a musician himself and that he was impressed with Donal's reslove and dedication to `looking after the man'. It was several minutes later that somebody pointed out to Donal that the person he had just chased away was actually Bob Dylan.

"This threw poor old Donal into a panic `cause he knew I was a huge Dylan fan.” laughs Rory. "So he ran out after him and looked everywhere for this fella with the scarf. Eventually he found him and put out his hand to shake Dylan's hand. Then, he literally grabbed him and dragged him back to the dressing room. Dylan was very nice. He said he liked the show and all the rest and we talked a bit about the blues and that. I'm usually not starstruck by any of these people but it really was great to meet Dylan. He's one of my all-time heroes.

Given the number of collaborative ventures in which Rory Gallagher has been involved over the years, it would seem a little odd that he never got around to working with that other titan of Irish rock, Van Morrison. It appears, however, that the two were actually scheduled to record together on at least one occasion, during the making of Morrison's 1978 album "Wavelengths”.

A date was arranged, studio space was booked and Rory turned up at the appointed place and time, rarin' to go. Unfortunately, Van proved only too true to type and lived up to his reputation for being, shall we say, unpredictable. While Gallagher and the other session musicians waited around the studio and played pool to pass the time, Van flitted nervously about the premises for awhile and then disappeared altogether. As evening and then night arrived, he was still totally unlocatable and the session was eventually aborted in the early hours of the morning.

"We won't go into all that,” says Rory with characteristic tact. "Let's just say I was kept waiting so I left. We're still relatively good friends and we get on well when we meet. He's older than me, not that that matters, but if we do work together, it can't be under Van's conditions all the time. I've always been very proud that if someone books me and expects certain things, I turn up on time and give then what they want. It's a principle. I'd love to have done the "Wavelengths” tracks `cause Dr. John was producing and it could've been very good. But Van and me, it's like the meeting of the waters, we'll have to work together sometime. Maybe if he reads this we can get together soon. But it can't be just on Van's terms.”

Like Rory Gallagher says, playing the blues is probably hazardous for your health but if you talk to him about his three decades of globe-trotting and ask where is the most dangerous place he's ever been, he'll answer without hesitation. "On stage,” he says emphatically. "I've almost been killed on numerous occasions. I've had so many close shaves, especially in the early days, that it's made me quite nervous about the whole thing.”

There was a gig in Turin, Italy in the early seventies, for example, when Rory fell off the stage and the crowd actually applauded, thinking it was part of his act.

"On the left side of the stage, there was this big hollow pit which I didn't see,” he recalls with a shiver. "It was obviously for lifting gear up and so on but I never even noticed it. I was just running across the stage when all of a sudden I began to feel myself falling. I put my hands out to stop myself and I grabbed on to this metal bar and was swinging from it like Tarzan. Of course my guitar started to feedback and, all of a sudden, I realised that the crowd were clapping. They were going wild. They loved it. And there I was, in serious danger of death! Eventually, after several minutes, I closed my eyes and swung up on the stage again. Immediately, I got another round of applause. So I ran across the stage again and played another couple of notes (laughs). I got great reviews, great praise for my `acrobatic' performance.

Then there was the gig in Nottingham during the early seventies when the stage was invaded. Immediately, the bould Tom O'Driscoll leapt into action and start chuck the invaders back into the crowd. In the melee, however, he also wound up throwing the star of the show, guitar and all, off the stage and into the heaving masses.

"That was a stage-dive and a half, I'll tell ya,” says Rory. "It was one of Tom's first gigs with me and it was a real baptism of fire for him. The crowd was going bananas but I landed among them on my feet so I played a couple of bars and scrambled back onstage before anyone knew what happened. Strange to say, Tom O'Driscoll still works with me (laughs).

A rather more serious incident took place a little later at a football stadium gig in Athens, Greece when Rory and his band found themselves at centre of a mass riot.

"It was just after the Greek coup and they were having the first free elections they'd had for a while,” he explains, "A short while into the show, I started to see all these flames, way at the back of the stadium. They were burning down restaurants and shops on the streets outside the gig. I think they wouldn't let enough people into the stadium or else they let too many in but, anyway, the police arrived and started to fire CS gas at us. It was the most frightening gig I've ever done. That CS gas is dangerous stuff. It messes up your eyes and you can't see where you're going or anything.

When we eventually got backstage, there was so much confusion that we couldn't be sure who was going to protect us and who might attack us. There were those semi-militia guys walking around and they looked very threatening. So we just jumped into a car and tried to head back to the hotel. Then, on the way, we ran out of petrol so we had to walk. And there was so much going on, it was a nightmare. We were soaking wet and our eyes were watering and we were all literally trembling. The gig itself had been great by the way. But it was very frightening. I just didn't want to die in a football pitch in Greece, not even knowing what was happening.”

On a more mundane but equally dangerous level, the greatest constant threat to a musician's safety, especially during the sixties and seventies was the perennial problem of faulty onstage wiring.

"I knew Les Harvey, Alex Harvey's brother and he was electrocuted by bad wiring,” says Rory. "That left a terrible mark on me. It's such a stupid, futile way to go. Like, if you're going to go, go in a revolution or something. Get shot by a firing squad for doing something worthwhile but don't get killed by an electric shock. I'm very nervous about all that. I've been electrocuted several times myself. The worst time was in a studio in Cork with the showband in the early days and I nearly hit the roof. It takes a hell of a long time to get over something like that. I don't think you ever do.

Of course, what keeps people like Rory Gallagher going are the great gigs, the shows when everything clicks into place and the person onstage can literally do no wrong.

I've got so many favourite gigs,” he enthuses. One of the best has to be a show we did in Belfast in 1973. It was at the height of the troubles and we just didn't now how it was going to go. There was a lot of trouble out on the streets but the atmosphere inside was electric, it was a real we-shall-overcome kinda night. With all due respect to audiences we've had in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, there was something really special about the crowd in Belfast that night. A gig we did in Cork where we recorded most of the "Irish Tour” album in 1974 was fantastic too. I also remember Hamburg… I probably sound like Marlene Dietrich but there have been some really great moments. Great memories.”

The last cup of cappuccino that Rory ordered an hour ago remains untouched on the table, cold and congealed. The white wine, however, is flowing in torrents. And Rory's starting to get a little sentimental, honing in on his twin obsessions, Ireland and the blues, and how much they both mean to him.

He admits to feeling particularly homesick at the moment. A recent brief stint recording in London with his old friends The Dubliners (adding guitar, harmonica and vocals to a couple of tracks on their soon-to-be-released anniversary album) has only heightened his sense of longing for the auld sod.

I loved meeting Ronnie and the lads again,” he says. I've always had a soft spot for The Dubliners since I first met them in the sixties. We were playing a show with Dickie Rock and The Miami Showband in the Savoy in Cork. And because we were way down the bill, we weren't even allowed to change in the dressing room. So we were out in the hall changing when Ronnie opened the door - The Dubliners were second on the bill so they had a room to themselves - and he said come on in and use our room with us. Luke was there and Ciaran Burke and all the rest and they were very nice. It was a small gesture but I'll never forget it. So I loved meeting them and playing with them again this week. And they're still nice lads. Ronnie gave me a present of a book of little short stories, "The Irish Bedside Book” it's called. And all of this has made me feel really homesick.

I'd love to go back and live there if I could get myself together,” he adds. If I can get organised enough to get out of here, I will be back. I'm constantly thinking mentally of Ireland. I listen to RTE radio most nights on my little gadget, a drum machine cum radio cassette that I take everywhere. In Europe you can pick up RTE as far south as Munich. I was in Paris one night during the last general election and it was great to be able to pick up John Bowman doing his broadcasting. Like I say, I get the Irish papers, especially the Sundays - tell Liam Mackey. I read his soccer column in the Sunday Press and I don't agree with him. (laughs).

"I also try to keep up with Irish albums. I just got Sharon Shannon's and Maire Ní Braonain's new albums and I'm looking forward to them. All that stuff is very important to me. I'd really love to go back. It could be good for me. I have one or two friends in Ireland and I'd like to get up to Donegal as well and get me old mind sorted out. It's probably what I really need right now.

In the meantime, however, Rory Gallagher's profile as an artist is set to step up a gear or two over the coming months. This week, for example, sees the release of Edged in Blue”, an eleven track retrospective of some of Rory's own favourite songs from his back catalogue. A box set of bootleg material is also planned for later this year ("Next to Dylan and The Stones, I have the privilege of being the most bootlegged artist in Western Europe,” says Rory). At this moment, he is also toying with the idea of recruiting some new musicians to give himself a fresher sound for his next studio album which he fervently hopes will be recorded within the next couple of months. Offers of tours are also flooding in from everywhere from Moscow to New York - and don't be too surprised if there is a rare and welcome Dublin appearance before too long too.

But it's all in the future. Right now we're draining our glasses and, as a parting shot, I'm asking Rory why he isn't wearing his trademark lumberjack's shirt. Curiously, it's a throwaway question, which appears to disconcert him more than any other single subject.

"At the moment, I just can't wear them to be honest with you,” he says mournfully. "I know it's peculiar but it's just a psychological thing. That demin jacket and check shirt have become like a stigmata to me. I never treated it as a uniform but that's what it has become over the years, a uniform that I just don't want to wear anymore. Lately, I wear an ordinary black shirt and a black jacket when I'm on stage. Right now, I feel a lot happier in black." 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas for all Rory Gallagher Fans (now 5000 in FB)

Thanks to George Imwizzard(fan 5018), Chris Katsibas(fan 5017), Elena Mitsiou(fan5016), Panagiotis Drompouras(fan 5015), Andre Ginge Le Goupillot(fan 5014), Emanuele Pagin(fan 5013), Antoine Mérigeau(fan 5012), Simon Santrot(fan 5011), Paul McEvoy(fan 5010), Haclbery Finn(fan 5009), Nicolas Lebrun(fan 5008), Eleni Thomaidi(fan 5007), Denise Vousdoukoy(fan 5006), Maria Nika(fan 5005), Corina Findeisen(fan 5004), Elena Gribila(fan 5003), Kostas Loukopoulos(fan 5002), Rachel Mc Mullan(fan 5001), Michaela Trapezanlidou(fan 5000), Katerina Spyrakopoulou(fan 4999) and all new fans between 4000 and 5000 that made Rory Gallagher FB Fan Page cross the 5000 fans mark

The fan base keeps growing steadily and faster after page opening in March 7th. Look:

   0 - 1000 fans from Mar  7 to Jul  6 (120 days)
1000 - 2000 fans fron Jul  6 to Sep  4 ( 58 days)
2000 - 3000 fans from Sep  4 to Oct 25 ( 51 days)
3000 - 4000 fans from Oct 25 to Dic  1 ( 36 days)
4000 - 5000 fans from Dic  1 to Dic 16 ( 16 days)

The distribution is the usual: 
female/male ratio: 19%/81%   
fans below 34 years age: 81%

Check out this jewel by Albert King with "guess who" from from 3:10 to 5:03 at Montreux 1975, "As The Years Go Passing By"

Thanks to "ripa171" YouTube Channel for this didactic "diaporama" on blues legends

Merry Christmas and Peace for all,

Rory for Ever

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Millenium Mark at Facebook Rory Gallagher Fan Page

The Rory fans, welcome Lars Lönnberg(fan 4012), Dimitris Dounas(fan 4011), Giannis Goniotakis (fan 4010), Richard Gillespie (fan 4009), Giannis Argentinis (fan 4008), Patrick Klein (fan 4007), George Mitrofanis (fan 4006), Martin McCool (fan 4005), Martín Zapata (fan 4004), Christos SnowVasilitsa (fan 4003), Mekki Ghernati (fan 4002), Faty KatHy (fan 4001), Hrvoje Nevescanin(fan 4000), Morten Sivertsen (fan 3999) and all new fans between 3000 and 4000.

The fan base is growing steadily since the opening of the page in March 7th:

     0 - 1000 fans from Mar 7 to Jul 6
1000 - 2000 fans fron Jul 6 to Sep 4
2000 - 3000 fans from Sep 4 to Oct 25
3000 - 4000 fans from Oct 25 to Dic 1 ( 1000 in just 36 days!)

The figures show 19%/81% female/male ratio and also fans below 34 years age are 81%

I clipped "Tore Down" 5/11/1972. Savoy Limerick. First gig with Rod de`Ath in High Quality ( Special thanks to BrenWhyte for his posting of the complete RTE homage in Rory Gallagher's 60th anniversary.


PS: I'm Happy x 2 times !, turning 54 (vintage 54), 36h for geeks or LIV &
Rory Fan Page is reaching 4K fans today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

StratMasters The DVD

ORIGINAL: StratMasters

Rory Gallagher featured in Fender promotional DVD StratMasters

Strat® Masters is the most ambitious film to date documenting the story of the world’s most iconic guitar - the Fender® Stratocaster®.
A Headstock production, this feature length documentary traces the history of the Strat
® through the words of some of the world’s greatest musicians. Produced by director Michael Bayley Hughes and former Guitarist Magazine contributor Bob Buddy MerrillHewitt, their passion for the Fender® guitar was the inspiration for this absorbing film.

Sonny Curtis - Buddy Holly’s friend and sideman in those early years of rock ‘n roll - tells how he saw Buddy evolve as a musician to become one of the most influencial Strat® players of all time. The cover of ‘The Chirping Crickets’ album inspired many of the great musicians interviewed for this film.

Buddy Merrill, one of Fender’s earliest endorsees, was just a teenager when he found fame with the Lawrence Welk orchestra. Today retired, Buddy tells how Leo Fender made personal modifications to his guitars – some just to make him look great under the television lights!

Leo Fender’s business partner, Don Randall explains how he christened the Stratocaster
® and gives a glimpse of those early days in Fullerton when he and Leo produced the perfect instrument, just in time for the emerging rock n’ roll era.
Filmed in California, Japan and the UK - there is exclusive factory footage of the Fender
® facilities in the USA and Japan. Legendary pickup guru Seymour Duncan and Vice President Evan Skopp give an unique tour of their Santa Barbara facility where the world’s greatest guitar pickups are made. The entire manufacturing process can be seen and, as he custom winds a pickup, Seymour tells of his association with Leo Fender….and his love for Strats® and Telecasters®.

Pickup manufacture at Seymour DuncanRy Cooder, the maestro himself, talks enthusiastically about his Stratocasters® and unique slide guitar technique, pickups and string gauges. Clive Brown of Guitar Art - one of the world’s most respected guitar builders and restoration experts, talks about the idiosyncrasies of the Stratocaster® - and all those ‘little secrets’ everyone wants to know about. Clive has worked on around 600 vintage Strats® and has an intimate knowledge of the instrument which he shares with us in this film.
Renowned Fender
® historian and author Richard Smith is filmed at the Fullerton Museum and talks about the early days - if anyone knows about Fender®, it's Richard!


Bruce WelchThe story of the first Strat® to arrive in the UK is told in detail by Bruce and Hank of the Shadows. That very first instrument sits on Bruce’s lap as he vividly recalls the day it arrived.

® Masters is a ‘who’s who’ of great Stratocaster®players and their thoughts on the instrument: Jeff Beck, Ry Cooder, Robert Cray, Mark Knopfler, Chris Rea, Rory Gallagher, Albert Lee (yes, he plays a ‘58 Strat® too!) The Shadows. The film includes a rare interview with the late Zimbabwean singer / guitarist Jonah Sithole, the first musician to transpose African mbira music to electric guitar; a testament not only of his own ingenuity but also the Strat’s versatility.Malina Moye

In contrast, Malina Moye an L.A. urban R&B singer/guitarist brings us bang up to date; she flips a Strat® over for her left handed unique style of playing - just like Hendrix !
Barry ‘Slim’ Martin of The Hamsters, the UK’s hardest working rock band, pays tribute to Hendrix and plays some great ‘homage’ riffs to the master.Headstock’s association with Strange Music, provided exclusive access to previously unseen interviews with the late great Rory Gallagher who plays and talks about his famous beat up Strat

Friday, November 21, 2008

Joe Bonamassa - Kansas EPK

12 yr old Joe Bonamassa with Danny Gatton

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joe Bonamassa - If Heartaches Were Nickels

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rory Gallagher FB page reaches 3000 members

Facebook Rory Gallagher fan base reports:

We warmly welcome Fenia St. (fan 3000), Daniela Hächler (fan 3001), Jason Silverback (fan 3002), Cyril Gleiman (fan 3003), Jimmy Athanasoulias (fan 3004) and Emanuele Gulmini (fan 3005). Their joining made our fan base grow over 3000 members.

The fan base is growing steadily after opening the page in March 7th:
0 - 1000 fans from Mar 7 to Jul 6
1000 - 2000 fans fron Jul 6 to Sep 4
2000 - 3000 fans from Sep 4 to Oct 25

The figures show 19%/81% female/male ratio and also fans below 34 years age are 81%

Danny Clifford is sharing in his blog ( ) some pics of Rory Band from the "Photo Finish".

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Famous Guitars of Bluesmen

ORIGINAL: Play Blues Guitar
September 8th, 2008

When it comes to music, the instrument is often an extension of the player behind it. The blues definitely agrees. Some of the famous blues guitarists have unique and recognizable guitars. Some styles of guitars even bring to mind their respective players. Without further ado, here are a few of the famous guitars of famous bluesmen.

bb kind lucille guitar

Lucille played by B.B. King

The famous story behind the famous name is that one night in 1949, B.B. was playing in a bar when two men got into a fight over a girl and knocked over a kerosene heater (basically a barrel full of lit kerosene). The place went up in flames and everyone ran out. However, B.B. realized that he left his guitar inside and ran to save it. He nearly lost his life, but named his guitar and subsequent guitars Lucille after the girl the two men fought over.

The modern and most famous iteration of Lucille is a custom black Gibson ES-355 with Lucille printed on the headstock. B.B. has been playing this version for nearly 25 years. It’s pictured here.

eric guitar

Blackie played by Eric Clapton

Arguably the most famous stratocaster ever, Blackie was the nickname for a Frankenstein of a guitar assembled by Eric from three different strats. Purchased from Sho-Bud guitar shop in Nashville, Tennessee, he combined the best components to create Blackie. Eric played it live and in the studio from its creation in 1970 to 1985, when he retired Blackie. Contrary to the many rumors that state otherwise, Blackie was reportedly 100% playable during her retired years.

Blackie was sold at auction for a record $959,500 to Guitar Center, who proudly displays the guitar.

srv guitar

Number One played by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray’s Number One was a 1973 sunburst model traded for at Ray’s Music Exchange in Austin, Texas with Stevie’s old ‘63 strat. Beaten and bastardized, the guitar remained his main axe since that day. Although the original had a white pickguard and strangely hot ‘59 pickups, Stevie replaced the pickguard with a pickguard featuring the now famous SRV lettering. Remarkably, Stevie had the frets replaced with jumbo bass style frets while he played on a reportedly .013 (going as high as .018) guage strings.

Number One now resides with Stevie’s brother Jimmie. It’s been permanently retired in memory of Stevie.

guy guitar

Polka Dot Strat played by Buddy Guy

While not as famous as the other listed here, this guitar deserves recognition if only for its unique paint job. Comprised of white polka dots on a black finish, this strat has been serving as Buddy Guy’s main guitar for years now. Originally a custom artist series, made especially for Buddy, Fender has recently created a similar guitar with an inverted paint scheme and lace sensors.

The Polka Dot Strats remain road worthy and accompany Buddy to most of his live shows.

rory left

Ex-Sunburst played by Rory Gallagher

Called the Ex-Sunburst by fans for its lack of a finish (worn away by heavy use and sweating) as much as for Rory’s refusal to give it a name, this famous guitar happens to be one of the first strats in Ireland in 1961. Rory bought it for an estimated £100. Heavily modified, the guitar had one different tuner, all new pickups, and modified pickguard.

The Ex-Sunburst resides with Rory’s brother, Donal Gallagher. It isn’t played.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rory Gallagher FB Page reaches 2000 members

Thanks to Carolina Rodriguez Hoyos (Fan 2000) and Tim Steyaert (Fan 2001), Rory Gallagher Facebook Fan Page crossed the 2000 fans mark today.

Rory message it's spreading well, it took roughly three months (From March 7 to July 6) to cross the first 1000 fans mark. From then until today it was just two months for the next 1000. A slight rise in the female/male ratio (21% / 79%) and also in fans below 34 yrs (82%)

All continents are represented at some extent, but Europe leads thanks to the strong Greek presence (30%-40% aprox) by far. I think they can manage an extra place in the Olympus, I mean Όλυμπος, for our admired and respected Guitar God, if he isn't already there.

Keep Rocking Rory Fans

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rory Gallagher FB Page reaches 1000 members

Thanks to George Dafnas ( fan 1000), Panos Magalios (fan 1001), Andy Sudlow(fan 1002), Andrea Ariza (fan 1003) and Guillaume Manuelli(fan 1004) Facebook Rory Gallagher Page crossed the 1000 fans mark today in 4 months, since March 7th when was opened. 83% of them are below 34 years old. Young spirits have definitely a really good Taste!

Here, ("silk's tricks" blog) you can find three Rory bootlegs.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Back Door Slam's Davy gets a call from a hero

03 June 2008

BACK Door Slam's Davy Knowles received the surprise of his life when he received a phone call from one of his all-time heroes.
The guitarist, 21, who enjoyed a short break in the Island recently before returning back to America for another tour, returned home from the Albert in Port St Mary to find a message from Gerry McAvoy on his answerphone. Gerry was Irish guitar legend Rory Gallagher's bass player for 20 years and is currently the bass player in legendary R&B band Nine Below Zero who will be performing at Paramount City, Douglas, tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow Wednesday. Davy – who is a huge Rory Gallagher and Gerry McAvoy fan – said: 'I went to the pub with my mum and dad and when I came back there was an answer machine message from Gerry McAvoy – I was thinking "oh my God!"'I rang him back and he was soundchecking at a gig but he said he would love to have a chat and he is going to call me in the States. I'm buzzing!' The call happened as promoter Kevin Madigan, of West Hill, Castletown, is a friend of Gerry's and recommended he should check Back Door Slam out on the internet. Gerry did and was highly impressed by what he saw and volunteered to give Davy a call. He has also offered Davy a chance to jam with the band and play some Rory Gallagher numbers. Davy, who has read Gerry's book, Riding Shotgun: 35 Years on the Road with Rory Gallagher and Nine Below Zero, is now back in America.

He should be getting used to meeting – and playing on the same bill as – his heroes. In New Orleans Back Door Slam supported legendary Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and Davy had a Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by him. The very next day in Memphis he met the great blues piano player Pinetop Perkins. Davy also has emails from The Who guitarist Pete Townshend – BDS supported The Who in Peel last year – and the band will also be on the same bill as another of Davy's favourites, John Hiatt, later in the year and will be supporting Joe Bonamassa, who the band are also a fan of. They have played on the same bill at festivals as some of the biggest names in popular music, gaining many new fans along the way. And, with US nationwide TV appearances under their belt, sold out shows in their own right and their debut album Roll Away reaching the top five of the Billboard blues chart, their success shows no sign of slowing down.
The full article contains 452 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
Page 1 of 1
Last Updated: 02 June 2008 3:04 PM
Source: n/a
Location: Isle of Man

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rory Gallagher: A Previously Unpublished Interview (Well, by 2005)

by Ray Minhinnett
Introduction (July, 2005)

Tragically, guitarist and singer Rory Gallagher (March 2, 1948 - June 14, 1995), was taken from us far too early, and although he left an incredible legacy and body of work, his wonderful and unique presence is sorely missed on the performance circuit everywhere and by countless faithful fans throughout the world.
Rory was a shy, simple soul, a man of few words but of amazing depth and integrity. He was a man who would never compromise his musical beliefs, direction, or what he believed to be right. A man who was a far better guitarist and who had a hell of a lot more talent than most of the people that have enjoyed more commercial success.
The interview that follows was conducted a year or so before Rory's passing, and its introduction written shortly after my meeting with Rory at a hotel in Chelsea. At the time, I had written a movie about the Fender Stratocaster that would become Curves, Contours and Bodyhorns, and my interview with Rory was to further the research that went into the making of the film. Sadly, a few short years later, in 1996, I would screen the film during my presentation of the Rory Gallagher Memorial Lecture at the University of Cork at the behest of Rory's brother, Dónal.
It's now been a full decade since Rory left us. Over these ten years, interest in and love for the man and his music has grown tremendously, which has prompted me to share this interview with the many who miss him and will take his words to heart.

Interview with Rory Gallagher (circa 1994)
In a cab on my way down to the Chelsea Embankment to meet with Rory Gallagher, my mind drifts back to the first time I saw Rory play live. I had just started to play guitar myself, an old battered single pickup Broadway electric bought for eight Pounds for me by my Gran. The gig was at the weekly Sunday night Jazz n' Blues Club at the Argus Butterfly Pub in Peterlee County, Durham.
By this time, I had bought the now infamous albums by John Mayall, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, and A Hard Road with Peter Greene, so I had been a blues fanatic (or so I thought at the time) for a few years. Even so, I was just starting to hear songs by Howlin' Wolf, Freddy, Albert, and B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Otis Rush, and Muddy Waters. These recordings were very thin on the ground - not easily available in local record shops of Northeast England mining towns.
Jimi Hendrix had pushed the Stratocaster sound to the forefront, but apart from Hendrix, all my mentors were using Gibsons and I was hooked on the sound of the Gibson Les Paul. However, I was hungry to learn, and was always on the lookout for new exciting guitar players. I had heard of Rory and his group, Taste, through the grapevine and was really looking forward to seeing him, despite the fact, as went my thinking at the time, he played a Strat.
Taste walked onto the stage at around nine that night. Ritchie (Charlie) McCracken looked lanky, disheveled, and like his white Fender Precision Bass was too small for him. John Wilson ambled on and took a seat behind his kit without any fuss, and then a diminutive figure in jeans and a brown tartan wrangler shirt shuffled onstage carrying the most battered Strat I had ever seen. Even back then, it looked like it had spent its life on the streets of a war zone. Rory plugged into the AC30 amp and away they went.
I couldn't believe it. Taste was fantastic, coaxing incredible sound from the bare essentials: McCracken's Triumph bass amp and Rory's Vox AC30, his Strat and one effect, a Range Master Treble Boost. Brian May has since told me that not only was Rory his main inspiration and favourite guitarist, it was from Rory that he got the idea to use Vox AC 30s and the Range Master Treble Boost.
Taste sounded enormous, and what a guitar player. Rory was obviously something very special.
I have never forgotten that night. Rory left a hell of an impression on me - as he did with every audience and person he met. We bumped into one another from time to time on the road when I was playing with Frankie Miller's Full House - mostly in Europe - and though I didn't get to know him really well, I loved the soft sincerity of the man and the depth of his musical knowledge, not only of the blues, but folk music, guitar tunings, and Celtic music. He was incredible, and in the mid-Eighties, when "Big" Charlie McCracken played with me in both The Diesel Band and my own band, we often talked about that first night.
And now, here I am, twenty-five years later, on my way to a Hotel in Chelsea Harbour to interview Rory for a film I had written and was producing on the history of The Fender Stratocaster.
Ray Minhinnett: How did you start, Rory? What motivated you? Talk about your early influences.
Rory Gallagher: I was actually more interested in acoustic music before electric. I loved Leadbelly, Josh White, and I had a great admiration for Woody Guthrie and people like that via Lonnie Donnigon. Later on, I started to like the old blues men like Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed, but also I loved the rockers like Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly.
The blues then became the kind of source point for me, a feeling thing, you know, emotionally.
I'm still a rock 'n' roll fan, and a folk fan. I try to combine all these things in my playing. Also, where I come from in Cork, we have different ideas about lyrics and chord structure. Ideally, I'd really like to put my own stamp on things, but it takes years, you know, and you're constantly learning and studying and falling in and out with your instrument, learning different approaches and different attacks.
Basically, I try to treat the electric guitar like an acoustic guitar. What you have to do is attack the instrument and know that your feelings aren't controlled by the controls of your guitar. I fought that idea by using hand techniques and little 'slap country type things', but it still will never be as pure as an acoustic instrument.
Ray: With such a great love of the blues and acoustic instruments I would imagine you also have a great love for Robert Johnson and his work.
Rory: Oh yeah! I can't even play his stuff anymore. I took it all on tour with me once and, er, they just drove me up the walls. I mean, there's a kind of demonology thing there. Whether I just read it into the music or not, I don't know, but anyway, I just can't listen to him now. I really like him that much it scares me to listen to him, you know.
I did one of his things once, "Walkin' Blues", but I mean, nobody could match that thing he had. Django does the same thing to me, you know, Django Reinhardt I mean. He's also one of my real heroes, I mean really on a par with Johnson and the other blues guys. If I had even 1% of his talent, I'd be made up.
Ry Cooder has a theory about those Robert Johnson recordings, that they sounded so great because they were cut direct to the disc, and it was just the engineer and Johnson together in a very narrow room, bare walls, you know. Not miles of leads, and amps and microphones everywhere, you know. Just him the engineer and some great songs and great playing.
You know, I don't think there was anybody at that time who could come anywhere near him.
Ray: How do you think Robert Johnson would have reacted to the gear you use? How would he deal with it?
Rory: I don't think he would have been hung up about it at all. I think he must have been a very farsighted person, you know, he was so talented and aware of how he sounded and he was very confident and comfortable with it. No, it would have been no problem to him at all, he'd have no problem with a Stratocaster or a Telecaster, or the kind of amps around now. We'll never know of course but he was a great player, a genius. I just can't play his records anymore, you know, he scares me. The man's just brilliant.
Ray: What about the electric blues? Who were your mentors?
Rory: That would have to be Buddy Guy. I had to collect his records penny by penny, you know, save for them day by day. I suppose Hendrix as well, he was actually as big an influence cause they were similar in a way. I suppose Buddy Guy was more of a purist player, he has all that great, you know, almost playing out of pitch, that sharp kind of thing, and they were both Strat players, except I guess when Buddy Guy used the Goldtop Les Paul with P90 pickups for a while.
But Buddy Guy was real special. In the studio when he was recording they used to sometimes DI (direct input) his Stratocaster as well as miking up his amp through a big valve amp underneath the mixing desk, and that got him a really amazing sound. He's a great player, still alive and kicking, a great player.
Ray: And Hendrix?
Rory: [Smiles that Rory smile and nods] I saw Jimi in Belfast twice and in London one night I was in the same room as him and shook his hand, but we didn't really meet. He was frightening, superb. I think that he's the supreme showman of the guitar after Guitar Slim who was real wild, and of course, Buddy Guy who was also pretty wild in his day too. I've never had an act myself, but there again, I've had my moments, you know. I'm not adverse to throwing it and going a bit wild, but I wouldn't burn or batter my guitar.
I think in the end, it got Jimi down a bit cause, er, he thought people were going to see him smash things up rather than listen to his music. It's sad, you know. I mean Eric [Clapton] just stands there and plays, and that's his way. Jeff Beck is an incredible showman when he wants to be, you know. But me, I don't want to really be like anybody else, I just try and do my own thing my own way and that's it.
Also, with Jimi, he used to tune his guitar down half a tone to E flat - as did Stevie Ray Vaughan - but I've got to tell you, I can't do that. I have a real phobia about that. I sometimes tune my bottom E string down a full tone to D, and I've got various tunings that I borrow from great blues players like Muddy Waters, Leadbelly, and Earl Hooker, or folk players like Davy Graham, Martin Carthy or Bert Jansch.
I also use some of my own tunings that I made up, or got ideas for from these great players, but, er, I have a real phobia about E flat. I won't play in B flat either, though when I was playing in show bands we used to play in B flat because it suits the brass section. Those times's far too cabaret for me.
Ray: So what tunings do you favour Rory, what are your most common ones?
Rory: Well, I use the standard tunings mostly, like Earl Hooker or Muddy Waters - open D, open G and A. The G tuning is probably the most usable you know. Keith Richards has always done a lot of work with this open G tuning. There's a song of mine that I do called "Ghost Blues" where I use it. I like it a lot that one, the G.
Keith takes his bottom string off and uses the fifth string as his root note, but I like to have the fifth string there, cause you almost get an African type 'over-tone', John Hammond uses it, and there's a great John Lee Hooker one you can get, and like you get those great suspended-type things. The thing is, it's so simple, and I think that's what Keith likes about it so much - it's real simple, but like, nobody else thought of it but him you see, not back then. He's developed it into a real style of playing, not just for slide guitar.
What I think I've done is developed this kind of tuning which is mine. It's bluesy, it's folkish, and Celtic as well, and sometimes on stage I'll take this tuning and go into an Irish tune called "She Moves to the Fair", which you can play great in that particular tuning.
Ray: What's important to you?
Rory: Well, this guitar is part of my psychic makeup. It's my best friend. I love playing it, I play it every day. It's not like B.B. King, who's had like a hundred Lucilles. I've only got one Strat, and it hasn't got a name or whatever. I mean, where I came from at the time, to own a Stratocaster was like, it was monumental, it was just impossible, you know, and it's what it is. I love playing it, I love singing, like when I get lonesome, I play my guitar. Aach, I'm getting a bit too corny, but that's it, for me, it's just playing and singing.
Enjoy the work of Rory Gallagher (July, 2005)
If you haven't already seen it, I strongly recommend the Tony Palmer film of Rory's 1974 Irish Tour. Remastered and reissued in DVD/video formats, it is a fantastic piece of work - understated presentation, great music, and Rory in full flight, playing as only he could.
The entire Rory Gallagher catalogue, which has been lovingly remastered by his brother, Donal, and released on Buddha/BMG records, is worthy of consideration by anyone with an interest in the guitar, the blues, or life. Be sure to visit the official Rory Gallager website:
With streets named after him in Paris, Dublin, and Cork and the Fender guitar company having created the Rory Gallagher Limited Edition Stratocaster, while Rory is no longer with us, he will never be forgotten.
God bless you, Rory!___
About Ray Minhinnett
Ray is a veteran of The Blues Busters / Frankie Miller's Full House, Cream'd and The Diesel Band, but is also known for writing and producing Curves, Contours and Bodyhorns - The History of the Fender Stratocaster - a seminal TV documentary that included Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton.
In 2004, Ray produced another Stratocaster documentary, The Strat Pack, dedicated to the Strat's 50th anniversary, which included a concert at London's Wembley Arena on September 24, 2004, which was filmed in high definition for DVD release.
Ray himself won the best British Blues Album of the Year award with the Blues Busters, while bass playing partner / vocalist Ian Ellis is renowned for his work in Savoy Brown and Cream'd.
For more information about Ray Minhinnett, please visit