- Rory Gallagher
Infobox musical artist
Name = Rory Gallagher
Born = birth date|1948|3|2|df=y
Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland
Died = Death date and age|1995|6|14|1948|3|2|df=yes London, England
Background = solo_singer
Guitar, Mandolin, Saxophone, Harmonica
Blues, Rock, Blues-rock, Electric blues
Guitarist, Songwriter, Vocalist
Associated_acts = Taste
Label = Polydor, Chrysalis
Years_active = 1963 – 1995
URL = [http://www.rorygallagher.com/ Official website]
Notable_instruments = 1961 Fender Stratocaster,
Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948–14 June 1995) was an Irish
blues/rock guitaristBorn in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland, he grew up in Cork Cityin the south of the country. He is best known for his solo work on several albums, and for his tenure in Taste during the late 60s. Rory Gallagher's albums sold in excess of 30 million copies worldwide. [ [http://www.ridingshotgun.co.uk/extract.html Prologue: Can't believe it's True, retrieved 26 March, 2008] ] [ [http://www.irishconnectionsmag.com/archives/v3i3/g.htm Irish Connectionsmag] ]
Gallagher's first bands were
showbands which played the popular hits of the day. In 1965 he turned The Impact into an R'n'B group which played gigs in Ireland and Spain. He formed Taste in 1966, but the line-up which gained fame was formed in 1967, featuring Gallagher on guitar and vocals, John Wilson on drums and Richard McCracken on bass. The group released the albums, "Taste" and "On the Boards", and made two live recordings, "Live at Montreux" and "Live at the Isle of Wight". The latter appeared long after the band's break-up, which occurred shortly after their appearance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.Buckley, Peter (ed.) (2003). "The Rough Guide to Rock", pp. 409-10. Rough Guides Ltd. ISBN 1843531054.]
After the break-up of Taste, Gallagher toured under his own name, hiring bass player
Gerry McAvoyto play on his first eponymous album (a relationship that would last twenty years on the road) and Wilgar Campbell on drums.
The 1970s were Gallagher's most prolific period. He produced ten albums in that decade, including two live albums, "Live in Europe" and "Irish Tour '74", which for many best captured his bands' raw and naturally dynamic qualities.Fact|date=June 2007. In 1972 he released the album "Deuce", which is essentially three-piece R&B. Also in 1972 he was voted "
Melody Maker"'s Top Musician of the Year, dethroning Eric Clapton. [ [http://www.innerviews.org/inner/rory.html Defender of the blues] ] His album "Live in Europe" has been a big selling album not only in Ireland but also internationally.
Gallagher played and recorded what he said was "in me all the time, and not just something I turn on ...". Though he sold over thirty million albums world wide, it was his marathon live performances that won him greatest acclaim. His passion and skill for the blues is documented in the 1974 film "Irish Tour '74", directed by Tony Palmer.
The line-up including
Rod De'Athon drums and Lou Martinon keyboards stayed together between 1973 and 1978. Other release highlights from that period include "Against the Grain", the jazz-tinged "Calling Card" album (assisted in production by Roger Glover(bassist with Deep Purple) and the hard blues-rocking "Photo Finish" and "Top Priority" albums.
A dedicated follower of blues music, Gallagher played with many of the genre's biggest stars, collaborating with
Muddy Watersand Jerry Lee Lewison their respective "London Sessions" in the mid 70s. Gallagher was also invited to tryout with The Rolling Stonesfollowing the resignation of Mick Taylorand with Canned Heatafter the departure of "The Eagle". He was David Coverdale's second choice (after Jeff Beck) to replace Richie Blackmorein Deep Purple.
In the 1980s he continued recording, albeit at a slower pace, producing "Jinx", "Defender", and "Fresh Evidence". These albums progressed towards a more mature blues style. After "Fresh Evidence", he embarked on a successful tour of the United States.
Gallagher's health and his ability to perform were increasingly compromised by excessive use of alcohol, combined with drugs that had been prescribed to alleviate his anxiety about flying.Fact|date=February 2008 From the late 1980s, he suffered increasingly poor health, yet he continued touring. By the time of his final performance on 10 January 1995 in the Netherlands, he was visibly unwell. A liver transplant became necessary and was nearly successful, but just before being discharged from the hospital, an MRSA infection developed.Fact|date=February 2008 His health quickly worsened and he died in London on 14 June 1995, leaving no wife or children.
Gallagher's final resting place is in St Oliver's Cemetery, on Model Farm Road just outside
Ballincollignear Cork City, Ireland. His headstone is a replica of an award he received in 1972 for International Guitarist of The Year.
In 2003, "Wheels Within Wheels", a collection of acoustic tracks, was released posthumously by Gallagher's brother Donal Gallagher. Collaborators on this album included Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy,
The Dublinersand Lonnie Donegan.
Many modern day musicians, including
The Edgefrom U2, Slash of Velvet Revolver, Johnny Marrof the Smiths, Glenn Tiptonof Judas Priest, Vivian Campbellof Def Leppardand Brian Mayof Queen [http://www.modernguitars.com/archives/000931.html] , cite Gallagher as an inspiration in their formative musical years.Fact|date=February 2008
Guitars and equipment
Gallagher was always associated with his well-worn sunburst 1961
Stratocaster(Serial Number 64351), which his brother Donal has officially retired. It was reputedly the first in Ireland, ordered by a showbandmember who changed his mind about the colour. Gallagher bought it for just shy of £100 at Crowley's Music Store on Cork's McCurtain Street. The guitar was extensively modified by Gallagher. The tuning pegs, for a start, are odd (5 Sperzels and one Gotoh), and all of these have been found to be replacements. Secondly, it is thought Fact|date=July 2008 that the nut has been replaced and interchanged a number of times. Thirdly, the scratchplate was changed during Gallagher's time with Taste. Another change was the pickups of which none are original. The final modification was that of the wiring. Gallagher disconnected the bottom tone pot and rewired it so he had just a master tone control along with the master volume control. He also installed a 5-way selector switch in place of the vintage 3-way one. The most notable effect that years of touring have had is the almost complete removal of the guitar's original sunburst finish, partly through being left out in the rain in a ditch for days after being stolen,Fact|date=February 2008 and partly due to the fact that Rory's blood type had a very acidic quality Fact|date=July 2008, which affected the guitar's finish when he sweated while on stageFact|date=February 2008. Other quirks include a 'hump' in the scratch plate which moves the neck pickup closer to the neck on the bass side and a replacement of all of the pickups, though this replacement was due to damage rather than a perception of a tonal inadequacy. Reproductions of the guitar have recently been sold by Fender, though with smaller frets and lower action than the original. [ [http://www.rory.de/guitar.html Rory Gallagher:Equipment] ]
Gallagher owned a number of other instruments, including:
Coral SitarPurchased for $20.00 in
Floridaby Donal Gallagher. Used on the song"Philby" in 1979. DanelectroSilvertoneThis guitar was bought for $15 from a pawnshop. It was often used in Gallagher's live set to play "Cradle Rock" and "A Million Miles Away". Fender EsquireThis guitar dating to 1959 was heavily modified. It started off as a stock Esquire in cream and ended up as a black Telecaster. At one point in between, Gallagher put a Strat pickup in the middle position and added a 5-way selector. Gibson Les Paul JuniorSeen in the above picture. Fender Telecaster(1967)This was very similar to the Esquire after the Esquire had undergone all of its modifications. It can be seen in action on Gallagher's "Live at Rockpalast" DVDin the song "Bullfrog Blues". Gretsch Corvette(1963) Bought in a pawn shop in L.A. for $50 by Donal Gallagher. Soon became one of Rory's favourite guitars.
Acoustic GuitarsHis main acoustic guitar was a Martin D-35. In his later years, he used an Electro-Acoustic Takamine (a prototype model given to him by Takamine while he was touring Japan) that was much easier to amplify in a live context.
Martin MandolinThis was used most famously in Gallagher's joint effort with
Lonnie Donegan, "Goin' To My Hometown".
National Resonator (1932)Gallagher used this to play blues standards and acoustic sets and often used a heavy steel slide with it.
Other InstrumentsGallagher also played the
saxophone, showcased on the song "On The Boards" by Taste, and harmonica, which can be heard on the songs "I'm Not Surprised" and "I Could've Had Religion".
Amplifiers and effects
Gallagher used various makes and models of amplifiers during his career. In general, however, he preferred smaller 'combo' amplifiers to the larger, more powerful 'stacks' that are popular with rock and hard rock guitarists. To make up for the relative lack of power on stage, he would often link several different combo amps together.
When Gallagher was with Taste, he used a single Vox AC30 with a Dallas Rangemaster treble booster plugged into the 'normal' input. Examples of this sound can be heard on the Taste albums, as well as the album "Live in Europe".
Brian May, of the band Queen, has admitted in interviews that as a young man, he was inspired to use a similar amplifier and treble booster setup after meeting Gallagher and asking him how he got his sound. Gallagher has also been known to have used Ibanez Tube Screamers and various Boss effects.
In the early to mid 1970s, Gallagher began to use Fender amplifiers, most notably a Bassman and a Twin, both of a 50s vintage. An example of this sound can be heard on the "Irish Tour '74" album. He also had a Fender Concert amplifier.
In the mid to late 1970s, when Gallagher was moving towards a hard rock sound, he experimented with
AmpegVT40 and VT22 amps. He also began using Marshall combos. During this period and beyond, Gallagher used different combinations of amps on stage to achieve more power and to blend the tonal characteristics of different amps including Orange amplification.
Quotes [ [http://www.rorygallagher.com/newsframe.htm Essential CD and Book] ]
*On 25 October 1997 a tribute sculpture to Gallagher was unveiled in the newly renamed Rory Gallagher Place (formerly St. Paul's St. Square) in Cork. The sculptor was a childhood friend of Rory, Geraldine Creedon. The two had grown up together in the McCurtain Street area of the city.
*A pub in Cork City at 32 McCurtain Street was named "Gallaghers" in his memory.
*Comic book artist Timothy Truman is also a fan, and
GrimJack#4: Legacy has a cover and story line utilizing Gallagher's image.
*There is a Rory Gallagher Exhibition located in
Ballyshannon, Ireland, which contains a detailed history of his life and many items of memorabilia.
*There are a number of Rory Gallagher
tribute bands, many of whom perform at the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival in Ballyshannon.
*A theatre in
Ballyshannonhas been renamed as the Rory Gallagher Theatre.
*There is a Rory Gallagher Corner at Meeting House Square in
Temple Bar, Dublin.
*A life-size bronze statue in the shape of his
Stratocasterhas been installed at Rory Gallagher Corner in Dublin's Temple Bar. Some of those who attended the unveiling include The Edgeof U2and the Lord Mayor of Dublin.
*In 2004 the Rory Gallagher Music Library was opened in Cork. [http://www.corkcorp.ie/news/archive/2004/rory_gallagher.shtml]
*A street in Ris-Orangis, a town in the Paris suburbs, was renamed Rue Rory Gallagher.
*The French town of Bedoin in Vaucluse at the base of Mont Ventoux has a street named after Rory Gallagher in the old town, "Impasse Rory Gallagher"
*Irish musician Pierce Turner released a tribute song "The Ballad of Rory Gallagher" on his album "The boy to be with".
John Spillanereleased a tribute song "A Song For Rory Gallagher" on his album "Hey Dreamer".
*Irish musician Pat McManus (ex-Mamas Boys) released a tribute song "Return of the G Man" on his album "In My Own Time"
*"Rory Gallagher" - 1971 (BPI: 100,000)
*"Deuce" - 1971 (BPI: 100,000)
*"Live In Europe" - 1972 (BPI: 100,000)
*"Blueprint" - 1973 (BPI: 100,000)
*"Tattoo" - 1973 (BPI: 100,000)
Irish Tour" - 1974 (BPI: 100,000; Worldwide sales: +2,000,000) [ [http://www.rorygallagher.com/albums.htm Rory Gallagher official site] ]
*"Against the Grain" - 1975 (BPI: 100,000)
Calling Card" - 1976 (BPI: 60,000)
Photo-Finish" - 1978 (BPI: 60,000)
Top Priority" - 1979 (BPI: 60,000)
*"Stage Struck" - 1980 (BPI: 60,000)
*"Jinx" - 1982 (BPI: 60,000)
*"Defender" - 1987 (BPI: 60,000)
Fresh Evidence" - 1990 (BPI: 60,000)
The G-Man Bootleg Series Vol.1" - 1992
*"BBC Sessions" - 1999
Let's Go To Work" - 2001
Meeting With The G-Man" - 2003
*"The Story So Far" - 1974
*"In The Beginning" - 1975
*"Sinner... and Saint" - 1975 (previously from "Rory Gallagher" and "Deuce")
*"Take It Easy Baby" - 1976
*"The First And The Best" - 1978
*"A Blue Day For The Blues" - 1995
*"Last of the Independents" - 1995
Etched In Blue" - 1998 (BPI: 60,000)
*"Wheels Within Wheels" - 2003
*"Big Guns: The Very Best Of Rory Gallagher" - 2005
*"Live At Montreux" - 2006
*"The Essential" - 2008
*"Irish Tour 1974" - 2000
At Rockpalast" - 2004
*"The Complete Rockpalast Collection" - 2005
*"Live at Cork Opera House" - 2006
*"Live In Montreux" - 2006
*Featured on "Old Grey Whistle Test - The Best Of..." with the track "Hands off" - 1973
*"Cream Farewell Concert" -
Cream- 1968 - Opening Act
*"The London Muddy Waters Sessions" -
Muddy Waters- 1972
*"The Session" -
Jerry Lee Lewis- 1973
*"Drat That Fratle Rat" -
Chris Barber- 1974
*"London Revisited" -
Muddy Waters- 1974
*"Gaodhal's Vision" - Joe O'Donnell (electric fiddle player) - 1977
Albert King" - 1977
*"Tarot Suite" -
Mike Batt- 1978
*"Puttin' On The Style" -
Lonnie Donegan- 1978
*"Jammin` With Albert - Albert Collins & The Icebreakers" - 1983
*"Box of Frogs" -
Box of Frogs- 1984
Box of Frogs- 1986
*"The Scattering" -
The Fureysand Davey Arthur - 1989
*"Out of the Air" - Davy Spillane Band - 1989
*"Shadow Hunter" -
Davy Spillane- 1990
*"Words and Music" -
Phil Coulter- 1989
*"30 Years A-Greying" -
The Dubliners- 1992
*"The Outstanding" - Chris Barber and Band - 1993
*"Kindred Spirits" - Eamonn McCormack - 2007
List of people on stamps of Ireland
* [http://www.rorygallagher.com Official Rory Gallagher website]
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