Wednesday, 11 May 2016

More musical memories

In our current digital and internet age, it is hard to imagine the impact of hearing a particular song on the radio for the first time.  I can vividly remember where I was when I heard certain songs for the first time.  For example I remember travelling to Newquay in Cornwall for a family holiday when I heard Tommy Vance play "Walkin' Wounded" by Rory Gallagher and "Rockin' and rollin'" by Gary Moore's band G Force.  I also remember listening under the bed covers on my walkman radio to "Rock Pile" which was a radio show that used to be presented by Aled Samuels on Radio Wales.  During one of the shows I heard the band Gillan (pictured) and instantly became a big fan, especially of Bernie Torme's guitar work on the track called "Bite the Bullet".

Gillan were around between 1978 and 1982 before disbanding in acrimonious circumstances over money.  During this time they toured extensively and released a string of successful albums including "Mr Universe", "Glory Road", "Future Shock", "Double Trouble" and "Magic".  Following Bernie Torme's departure, future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers joined the band until they split up.  In the end singer Ian Gillan rejoined his former band Deep Purple after a bizarre spell with Black Sabbath. Bassist John McCoy and Bernie Torme formed a group called GMT, Colin Towns became a film/tv composer (including writing the theme tune to "Doc Martin") and drummer Mick Underwood is currently performing in "Mick Underwood's Glory Road", who play all of the old Gillan tracks.

I love their music and I still enjoying playing their albums, "Future Shock" is probably my favourite of them all though.  Bernie Torme is one of my favourite guitarists and along with Rory Gallagher remains one of Ireland's best musical exports.

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