Monday, 16 May 2016

The G-man....

Over recent years I have become a big fan of the late Rory Gallagher (pictured right with Gerry McAvoy (left) and Ted McKenna (centre)).  I first discovered his music when Tommy Vance played the track "Walkin' Wounded" from his then brand new album called "Fresh Evidence".  I received that album when I was 14 or 15 and then I didn't really explore the rest of his albums until much later.  I remember taping a concert from 1987 called "Live at Cork" when it was broadcast on Channel 4 in the early 1990's and I really enjoyed it.

However, it was only when Rory sadly passed away in 1995 that I began to delve into his extensive back catalogue of albums.  Guitar Techniques magazine ran a feature called the "A to Z of great riffs" and one month it was devoted to Rory Gallagher.  I learnt some of his best riffs including some from his time as band leader in the excellent blues power trio called Taste.  I then received a DVD featuring clips from "The Old Grey Whistle Test" and it included a performance of "Hands Off" featuring his then classic band of Gerry McAvoy (bass) , Lou Martin (keyboards) and Rod De'Ath (Drums).  This track blew me away and I then began the process of collecting his entire remastered solo back catalogue.  One of my favourite albums is "Photo Finish" featuring the above pictured line up of Rory, Gerry McAvoy and Ted Mckenna.  They also recorded another great album in "Top Priority" and I am also one of the few fans who loves listening to the unfairly panned "Stagestruck" live album.  Since Rory's untimely death, his brother and former manager Donal Gallagher has released a number of quality additional albums including "Wheels on wheels" (an acoustic album) and the binned album from 1977 called "Notes from San Francisco".  Rory didn't like this album and dropped it in the bin (literally) much to the annoyance of his brother who had been due to take the album to record company executives the following day.  Rory later said that he would like to release it one day once it had been mixed properly.  His nephew duly did this many years later for his uncle and it is a great addition to his album discography.  One thing that always grabs me about Rory is whether he was recording an album or performing live he always put 110% into what he did.  He could have been more famous, had hit records, joined The Rolling Stones and been a superstar, but he chose to stick to what he wanted to do instead.  His gritty and authentic music is truly unique and yet it is sad that he is no longer with us.

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