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Rory Gallagher: Bluesman from the Green Island

There is no place on the planet where rock music is more exposed to blues than in the UK. Two Irish had the greatest influence on her. The two first non-African-American performers to convey the true spirit of blues were Van Morisson with his voice and Rory Gallagher with his guitar.

Like in blues and in Irish music, the song is played for a reason: it always has an emotional story behind it. Not a single instrument pushes it like an electric guitar. And not a single bluesman on the British stage played his instrument so impulsively and naturally, so harshly and at the same time as tenderly as Rory Gallagher. Throughout his life, he felt best at the small stages of smoky Irish bars.

Take off with Taste
Rory Gallagher was born March 2, 1948 in Northern Ireland on the border of County Donegal, but grew up in the rebellious southern Irish Cork. On his 9th birthday, he receives a guitar as a gift. Rory learns traditional Irish jigs and reels, as well as what he hears from the blues on the radio. The legendary Big Bill Brunzi, Muddy Waters, Ledbelli and Elvis had a strong influence on him. In 1961, Rory bought his first electric guitar with a 30-watt amplifier. He remained faithful all his life to the Fender Stratocaster tree and the tiny Vox AC30.

At the age of 15, Gallagher collects the Fontana Showband, which played popular songs in local dances. The Impact band came out of it, which Rory wanted to lead in the direction of rock’n’roll and blues rock. Together with the drummer and bass player in 1966, he founded Taste. Along with Cream Gallagher’s blues-guitar brother Eric Clapton, Taste becomes one of the top blues-rock bands and gives tours of America and Canada. At the famous “Isle Of Wight Festival ‘1970”, the audience calls the band to encore five times. Soon after, Gallagher dissolves Taste due to disagreements within the team and decides to lay low for many months.

Idol of Dublin and Belfast
Since then, Rory has been performing solo. Offers from bands such as Cream, The Rolling Stones, and Deep Purple leave the rockstar-less guitarist indifferent.

“He was not imprisoned for playing in groups. He could not obey someone else’s will and had to do everything his own way,” said Peter Rühel, founder and producer of the Rockpalast program. In 1976, a rock veteran of the WDR (West German Broadcasting Company – Ed.) Invited the wayward anti-star to the first Rockpalast-Nacht rock music marathon in Grugahall (concert hall in Essen – approx. Ed.) As a warm-up. At home, in Ireland, the lowly Gallagher enjoyed the highest respect and trust. Before him, no one dared to speak first in Dublin, and then in the infernal cauldron of Belfast.

Rory Gallagher has released over 20 longplayers. He always remained faithful to the blues; he needed direct contact with the audience like air. Even after long tours, he was looking for small establishments where he could play more.

And in life, he also walked alone. He even left puzzles to his longtime friend, bassist Jerry McEvoy: “Everything obeyed the music, even his relationship with women. Music flowed through his veins. There was nothing more important,” McAvoy spoke of Gallagher in an interview with one of the Bonn newspapers.

In the end, alcohol and drugs destroyed the musician’s health. In early 1995, he survived a liver transplant, but soon afterwards fell into a coma. June 14, 1995 Rory Gallagher at the age of 47 years left this world.

There is no place on the planet where rock music is more exposed to blues than in the UK. Two Irish had the greatest influence on her. The two first non-African-American performers to convey the true spirit of blues were Van Morisson with his voice and Rory Gallagher with his guitar.

Like in blues and in Irish music, the song is played for a reason: it always has an emotional story behind it. Not a single instrument pushes it like an electric guitar. And not a single bluesman on the British stage played his instrument so impulsively and naturally, so harshly and at the same time as tenderly as Rory Gallagher. Throughout his life, he felt best at the small stages of smoky Irish bars.

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