In 1986, a 14 hour music marathon was held in Dublin's Croke Park featuring just anybody who was anybody in Irish music to focus on the serious unemployment problem in Ireland at the time. The marathon was broadcast over the RTE. TV network and the Radio 2 in Ireland. Each performer  was alloted a 15 minute segment of time.

Below is the cover from the programme compiled by Hot Press featuring a write-up on each of the performers, along with the write-up done about Rory.
john ganjamie


Without any ostentation, without any pandering to prevailing fads or fashions, Rory Gallagher, has, in the course of the last fifteen years or so, rocked his way into the hearts of a hugely loyal Irish and international following.

Having paid his musical dues on the showband circuit in the 60's, Rory made the transition to rock 'n' roll as the prime-mover with Taste, who were one of Ireland's first successful rock exports. Cast in the definitive three-piece mould of the era - cf Hendrix, Cream et al - Taste established an enviable live reputation as a gutsy up and at 'em R 'n' B band which was consolidated in vinyl classics like "Blister On The Moon".

Never content to rest on his laurels, while Taste were still in their prime Rory decided to strike out on his own, with exhilarating results. Fronting his own trio - which included, even then, his current bass-playing sidekick Gerry McAvoy- ­ Gallagher cut two studio albums before achieving
a real breakthrough with the classic 1972 album "Live In Europe", an audio verite celebration containing such enduring Gallagher favourites as the stomping "Going To My Home Town" and "Messin' With The Kid". Another milestone was reached with the film "Irish Tour '74", a gritty documentary directed by Tony Palmer.

Having established a huge audience in Ireland, Britain and Europe, and a highly respectable selfpic.JPG following in the States, Gallagher went on to cut a string of albums which, along with the rousing live performances for which he's renowned, kept him very much in the public eye throughout the 70's. Meanwhile, his reputation within the business also rocketed, his fiery brand of blues-based rock and mastery of the guitar earning him guest appearances by such legendary figures as Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Going out of the 70's on a high note with such albums as "Calling Card" and "Photo Finish" under his belt, and with a starring role in - Rockpalast TV spectacular behind him, Gallagher faced a new decade which could hardly have been less propitious for an artist unenamoured of the new image consciousness epitomised by the video boom. Nonetheless, his first album of the 80's, "Top Priority" was a fine blend of traditional and the modern and contained in "Philby" a single which was a definite hit that missed. (It's immediately identifiable opening riff is, of course,  now used as the signature tune on MT USA -
a fact not without a certain irony). With "Stagestruck" and "Jinx", which featured the superb "Big Guns" also under his belt, there's much to remember the 80's by ...

Over the past few years, Gallagher has kept a relatively low profile at least as far as Irish eyes are concerned, but in Europe he has maintained his superstar status with live concert and festival performances which confirm that his following there is as committed as ever. Currently on the continent, he breaks from an intensive 18-day tour of France to perform at Self-Aid, with the promise of an album, which he has just finished recording, being released during the summer.

His Irish fans will relish the chance of seeing Rory in action again - when you think of it it's appropriate, that the man who pioneered the Irish open-air festival in Macroom in 1977, should mark his return, by performing in Self-Aid, the most prestigious of them all so far.

From the Hot Press programme for Self-Aid 1986
the background is a mutated photo from the article
reformatted by roryfan
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added 4/02/06