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.
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
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
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 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
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
the background is a mutated photo from the article
reformatted by roryfan