but insists it's a three man effort

                                       A Richard Green Report

UPPERMOST in Rory Gallagher's mind at all times is just one thing -his music. He has the utmost respect for professional musicians and he regards playing well as the be all and end all of his career.

As the lead-guitarist of Taste, who are now becoming one of the biggest attractions in Britain and on the Continent (America has yet to be convinced), Rory carries a lot of responsibility. He won't admit that when people go to see Taste they really want to see him. But it's true.

"I don't think of it in that way," he told me. "We're a three-piece group and that's the only way I see. it." Supreme modesty coming from a man who is adulated to almost Mick Jagger proportions, though in a far more healthy way.

Taste have an amazing togetherness, which is evident to anyone who has seen them and Rory made that fact even more plain when he revealed: "If we are asked to do an encore, we don't have a lot of numbers in our heads that we will do. Sometimes we don't even know what we'll do! I start to play a number and the others recognise it and play it:'

Does this mean that Taste spend a lot of time rehearsing?

"No, not much. There isn't the time," Rory replied. "We don't spend as much time rehearsing as we used to. When we book a church. hall to rehearse or learn a new number, we always play quietly, you can't learn it properly if the volume is full on.

Learn the songs like robots. . . .

"We learn a song verse by verse like robots and make sure that we know it exactly before we put on the embellishments later."

Rory does a lot of writing, but doesn't stick to a set pattern. Songs come to him at odd moments when he could be anywhere, though he admits that he had periods when nothing happens.

"Gordon Lightfoot said he sets aside a few weeks to write an album," Rory went on. "He tours for so many months, then just stops and does an album. I couldn't work like that. Sometimes I think of a line and the words just fit it, or a tune comes into my head and that fits some words I've written or it can be the old fashioned method of sitting strumming the guitar."

All the numbers for Taste's third album are written, but it's not clear when they will be recorded.

"I'd like to do a lot more recording, but there isn't the time," Rory said:. "I'd like to have the album out by the end of the tour we're doing at the moment, but it may have to be just after it."

The tour, which takes in much of the Continent as well as Britain, is doing very good business and Taste are providing a major attraction everywhere, but Rory didn't agree with my suggestion that the group was earning the "super" tag.

"The way I look at it is, we're going out to give a good show and play well that's all", he  commented. "I always give one hundred per cent concentration to my playing. There can be distractions if an amp's buzzing or someone in the crowd heckles, but that's only about two per cent of my attention gone.

"There's no point going on stage and playing unless you play as well as you can. If you're a musician, you should enjoy playing anyway. I don't mind how much we work, it never bothers me. Sometimes I feel "Oh, not again' and I just want to get home to bed, but that isn't often.

Can't stand too choosey groups......

"I can't stand groups who will only play universities. They're even selecting certain universities they won't play now. They make their presence as important as the Queen- making a public appearance!"

Rory spends as much time as he can at home in Earls Court listening to records, most of them by blues guitarists, though he has a marked preference for Bob Dylan.

"I buy lots of records, but Dylan is about the only person I watch for to bring an album out," he told me. "I've got lots of blues artists, but not whole collection. I don't think they're worth it. People often tell me I should get a record, so I buy it and sometimes it's not really that good.

"I believe a lot of people just buy records  because they've heard they're good and they think they are without really knowing why. It's the done thing to like certain people."

One word 0f mouth thing that does please him, though, is what people say about Taste. When I asked him what he thought it was about the group that people liked most, he replied: "I don't know really, I don't think about it. Someone sees us and they tell someone else and it gets passed on the way, that's all."

From the September 26, 1970 issue of  NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS
reformatted by roryfan

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added 2/6/05