Taste for Rory
What were the real
reasons for the break up of the late lamented Taste at a time
when it appeared they were THE live band and had every chance making
it an international success following the abortive, but useful
promotion work they did in America on the Blind Faith tour?
The motor power for
Taste was undoubtedly supplied by guitarist Rory Gallagher who is now
understandably more concerned with the shape of things to come than
any recriminatory attitudes over spilt milk in the past.
possible to draw certain conclusions from talking to Gallagher and
examining the state of the nation now, where his head was once,
and his heart appears to be today on ‘Rory Gallagher’ (Polydor)
featuring ten new songs written by Rory Gallagher, produced by Rory
Gallagher based upon an idea by Rory Gallagher.
In fairness to the
man, it should be noted that he was doing most of those things with
Taste, only now he is making sure he gets the credit and assumes
almost total control of his product which is the aim of most creative
people with a flair for self expression. He now has no manager, from
which you may draw your own conclusions and has no intention of ever
having one again and adopts an attitude that God helps those who help
“I'm an independent
type of person,” says Rory “Since the days when I used to play in
Showbands in Ireland and we could not afford a manager or an agent, I
used to go to the gigs with my little black book collect the money
and go. That was all the administration we needed.
“I don't really mean
any disrespect to my previous manager, but I’ve always felt I was
able to handle myself and somehow when you are relaying messages
through one person to another the meaning gets lost. You find
yourself surrounded by 153 press men in a hotel lobby and you’ve
got nothing to say.
“I like to express
and organize myself. At times I think it’s not even worth having a
road manager to book you into a hotel - for ‘sake you ought to be
able to book yourself into a hotel!”
Essentially the reason
for Taste dispersing appears to be a mutual musical disagreement,
which was aggravated by personal and financial irritations. It also
seems significant that Rory has always felt a close affiliation for
the old blues artist and their method of recording.
“People like Blind
Man Fuller, Leadbelly and Scrapper Blackwell were musical entities
unto themselves,” said Rory. “Just one man in a chair
playing a guitar into one microphone and if you listen to those
records they achieved feeling without all the present day recording
“The man who was
supposed to sound loudest just sat nearest to the mike. I’m not
saying that our approach on the new album was as antiquated as that,
but we did not attempt to manufacture any studio miracles either it was
kept within the bounds of human reason.”
is not in fact the logical extension to Taste, but the essential
continuing story of the man himself and, as such, it is a lower key,
more moderate and moodier than the eclectic excitement which pervaded
their previous work. The man is the same only the group has been
changed to protect himself. But how about the other members of the
band Gerry McAvoy and Wilgar Campbell? Are they as
restricted and curtailed as some critics have led us to believe.
“It’s not as Hitlerite as that,” said Rory. “But I know
what I want and I’m prepared to stand or fall by my own efforts.
The band is very important to me because without their support I
cannot relax and settle back to play. Being confident in them makes
me happier and being happy makes me a better musician.
“I have to retain
the rights to my own songs and see that they are presented in the way
I think best, but this is not as clinical as it sounds. I have
to retain the control now so that everything is right to begin with,
later I should be able to let go.
“It's not really
possible to ascertain just where we are with the band until we hit
the road in May, but in the studio I enjoy playing with the present
combination. I assume that they enjoy playing with me and playing my
material. If they did not they would be free to go.”
influences were those of Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, but it is the
blues which have the most profound influence on his present work.
saddest thing about the blues and the artists involved is that some of
ardent admirers have become obsessed by the backgrounds of the
artists, rather than the music. They get introduced as ‘Blind old
whoeveritis’ who never had a pair of shoes until he was thirty and
lived on watermelons. The music is the thing. If they
only let the musicians play and cut out the unnecessary
build-ups it would speak for itself.
“Blues doesn’t need
to be categorized or put into bags – it’s feelings and truths
in the music. Muddy Waters is so effective because he is proud and Fats
Domino who is thought of by so many people as a sort of early
rock star was and still is one of the best blues pianists around.”
There has of course been
a final Taste album issued of a live performance by the group, which
was ecstatically received by many critics if not by the man himself
who feels the recording quality was not up to the usual standard. Rory
sees its significance more in souvenir terms.
Finally, Rory reiterated
his philosophy of the live musician.
“The clubs are the
heartbeat of the music industry. They are where the groups are
born and where they draw their soul from right from the floorboards.
You get into the stadiums and it becomes Mickey
Mouse-land. If you want to get your head and your heart sorted out
there is only one way – play to the people on the floor.”
article comes from Record Mirror - May 8, 1971
Photo cropped from the article
Many thanks to Brenda O'Brien for
sharing & typing this article
reformatted by roryfan