Japan Tour 1977
"Japanese fans are excellent; they can bring my technique out more than
Rory Gallagher came over to his third Japan tour, he played hard in big
This is a very close contact report for all Gallagher fans.
Part 1 : Exclusive interview with Rory Gallagher
"It is an
old Stratocaster but a good lovable friend of mine"
- spending amiable and relaxed 60 minutes with Rory -
( interviewer: Yusaku Matsumura )
4th November, 1977, I was in a room of Hotel New Japan in Tokyo. Rory met me
with a warm hand shake and big smile, even though he had a problem with his
throat and felt bad with an air conditioner that was too warm.
- I went to see your show last night, what do you
think about this tour? This is the third time tour in Japan, isn't it?
Rory: Great, great! It is wonderful whenever I come over to
Japan. I can play additional show in Osaka this time, I’m also happy to be playing
in Hiroshima, not just in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya like last time. The audience
seems to be happy. Japanese audiences have a really good vibe, I think.
- You and other guys in the band's staging is
rather simple., Haven't you tried to do more show-up staging like KISS or QUEEN
Rory: Oh! QUEEN ... we want to play on stage to express ourselves
completely. I can understand their show is under control- everything like a
plot, but the point of our show is to let audience to listen to music in a
relaxed mood. I want let the audience to listen to my music than watching.
- Your the point is to try to listen to your
music in your show.
Rory: Not only try to listen, of course I really think about how
to show us to the audience, have us appeal us on stage. I don't mean we are the
package band- as always doing the same thing from 1 to 10 at any show. Depends
on my feeling, sometimes I try to run around and jump on the stage. But I
suppose it is almost impossible to do the same action at the same part of song
all the time ...
- I see. I think your look is stronger than when
you played on stage during the last Japan tour. Am I imagining too much?
Rory: Oh, wow... I think I look completely the same... nothing
has changed... (laugh) I suppose I might have been tired for the last tour
because the schedule was tight. But whenever I'm on the road, I always think to
try hard every time. The reason you say I look stronger might be... it may be
rather more heavy number in the set list for this time than the last time... it
was rather more melancholic numbers in the last tour I suppose. But I don't
like to give artificial smiles to the audience on stage... I can't do that
anyway. I am expecting nothing for me.
- Your latest album "Calling Card" is
really good album, do you think you've got changed in mentally?
Rory: I'm not aware of trying to change, but the listeners might
feel I've been changed if it had been a long interval between new album and the
last album. I don't think try to change myself at all. Now that you mention it,
there are more heavy impression songs on my last album than my any other
albums, but I definitely not trying to play harder and more serious than
before. I never have done scamped work in my any album.
Is your feeling totally different when you play on stage and recording?
Rory: Right, when you play on stage, big audiences are in front
of you, you can get direct reaction. This is the biggest different from
playing on stage and recording. It depends on us whether the show goes well
or not. In studio, we only have to try hard to make the best record, and the intervening
of engineers can't be frozen out. It gets different if you try to put the
same atmosphere on stage to the studio.
I always think something is missing in your studio albums to compared with your
live shows, but the latest "Calling Card" album has a good point in
your live show.
Rory: Thank you. Lots of people say my playing is better on stage
than in record. I can't deny playing better because it’s first played on recordings,
then on stage. No wonder I can get better- playing and playing again, I can
change the length of songs and arrangements to check the audience's reaction
during tour. I am sure you can realize our playing is better then you come to
see our show than playing our record in your place. As for us, playing gets
smoother when you are in front of us. Every musician may think in that way I
- Roger Glover produced your "Calling
Card" album, what do you think about him?
Rory: Roger is really good producer to work with, that because he
played as a musician I guess. Most of ordinal producers tend to give more
advice to play faster and louder, but he was different. He gave us really good
advice as a musician as well as idea how to catch music in a different way from
mine. Also he is a really nice person. It was really good atmosphere though, it
took very long time to complete the job than we planned. It might be the best
to produce by myself if I try to make a record faster.
- Are you already working on your next new album?
Rory: I have some plans and already 15 original songs are up. In
a week after Japan tour, we have scheduled to do the recording. We've already
done lots of rehearsal, hope to release in December or January. I haven’t
decided which studio to take, in America or in Europe yet.
- It may sound crap to you Rory, how do you think
about punk music?
Rory: No, no, it's a good question. In a good side of punk music,
it's young people's power explosion. There is no alternative but to express.
They may get lots of new audiences because their way is totally new to them.
But as for me, I feel it’s much new freshness to it. It seems to be almost the
same as what THE WHO did before, what do you think?
- Exactly, I also think they do the same thing
what early STONES or WHO did.
Rory: Regarding the music, if they just repeat the same beat and
same cord, it makes nothing. Young people get bored with such kinds of music,
then leave them. Making progress is important even in playing music too. Anyway
I'd like to tell you the good part of punk music scene is bringing the power
and good atmosphere in rock club back again like before. Lots of rock clubs in
London have been occupied as disco clubs after blues music got out of trend. I
want the young newcomers wanting to
progress in playing music to keep the energy up.
- Hum, I have a feeling they try to turn back to the
past rather than progress, it sounds boring.
Rory: That's right. Well, I don't mean the progress of music is to
make totally different kind of music from what it was before. Music has been
played down through the ages, and number of notes are limited. If you try to
step out from the common sense of music, just make the others disturbing. I
want young people to remember the music you play or listen to may reflect how
you mature, how you grow up. They may think it's just music, nothing is
different on surface. I also think nothing much has been changed, music is
music, but I that’s the way I think. It doesn't make any sense to me if you may
think the attitude to improve playing is anti-punk music.
- How many guitars do you have?
Rory: I don't know for sure... I don't remember exactly.
Stratocaster, Telecaster, slide guitar, dobro guitar... I have many kinds of
guitars. Whenever I find funky cool guitar in a magazine, I can't stop myself from
getting it. I can't say no to guitars. Mainly I play Stratocaster and
Telecaster on stage, sometimes I play an old "Silvertone"... I bought
it for only $15 at a department store, I played with it on "Cradle Rock".
I have no thoughts about making a great guitar collection, I just like keeping
good guitars, putting them in the great cases, but I've never throw any guitar
away even I don't need it anymore. That’s the reason I don't know how many
guitars I have.
- I can imagine your famous Stratocaster is the
best one to you.
Rory: I really have much of affection for it, I don't know why. I
know it's getting older and I have to change to a new guitar, but I can't make
up my mind so far.
- Ritchie Blackmore is famous for smashing his
guitar on stage, what do you think?
Rory: Oh, he smashes
it hard... (laugh) I think he only wastes expensive guitars just to smash.
Sometimes I almost have a feeling to smash my guitar when it doesn't twang
what I want. But my case is different from his. I realize it is a kind of fan
service, but it's not his originally, done before, Pete Townshend did it,
Jimi Hendrix did it, you know... I suppose the guitar Ritchie smashes on
stage might be imitation one, you can't smash your beloved guitar without any
Who is your favorite guitarist?
Rory: John Hammond, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, B.B King, Muddy Waters.
- Which new guitarist do you have your eye on?
Rory: I don't listen to new bands... well, I've heard Mickey
Jones can play properly in the new wave music scene, sadly I've never listen to
him. There's a way of thinking in punk rock scene, to be a good guitarist is
bad thing, I don't know how they will be.
- Thank you very much for today.
- after interview -
Rory seemed to be more relaxed when he talked about guitar than any other
topic.I found he is totally the same guy- Rory who was interviewed and the guy on
stage. I can recognize that his great playing on stage comes from his character. I
found that after meeting him in person, he is really nice, kind person.
night, I was back to my home and I heard his album "Calling Card".
That was totally great.
2 : Rory Gallagher Japan Tour Report :
Gallagher's 15 days in Japan
- - Boost exchanging with his fans went well with a pleasant
The guys departed at London Heathrow airport at 14:00 p.m.
on 22nd Oct., but their plane was delayed more than one hour for it’s arrival
at Haneda airport. His road manager and tour crew came out of customs before
18:00 p.m., then around 18:10 Rory came out.
The airport was really crowded with lots of teenage fans of HELLO (British
young idol band in late 70's) , they were also on the same plane with Rory. He
run into a car which arranged by UDO promotion (a famous tour event promoter in
Japan) without time to shake hands with
This day was the first day for Japanese
tour, they were in Nagoya since yesterday.
The venue was Nagoya City Hall (Nagoya-shi Kokaido), almost full. Around
18:40, Rory turned up on stage, running like always. The opening number was
"Moonchild". His show was started greeted with lots of applause. He
seems to be really in good condition, his vocal sounded totally full of energy.
This is his third Japan tour, following in '74 and '75, tunes he played were
from his album "Against The Grain" and "Calling Card". In
the middle of show, he changed the guitar to acoustic guitar and mandolin,
played "Out on the Western Plain" and other 5 songs were played with
great bottle neck technique in open tuning. Then the hard-high tensioned tune,
"Souped up Ford" was played as the last number at any show on this
Japan tour. The encore set for tonight was "Bullfrog Blues",
"Country Miles" and "Messin' With The Kid", totally to serve
(*The description of those two days are skipped, so
tried to write down easily:)
26th Oct. (Wed)
Day off. -Supposed to leave for Hiroshima or
stayed in Nagoya. Schedule for this day is unknown.
27th Oct., Thu.
They played at Hiroshima Yubin Chokin-Hall.
Show was started at 18:30
| Rory and his tour manager, Peter Collins
were on local live radio program called "Doki-doki ragazine seishun
sai-zensen" (typical radio program for youth) in Osaka. I've heard from
Mr. Masami Tanaka, the DJ of this program, it was the first radio show
experience for Peter, he was totally strained and His eyes were wide open and
he didn’t blink. Rory laughed at his
Autograph session was held at
Miyako-Record shop in Shinsaibashi, Osaka at 16:00 for one hour. Normally
Rory doesn't do autograph sessions, but this time was special, he was
appeared at the venue with his full smile, approx. 300 fans were there.
Interview was taken by music press for one hour from 14:30
to 15:30 at his hotel, Osaka Grand Hotel. It went in a relaxed mood, which told
of his character, dedicated to everything, the topics were about guitars, his
home country, Ireland, and much more.
He went to play a rehearsal for new songs at a rental studio
in Osaka for three hours and he tried to rehearse three new songs for the next
album. Sadly these three songs were not played at any show during this Japan
The venue for tonight was Osaka
Rory was totally into practicing guitar before the show every time. When I
asked him to play a new song tonight, he told me maybe he would play one, but
he didn't. In the dressing room, other guys in the band played the whole time
with a radio controlled car with jump course kit, which someone in the band
bought after arriving in Japan ...
(*The report for this day is skipped)
1st Nov. (Tue)
Show in Osaka Kosei-Nenkin Kaikan,
stared at 18:30
(*They left for Tokyo from Osaka in the morning)
The temperature in Osaka yesterday was extraordinary hot as in autumn, even
tough guy, Rory, caught a cold. I've got a phone call from Tack, Mr. Takahashi
from UDO promotion, he told me the autograph session at 17:30 sounds nearly
hard to hold. When I rushed to the hotel, they called a doctor for Rory. He put
muffler on, trying hard to go through the fan event. Then he arrived at
Yamano-Gakki (musical instrumental and record shop in Tokyo), the venue was on
4th floor of the building, above 100 fans were there, in a totally excited
mood. Autograph session was started at 18:00 o'clock sharp. After playing the
film live at Montreux '77, he gave autographs and kisses for all female fans. I
took off my hat to his guts, even having the cold. Rory got a Uchide-no-Kozuchi
(*) as a present by courtesy of Yamano-Gakki, he was pleased with it a lot.
Double show at Shinjuku
Kosei-Nenkin Kaikan in Tokyo, started at 14:00 and at 19:00. Rory did try
hard on stage even though he had a sore throat with cold. Rory’s tone with
his Fender Stratocaster gripped lots of audience.
After the early show, Rory did work lots of things: he talked about the
guitar which was made as special custom guitar (*Guyatone guitar), also talked
about the specifications of guitar, then he did test playing at the empty
hall. When he turned back to the dressing room, enjoyed playing with radio
control racing car which all the other guys played, he seemed to enjoy himself
a lot on off stage as well as naturally on stage.
This day was the longest day on this tour for him. He did 4
interviews for music magazines fromnoon until around 16:00 in the late
afternoon. He seemed to enjoy himself, but couldn't deny he got tired.
The show for tonight was at Nakano Sunplaza Hall. The distance between
audience and artist on stage is closer than the last venue - Kosei Nenkin
Kaikan because of the orchestra pit. No wonder the show went crazy that night,
all members of the band got wild of course.
After the show, a party was held by Toshiba EMI (their record company in Japan)
at Chinese restaurant in Akasaka. All the guys in the band and tour crew
attended, they had a nice time until midnight. I found Rory didn't drink any
alcohol… just had soft drinks. The reason he told me he didn't drink any
alcohol during the tour was he just wanted to give his all energy to every show.
The last day for this tour. Double show also for today,
started at 14:00 and 19:00 at Nakano Sunplaza Hall. Early show was
mildly impressive because time was really limited for the late show, sadly not
so much a big reaction from audience. But the evening show was totally dynamite
and fully energetic with all his power called as the highlight of this tour as
the last show in Japan tour. I haven't seen such a sensible, but hard staging
for many years, but tonight was excellent. He may be the top live act. Over 100
tape recorders were dug up by security checks at the entrance today.
Flew to San Francisco on JAL-062, departed at 9:00 in the
morning. Spreading good cheer to enthusiastic fans who came to say goodbye to
him at Haneda airport, he boarded his flight.
That's all for the tour report for this time. I have met so many foreign artists,
but I have never ever seen such a considerate artist, taking care of fans or
other people. He is totally nice and truthful. His character is also grasped by
many fans I suppose.
- translation notes -
Japanese lucky mallet : a kind of
luck-bringing figure, it is said when you hit the mallet, your wishes come
true, and lucky mallet is related item for person who was born in year of the
Rat in Chinese sign - of course Rory was. This year, 2008 is year of Rat.
Part 3 : Rory Gallagher concert report
- Nice, full energetic playing -
(by Yukio Miwa)
3rd Nov., 2 in the afternoon,
Shinjuku Kosei-nenkin Kaikan in Tokyo. Today is a national holiday as
"Culture day" in Japan. It sounds like a weird holiday to me. From this
morning, I'm irritated at the day for making trade of culture and
decoration from Emperor or government, as for me today is the day of
culture locked out-day, I feel being laid low by a bug. But Rory blew all my blue off when he turned up on the stage and kicked my ass with full power.
This is his third Japan tour,
he has been to Japan in Jan. of '74 and also in Jan. '75, the member of
his band is the same with last two tours, Rory Gallagher on Guitar and
vocal, Lou Martin on keyboards, Gerry McAvoy on bass guitar, and Rod
de'Ath on drums. But I've heard two new members will come over to play
on the Japan tour from information of Toshiba EMI, but I feel a
bit confused myself when I found the same old member would come.
- - I met naturallly smiling Rory
Put these little things beside,
Rory's playing started 2 minutes after 14:00 in the afternoon. The
opening number was "Moonchild" from the album " Calling Card". From the
beginning of the show, the whole audience was crazy. Next one was
"Bought and Sold" from "Against the Grain" album, then "Calling Card"
and "Secret Agent" ... In the first half of the show, his
representative songs were played. His guitar playing with the battered,
but good old, Fender guitar sounds like screaming of his soul and joys
of life. He is definitely high technique guitarist, but not just only a
technical typed guitarist. I found him as a very straight minded person
to see his playing-it is really simple and straight staging. His
dedicated to music-attitude such as "I'd like to burn out with my
guitar" may grasp lots of people. I thought that way seeing his stage
show in Kosei-Nenkin Kaikan.
In any Rory show, he puts some
acoustic numbers at middle of the show. Today is like the rest, other
members of the band left the stage in the middle of the show. Rory got
the acoustic guitar and played 2 songs then changed to dobro guitar and
played 2 songs, and changed to mandolin with one song, then changed to
electric guitar. The last half part of the show -filled with electric
numbers- was started. The last number was "Souped-up Ford", then encore
time was settled.
After the encore, unexpected
things happened. Rory played 2 encoes after the never ending
encore-calls from the audience, when the very last song of this show
"Country Mile" was over, most of the audience couldn't stand up from
their seat because they were totally enraptured.
Rory's allure is to play guitar and
sing with 100% of his energy in every show, I think. And you can find
his musical history on his stage- not only playing blues, also
you’ll find the changing to driving hard rock stuff after working
with Roger Glover. But I'd like to say Rory has not been changing at
all, whenever I go to see his show, every time I find him same in the
great mood as always, a hard playing musician.
Rory will never be the guy who tries to make a trade of his sprits for a decoration.
- translation notes -
about "two new members"
This news was
announced incorrect from Toshiba EMI. They took 2 new crews (Joseph
O'Herlihy : sound engineer, Finbar Quinn : lightning technician) as new
1977 Japan Tour : live review by Yukio Miwa , 3rd November 1977, at Kosei-Nenkin Kaikan, Tokyo
from "Ongaku Senka" magazine (Japan), December issue, 1977
1977 Japan Tour Report
from "Ongaku Senka" magazine (Japan), December issue, 1977
top photo was taken by a fan in Osaka (from a Japanese magazine "Music Life" 1978 April issue)
bottom photo : Rory with Guyatone LG-1000 (from a Japanese magazine "Rock Steady" 1978 September issue)
interview : by Yusaku Matsumura, 4th November 1977, at Hotel New Japan,
from "Ongaku Senka" magazine (Japan), December issue, 1977
English translation by Shinolez (2008) / thank you!
2006 - 2008
from "Ongaku-Senka" magazine , (Dec. 1977)
many thanks to Nero for sharing this article from her great Japanese Rory website
wording and formatted modified by roryfan for use on RoryON!!