Rory Gallagher; One of a Kind
Posted to newsgroup in  7/98
by Peter Dellys of Perth, Australia. Great Rory story!!!

I've just discovered this ng (newsgroup) and thought some of you other Rory fans might find my story interesting. I first heard Rory in 1972 when I was at high school. I was heavily into Clapton, Hendrix and all that, and a school friend suggested I listen to this Rory Gallagher guy. The album was 'Live in Europe'. I sat in the music room with a set of headphones, and was utterly flabbergasted. What were those sounds ( pinch harmonics) that he was getting? How did he make guitar and voice sound almost identical? My guitar education was just beginning.

In 1975, Rory came to Australia, and my friends and i got down to the stage and were just blown away. We managed to run into some people later that week who recorded the gig. I still have the tape - and it has some of the most amazing guitar work I have ever heard.

The years rolled by, and I bought every Rory album religiously. As I think of it now, his music was the single most significant influence on my playing. In 1986, I decided to travel the world, and with a backpack and a bag full of music tapes( with quite a bit of Rory), off I went. About six months into my travels, I was in a little seaside town called Doolin, in County Clare in Ireland. One night i was walking back to the youth hostel when i heard some great playing coming from the common room (there was an old, battered acoustic in there). No, it wasn't Rory, but a Polish-American guitar teacher who was also traveling the world.

He was a very good player, and I asked him if he could help me out with a few difficult pieces - Barley and Grape Rag was the piece.  He listened to it and together we sort of nutted it out. I thanked him and we called it a night.

The next morning, I woke up keen to try and master the piece. I wandered up the road to the little pub (Doolin is *really* small, about 6 houses and three pubs, seriously) and sat down with a pint of Guinness and the battered old acoustic. So, I'm sitting there struggling to get it down, and I hear a soft voice say to me "Can i sit down and play along, too? Yep, I'm looking up at Rory Gallagher! I think I said something like "Sure, it's your song" and so we sit down and played Barley and Grape Rag together! My lifelong dream was coming true - in a tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere - just Rory and me.

As the morning wore on, other musicians came into the pub. The story is that there is an annual Irish music festival in a town called Lisdoonvarna, a short way from Doolin. Rory was there to get back to his roots; he had only a Martin acoustic. I stepped back from my 'monopoly' on Rory as musicians with tin whistles and other, strange Irish percussion instruments wandered in, also having attended the festival. They played all day, and into the night, with the publican cooking up portions of fish and chips for everyone.

I crashed about 2 AM, exhausted and exhilarated. When I awoke the next morning, Rory had gone, leaving an indelible impression on all who saw him and played with him. For me, it was the greatest musical experience I could ever hope for.

With Rory's passing, we have lost a true rustic; an original who also never lost sight of his roots. Like most great artists, he lives on through his musical legacy, which is fortunately extensive. Vale Rory Gallagher - you are one of a kind.

reformatted by roryfan

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