Anyone watching Rory Gallagher, Ireland's guitarist extraordinaire, performing at the Jethro Tull extravaganza at the LA Coliseum, really couldn't be be blamed for thinking Rory's a fierce, driven man. Onstage, Gallagher's sizzling guitar work , coupled with his dynamic stage presence, leads one to believe he must be a terror offstage: one of those rockers who heads to the hotel after a gig, and systematically tears his room to shreds - an assumption that couldn't be further from the truth.

Rory Gallagher is an articulate, unpretentious, accommodating man who speaks with an Irish brogue, softened by years of travel.

Growing up in Cork, Ireland, Rory invested 4 1/2 pounds ( approx. $20) in a guitar when he was nine. At fifteen, Rory joined the Fontana Showband ( later renamed Impact), and spent two and a half years with that band.

When Impact disbanded, Rory formed the legendary jazz-rock band, Taste. After four years with Taste, Rory left the group to form his own band. With fellow Irishmen Gerry McAvoy ( bass) and Wilgar Campbell (drums), Rory produced 3 albums and , in 1971, toured the US. Eventually Rod de Ath replaced Wilgar Campbell and Lou Martin ( ex killing Floor) was brought in on keyboards.

This lineup, of which the Rory Gallagher band now consists, and after their set at the Tull gig, Rory chatted about his new album, his band and his views of touring and life on the road.

PP Did you enjoy playing to a vast audience?
RG No. I can't foresee the band playing many more gigs like this.

PP You prefer smaller venues?
RG Yeah

PP You don't feel you have to play a large hall to accommodate your following?
RG It's ironic because, like I got a letter from a fan saying " How dare you play the Coliseum, you're leaving all your fans behind', you know, then you've got the other alternative saying "You should be playing bigger places." I wouldn't mind headlining bigger shows that we're doing, but, be patient....

PP You've got a new album due to be released?
RG It's called " Calling Card, " nine songs, I wrote them all. Same band, I think it's our best....produced by a fellow called Roger Glover ( ex-Deep Purple bassist.)

PP Haven't you produced your previous albums?
RG Yeah... I just thought I'd give it a try. It was nice to have someone take the weight off your shoulders in the studio. It worked out fine.

PP I've seen you on 7 or 8 tours in America, and knowing you tour 'round the world; I have to wonder whether you're ever off the road.
RG I'm never really off the road. I'm always doing something. Man in a suitcase, that's me.

PP Do you accept life on the road?
RG Yeah, I accept it. I don't even form an opinion of it, just accept it. New hotel rooms every night is terrible.

PP You've had 7 albums released, and been touring the US  as many years, and suddenly, you're being touted as a 'new sensation -  a star on the rise.' How does that effect you?
RG It's hard to know. I suffer from being Irish. We're too cynical, the Irish. There's so much jive you can go through in this country to become a star. There are certain things I could do right now, go God knows where in a week. I'm just  going to do whatever-play it by ear.

Claudia McQuillan
Licorice Pizza-Downey

This article comes from the 12/1/76 issue of Pizza Platters.
Thanks to Keith Whalen for sending it.
reformatted by roryfan

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