It's not dreadfully difficult to look back over a year.  I mean the very good things that happened stick out like nuns at a tag-wrestling match.

A helluva lot has happened in rock 'n' roll - climaxed by "Tommy" of course, which I thought was a very beautiful thing to happen.  Full stop.

We've seen 'em come, and seen 'em go.  Disputes, battles, new forms of music.  The old order certainly does change – it has to.  Bad habits ruin everything.

But I'd like to choose one thing from this year that tops just everything as far as rock 'n' roll goes.  It's something that really didn't get the full mention it deserved (although the MM did quite rightly carry it on our front page.)

It was the day of January 1 - yes right at the start - and it was the day Rory Gallagher played to the kids of Belfast in the city's Ulster Hall.  I shall remember that day for the rest of my life. eevi

Remember every minute of it actually.  I've got such respect for that man Gallagher it's unbelievable.  He didn't have to play Belfast.  It would have been dead easy for him to pull out, and nobody would have asked any questions.

It's no use saying "well Gallagher's an Irishman, so it's easy." That doesn't figure, because Rory's from the South of Ireland.

They hadn't had a full-scale rock 'n' roll concert in Belfast for many, many months.  Two thousand kids turned up - so starved of music they were ready to eat amplifiers as soon as they were put on stage. What an incredible atmosphere was about that afternoon.

Twelve bombs had gone off the night before, and we'd all heard them. And yet here was a rock show, and here were kids, and for two hours nothing else in this bloody world mattered.  I shall always remember it.

Lennon and McCartney were given a lot of headline space for their attempts to bring Ireland into rock 'n' roll lyrics.  The Mailbag page was full of letters.

To me, and a couple of others, it was horribly irrelevant.  You see, without any fuss at all, Gallagher had done just the one thing a rock 'n' roller could do for Belfast.  And that was play the damned place.

My musician – and man of the year:  RORY GALLAGHER.
This article was from Melody Maker - December 30, 1972
Thank you to Brenda O'Brien for sharing this article
Thanks to Evi Ivan for the great painting of Rory
reformatted by roryfan
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