Zum Tode von Rory Gallagher 
Nachruf (14.6.95)

by Zippo Zimmerman
He was the first one to be titled an 'antistar', and in spite of his popularity, he didn’t want to have anything to do with the whole business end or the marketing strategies of the music industry. The only thing which was important to him was to make music.

“Even when I'm 40 or 50, I still want to be on stage and satisfy the audience”, Rory Gallagher said many years ago. He kept his word until his death. The Irish guitarist and singer died on Wednesday, aged 46, in a London Hospital after suffering from complications following a liver transplant.

At the early age of 6, Rory got a guitar. Aged 15, he played in small night clubs across Europe with the 'Fontana Showband'.

In 1966, he formed /founded his first band, the trio ' The Taste'. From then on, he completely dedicated himself to playing Blues-Rock. After two moderately successful years and a few changes of band members, the band finally had its break-through in 1968. Rory Gallagher became some sort of new pop star representing the everyday life amidst flower power and drug euphoria.

His endless solos during the concerts lowered his fellow band members to playing only minor roles. Therefore, he started playing under his own name from the 70’s onward which didn’t damage his popularity in any way – on the contrary: like Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher was regarded as a 'guitar hero' polishing up traditional Blues with virtuosity and imaginativeness.

He left an impressive legacy of his stage presence with the album 'Irish Tour 74'. However, it was never a secret that musical innovation was not his cup of tea. "I only try to repeat what’s good", Rory remarked with refreshing conservatism.

In the 80’s, things became more quiet and Rory was mostly relying on his true fans. In 1993, at the St. Wendel Open Air Festival, the fans were able to experience Rory’s Blues Rock Fireworks for the last time (in Germany).

Rory Gallagher rejected following trends, just like the ‘Grunge-Generation’ does, but he did this decades before Nirvana or Pearl Jam did so. But by that time it became clear that once a musician has a certain amount of popularity, having ‘no image’ it can easily turn into being an image, because what would the fans have thought seeing Gallagher with a bright and shiny new guitar on stage instead of his old worn and torn one.

However, what remains are the memories of a pop musician single-mindedly placing his music in the centre of attention without submitting to any kind of ‘market dictate’.
Used with permission from Zippo Zimmerman's homepage http://www.savoy-truffle.de/zippo/
Thanks to Ilona Wuebben & Joachim Matz for their help in translating this piece
Ilona for the translation and Joachim for securing her help
reformatted by roryfan

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