"Rory was such a purist. He wouldn't sell out. He wouldn't do singles, he didn't want to do videos. How many people in the music business today would have that kind of stand? It's so dangerous." — Gary Moore
Rory began his musical career whilst still at school; playing in showbands across Ireland. However his love for the blues meant that he was destined for much more than a lifetime of churning out covers of popular hits and in 1965 he converted the showband he was playing with (The Impact) into an R'n'B group. Whilst the group toured both at home and abroad their time together was short-lived and in 1966 Rory formed Taste.
After some personnel changes the Taste line-up became a thing of music legend in 1967 when it consisted of Rory, John Wilson (drums) and Richard McCracken (bass). The group's approach to music and live sets brought them wide critical acclaim leading to successful gigs at London's Marquee Club and a storming set at the Isle of Wight Festival. The festival was however Taste's swansong with the band breaking up in 1970.
While the break-up of such a group would have caused others to stumble it simply led to Rory going solo. It enabled him to start a career that sold millions of albums and saw him constantly touring around the world. It also led to Rory playing with some of his greatest heroes, such as Albert King, Jerry Lee Lewis and Muddy Waters, all of whom recognized him as a great blues player.
In 1972 Rory toured the US solo for the first time, his live set was captured on "Live in Europe" (hitting the charts on both sides of the Atlantic) and he was voted Top Musician of the Year by Melody Maker - suitable reward for a musician who genuinely loved music. Rory continued to tour, building a reputation for his skills on stage, with his 1973 tour of Ireland being filmed for a documentary. The release of this documentary and the associated double live album (both entitled "Irish Tour 1974") raised Rory's profile even more and gave him his most successful album in the US.
While this was arguably the zenith of his commercial appeal Rory kept on recording quality albums (such as "Photo Finish" and "Stage Struck") and completed numerous tours around the world for the next twenty years, whilst still continuing to inspire all those who, like Rory, loved the blues.