Rory Gallagher Biography

Rory Gallagher Biography

Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Republic of Ireland, 2 March, 1948. Family moved to Cork
in the 1950s.
Age 9
Bought first acoustic guitar and taught himself to play.
Age 10
Began to play in public in local amateur shows.
Age 12
Won talent competition at Cork City Hall. Bought first electric guitar.
Age 13
Formed first band.
Bought (secondhand) the famous '61 sunburst Fender Stratocaster, for 100 pounds, in
Cork (reputedly the first such guitar in Ireland). (The 'battered Strat' was to be Rory's
most notable trademark over the next 31 years.)
Age 16
Joined Fontana Show Band (later renamed The Impact) while still at school, and played in
the evenings, in and around Cork.
Toured in Britain with Fontana.
Fontana's name changed to The Impact. Played a stint at an American airforce base near
The Impact returned to London. Stint in clubs in Hamburg before the band split.
Rory formed a 3-piece group with The Impact's former bassist and drummer. Played in
clubs in Hamburg.
Rory formed new trio - Taste - in Cork with Eric Kitteringham (bass) and Norman Damery
Taste played in Hamburg; also in Cork, Dublin, and elsewhere in Ireland. Secured a
regular booking at the Maritime Hotel, R&B club in Belfast.
Rory formed new version of Taste with Richard McCracken (bass) and John Wilson
(drums). Taste moved to London; played in England and Germany.
Taste toured US and Canada as support to British group Blind Faith.
Taste toured Europe and Scandinavia. Taste's final appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival.
Rory goes solo with his own band.
Line up of Rory Gallagher Band: Rory Gallagher (guitar, vocals) with:
1970 - 1972: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Wilgar Campbell (drums)
1972 - 1976: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Lou Martin (piano), Rod De'Ath (drums)
1976- 1981: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Ted McKenna (drums)
1981- 1991: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Brendan O'Neil (drums)
1992- 1994: David Levy (bass), Jim Levaton (keyboards), John Cooke (keyboards),
Richard Newman (drums). Regular guest: Mark Feltham (harmonica).
"Live! In Europe" earned Rory platinum sales and Melody Maker's "Musician of the Year"
Rory became the first artist to perform on a Eurovision television transmission to over one
hundred million people. He also embarked on his 10 th American tour.
Late 1994
Rory falls seriously ill while touring in Europe.
14 June, 1995
Rory dies in King's College Hospital, London, from complications following a liver
transplant in April. He lived in Chelsea, London. He never married, and had no children.
16 June, 1995
Rory receives ovation from the people of Cork who line the streets as his funeral cortege
procedes to the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.
19 June, 1995
Thousands attend Requiem Mass and funeral in Cork. Rory is laid to rest in St. Oliver's
Cemetery, Cork.

For more info about Rory's life there exist two books that contain sections about Rory
(unfortunately, both of these are hard to get)
Compiled by Sergio Seghetti, S.M. Donnarde and Kimmo Hagelberg of the
Rory Gallagher Home page.


The first concert In Holland

I had the pleasure of meeting Rory as a photographer and went to a Taste concert
in Amsterdam. Taste was the support act for Fat Mattress and Taste became the "Taste
of Holland "after all the hippies walked out on Noel Redding's Fat Mattress.
I went to many more concerts over the years and the last time I met Rory
was in Auckland, New Zealand in the early 1980's
"Thanks for the memories"
Joh Lang

The last concert in Holland

To complete this: he gave his last concert in Rotterdam-Holland on the 10th of january 1995 in Nighttown-theatre.

My girlfriend Steffy and I were there. The concert started too late, because Rory was very ill. I knew this, because I accidentelly met him at the toilets, while he was held up by roadies. The band played at that moment to keep the fans calm. After I got back, he entered stage after a short while. The audience whistled, because they were angry and Rory got mad. He stopped playing his second song and started to offend his public. And THAT was so unreal to us! I met him once in 1980 and learned to know him as a very kind and shy person. Immediately all the concerts of him I ever saw (since 1973 every time he was somewhere in Holland or nearby in Germany, Loreley f.i) flashed through my mind. Steffy got tears and we agreed  that, though he was loaded, he didn't deserve this. We left the place at the moment Rory was taken off of stage by Mark Feltham and some roadies. Mark and the band kept on playing, but not for long because people who called themselves Rory fans didn't accept what in fact happened at that moment. The real fans were "updated" and felt sorry (and ashamed for the rest of ther audience). It was a strange atmosphere outside Nighttown, and Steffy and I and some others had the idea we had seen a very special moment: his last performance. But we didn't want to remember Rory by that concert. When he's the subject of chats, we often speak about the great earlier concerts we saw and often avoid  that historical night in Rotterdam. His CD's only go into the stereo when there's the opportunity to play it loud and we and our friends then flow to Pinkpop festival-'74, Tegelen-bluesfestival '80 and '83 Loreley Rockpalast festival-'86 and some other concerts, but never to 10th of January 1995. It would'nt give him the honour he deserves (please, mention that if you take it in your biography). Two months later he was taken to hospital and on Steffy's birthday he died. And since 95, every 14th of June we and our friends raise a glas.

Many greetings from Dennis in Holland (clearly a RG-fan)

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