He’s a legend and another one of my all time favorite guitarists. Rory Gallagher produced a bunch of excellent albums during his solo career, but to me first and foremost his appearances with “Taste” are a true reflection of his ingenuity. However, I will admit that this probably again rather a question of personal preference and a lot of fans argue that his playing got actually better after he had left Taste.
Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of Taste material out there. But when we start looking at the time prior to Taste, we are now talking about the early 60ties, there are really just a couple of super rare items. And I bet that even the majority of Rory fans has heard very little – if anything – about the “Fontana Showband”, Rory’s first professional gig as a musician where he played lead guitar and sang.
Rare Early Rory Gallagher Memorabilia Discovered
Nobody knew that in an attic of an old house in Cork, Ireland, this little box was sitting there for five full centuries before it first got discovered a couple of years ago. Sarah Prendergast, the widow of the late Philip Pendergast, who had managed the Fontana Showband, showed her unexpected find to her friend Tim O’Leary who then yesterday decided to go public. Here’s a clip of Tim describing the content of the precious box and his intents to put everything on public display for the fans:
Here is some of the items that were found:
– Two passport photos or Rory Gallagher taken in 1964
– An audio tape of a 16-year-old Gallagher singing one of the first songs he ever wrote; experts speculate that this could have been during what is believed his first studio session;
– A photograph of the teenage Rory with his first electric guitar;
– A biography from his time with his first group, the Fontana Showband, in which he reveals his favourite clothes are leather, his favourite drink is orange, and his hobbies are art, girls, and collecting records
I’m especially curious about the audio. Hopefully, they will figure out a way to get in on CD (or I-tunes) so fans will be able to purchase it.
I personally got to see Rory only once. It was in the early nineties at the “Zeltmusikfestival” in Freiburg, Germany. Unfortunately, I cannot remember too much of that gig. However, I do remember that Rory already looked pretty sick and it’s a shame that he died only a couple of years later at the age of 47.
I will always love your music, Rory. You’re a superstar and I wish I had more opportunities to see you perform. I have all your solo stuff and of course pretty much everything that is available during your Taste years. And your performance with Taste at the Isle of Wight I will always carry with me in my heart and soul.
Oh, and before I forget, here is an audio clip of a 16 year old Rory performing Slow Down. (Clip courtesy of Tim O’Leary)