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En hyllest til Rory Gallagher

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Photo credit: Harry Potts (wikipedia), Rory Galagher at Manchester Apollo 1982

Den irske unike rock & blues artisten Rory Gallagher (fødenavn: William Rory Gallagher, født: 2 mars 1948) fortjener betydelig kred for sitt unike bidrag både unik gitarist og låtskriver. Spesielt i perioden på 1970-tallet og deler av 1980-tallet påvirket hans unike gitartoner og låtkomposisjoner utviklingen innenfor sin musikksjanger i tillegg til å inspirere bl.a. en lang rekke i dag kjente artister.

“It was probably Rory who introduced me to rock `n roll”Slash

“How does it feel to be the worlds fastest guitarplayer? I don`t know, you`ll have to ask Rory Gallagher that question” – Jimi Hendrix

Rory Gallagher døde dessverre 14 juni 1995, kun 47 år gammel i etterkant av at han hadde gjennomført en levertransplantasjon. Rory rakk å utgi 11 solo studioalbum og har solgt mer enn 30 millioner album:

“Rory was probably the most natural player I`ve ever seen. In all gigs we did together I don`t think he ever played the same thing twice….He was the ultimate performer” – Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)

“Rory`s playing was so natural that the guitar just seemed to be a natural part og his hands” Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)

Keith Richards fra The Rolling Stones fikk også i sin tid øynene opp for den unike og talentfulle Rory Gallagher. I 1975 ble Gallagher kontaktet av The Rolling Stones i jakten etter å finne en gitaristerstatter etter at Mick Taylor sluttet. Historien skal være at Stones på dette tidspunktet oppholdt seg i Tyskland og at Rory reiste over for å ta en prat med Keith. Vel fremme på et hotell i München der Stones traff han Mick Jagger som forøvrig var stor fan av Gallagher. Keith derimot lå i «koma» på sitt hotelrom og Rory forsøkte flere ganger å vekke han uten å lykkes. Dette møtet fant sted 27 januar 1975 og Rory Gallaghers Japanturnè skulle starte 29 januar. Uten å lykkes med å få «liv i» Keith Richards valgte Rory å legge igjen en lapp til Keith der han skriver at han er interresert og dro så videre til Japan for å rekke turnèstarten, men hørte i etterkant ingen ting mer fra The Rolling Stones. Som kjent for mange ble det til slutt Ronnie Wood som ble erstattet som gitarist etter Mick Taylor.

(Foto: Wictor Faanes, Rory Gallagher under Hortenfestivalen 1978)

Rory Gallagher besøkte Norge under den legendariske Hortens Festivalen i 1978 sammen med bl.a legenden Bob Marley. Wictor Faanes som var tilknyttet festivalen helt siden 1976 husker svært godt møtet med Rory Gallagher:

” Rory Gallagher holdt en forrykende konsert. På backstageområdet hadde vi plassert “gutta på byen” for å påse at alle som ville inn på sceneområdet hadde riktig scenepass i orden. Det hadde ikke Rory Gallagher, og han ble stoppet momentant. Hadde ikke sleppt deg inn om du var Hep Stars en gang, var den klare meldingen fra “gutta på byen”. I ventetiden ble vakta og Rory skikkelige gode venner og de fortærte en god del spiritus før de rette passene til Rory var på plass. Da var Rory virkelig kommet i storslag. Det jeg minnes var at han hadde med seg 2 stk Fender supertwin som lukta ordentlig muggent, grå, brune og jævlige…..men det låt skikkelig knall!” – Wictor Faanes

Rory Gallagher ble også kjent for å bruke sin originale Fender Stratocaster Sunburst 1961 modell gjennom hele sin karriere.

“Early on, I got the Stratocaster – in fact it was the first one I ever saw.  It’s supposed to have been the first Strat brought into Ireland.  The guy who had it before me was in a show band and he ordered a red one.  They actually sent a sunburst so he decided to wait for a red one to arrive, and I had the sunburst – it was luxury!  It was easy to play from the start and I’ve kept it ever since – in fact it’s getting better! I’ve had to take the neck off occasionally and dry it out – it was getting damp with doing so many gigs and I started to have tuning problems.  The pots have gone and the pick-ups have been rewound and things like that.  The tremolo arm is broken – but other than that it’s still in one piece! It’s a ‘61 model and it has a very flat kind of neck.  Although they were making the bodies out of Alder and Ash, somebody said mine is actually Maple – which is really a one off! It was in good condition when I bought it, but it’s got so battered now it’s got a kind of tattoo quality about it. There’s now a theory that the less paint or varnish on a guitar, acoustic or electric, the better. The wood breathes more. But it’s all psychological. I just like the sound of it. ‘It’s also a good luck thing. It was stolen one time and it came back It’s kind of a lucky charm; the guitar is a part of me. BB King might have several Lucilles, but I’ve only got the one Strat. I don’t even call it a woman’s name. It’s what it is. I still play it every day, I just love playing it.” – Rory Gallagher

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