Rory Gallagher is arguably one of the best white blues guitarists who has ever lived, rawer than Eric Clapton, a man who turned down offers by the Rolling Stones and Canned Heat, preferring to perfect his own gritty style of electric blues, untarnished by pop considerations.
He died in 1995, here's what some of the greats have said about him
“One of the things that was crucial for me I got from Rory Gallagher, which was the idea of, like, being a guitar player for life and living it." Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
"Rory's death really upset me. I heard about it just before we went on stage, and it put a damper on the evening. I can't say I knew him that well, but I remember meeting him in our offices once, and we spent an hour talking. He was such a nice guy and a great player." Jimmy Page
"So these couple of kids come up, who's me and my mate, and say 'How do you get your sound Mr. Gallagher?' and he sits and tells us. So I owe Rory Gallagher my sound." Brian May (Queen)
This year a full bronze statue will be erected in Ballyshannon, Donegal, Ireland; his home town. The town will also host the seventh annual 4-day Rory Gallagher Festival in May: All full line up is due this year, including Pat McManus and the High Voltage Band and Eamon McCormack, both of whom Rory recorded with before his death in 1995.
If you want to hear Rory at his best, get the albums Live in Europe (his biggest selling) and Irish Tour 74 (his best). In terms of studio albums I recommend Top Priority, especially the brilliant Bad Penny.
Image: Courtesy Buddha Records