THE GREATEST ROCK GUITARIST IN THE WORLD…

So the rumour goes, a journalist once asked Jimi Hendrix how did it feel to be the greatest guitarist in the World. He replied “I don’t know. Why don’t you go and ask Rory Gallagher!”

Rory Gallagher (photo credit Barrie Wentzell)

Rory Gallagher (photo credit – Barrie Wentzell)

If ever there was a ‘musician’s musician’ then that accolade surely belongs to Rory Gallagher. Renowned for his blistering live performances and highly respected for his dedication to his craft, he died before he could fulfil his true ambition but his reputation has continued to flourish in the years since. Indeed, some of rock’s most seminal figures including Clapton, Joe Satriani to Joe Bonamassa, Rory remains a touchstone for all would-be guitar heroes in the 21st Century. It’s hard to believe that it’s now been twenty-six years since Rory’s passing at the age of only 47.

Rory Gallagher was one of the greatest guitarists the world has ever seen and arguably one of the greatest live showmen that ever held a guitar. So it’s only right that we should put this bold statement to the one person who would really know the answer – his band member and long-time friend Gerry McAvoy. As his bass guitarist, Gerry worked with Rory for 20 years and a lot of Rory has rubbed off on him down the years. I asked him how he came to be in Rory’s band. “I used to be in a Belfast band called Deep Joy. We moved to London like most bands did at the time and managed to end up on the same record label as Robert Stigwood’s organization Taste which managed acts like Cream and Eric Clapton. We opened for Rory’s band Taste on a lot of gigs and when they split up in 1970 my band went back to Belfast. I recalled at the time in one of the venues in Kent (Blazers) when Rory and his brother had popped down a couple of times to see us play. He was checking me and my drummer Wilgar (Campbell) out I guess and one day I had this phone call from Rory asking if I would fly over from Belfast and join Wilgar and himself for a jam. So I did and it was wonderful so we teamed up” said Gerry. I asked him what it was like playing in Northern Ireland at the height of the political tensions. “Nobody was going there at the time. That first show in ‘71 in the Union Hall in Belfast was like a melting pot. People from all divides were just so glad for the music that there was a fabulous ambiance and great atmosphere”. Starting out in his first band called Pride, the band morphed into Deep Joy which in Gerry’s own words “was an unusual band that bordered on psychedelia yet a mish-mash of blues and rock ‘n’ roll too” laughs Gerry.

Rory and Gerry (photo credit Barrie Wentzell)
Rory and Gerry (photo credit Barrie Wentzell)

Of the three albums, Gerry played on with Rory, which album was he most proud of? “Fresh Evidence for sure. I really think Rory pulled out all the stops for that album. One track called Heaven’s Gate is really spine-tingling” said Gerry. Having played the infamous 1970 Isle of White Festival, their band’s last ever gig was at the Queen’s University in Belfast later that year in October. I asked Gerry why break up then? “It was a managerial decision which was a shame. The band was great and you know I was a big fan. Their album On The Board stands up today”. If you can get hold of it, read Gerry’s 2005 autobiography Riding Shotgun which tells the complete story of their time together and is to be reprinted with an additional chapter bringing fans up to date with what he’s doing now and their time with Nine Below Zero and more recently with Gerry McAvoy’s Band of Friends.

Now happily living in the Loire valley area in France, Gerry was upbeat on the day we interviewed him to have witnessed the Tour de France pass by the bottom of his lane. “They passed by the road we live on so that was a real treat for me,” said Gerry.

To listen to the podcast with Gerry, go to WOOLLEYSBEAT

Once the pandemic has eased, Gerry’s own tour of Europe is on the cards with a few UK dates added but one thing for sure… with the release of this unique box set celebrating their musical journey together, a lot of new fans will be flocking to see him pay homage to the World’s greatest guitarist.

The 50th Anniversary Box Set of Rory Gallagher’s eponymous 1971 debut album is released by UMC on September 3rd.

Further info: www.rorygallagher.com.  Order the Box Set and the album on vinyl from – https://rorygallagher.lnk.to/50thAnniversary

 

2LP BLACK VINYL, LIMITED EDITION CLEAR 2LP, 2CD, 1CD,
DIGITAL HD, DIGITAL STANDARD

INCLUDES PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK ON 2CD AND DIGITAL VERSIONS AND LIMITED 7” INCH SINGLE “(I CAN’T GET NO) SATISFACTION” FEATURING JERRY LEE LEWIS & RORY GALLAGHER

“(I CAN’T GET NO) SATISFACTION” IS AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT GRAT TRACK WITH PRE-ORDERS OF THE ALBUM, AND ON ALL STREAMING AND DOWNLOAD SERVICES AT https://rorygallagher.lnk.to/TheBestOfPR

Formats:                     2LP black vinyl, limited 2LP clear vinyl, 2CD, 1CD, Digital HD, Digital Standard

Release Date:             September 3rd 2021

Label:                          UMC

Following the commercial and critically acclaimed success of the recent albums “Blues” (2019) and the three-week running No.1 album on the Billboard Blues Chart “Check Shirt Wizard – Live in ’77” (2020), UMC is pleased to present a new Rory Gallagher best-of collection entitled “The Best Of Rory Gallagher” on 3rd September 2021

The comprehensive compilation includes Rory’s most iconic songs compiled from across his recording career, including tracks from Rory’s seminal first band Taste (1969) through to his final studio album “Fresh Evidence” (1990).

The album is released as a 2CD set featuring 30 tracks including a previously unreleased collaboration with Jerry Lee Lewis.  The album will also be released as a 2-disc black vinyl and direct-to-consumer limited clear 2LP, plus a 15-track single CD, as well as digital HD and digital standard.

Unearthed from the Rory Gallagher Archives is a special bonus track “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – a rare outtake taken from Jerry Lee Lewis’ famous 1973 “London Sessions” featuring Rory singing and playing the Rolling Stones’ classic alongside the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis. The previously unreleased rarity is featured on the 2CD version and digital versions of the album, and available as a limited edition direct to consumer 7” vinyl single. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is available as an instant grat track with pre-orders of the album, and on all streaming and download services at https://rorygallagher.lnk.to/TheBestOfPR. The 7” inch picture sleeve features a rare archive photo of Rory and Jerry Lee Lewis from Jerry Lee’s 1973 “London Sessions.” The B-side features “Cruise On Out” (4:42) taken from Rory’s critically acclaimed album “Photo Finish” (1978).

“The man who got me back into the blues.” – Eric Clapton

“There are a million guys who sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan, but I never heard anybody who could really pull off sounding like Rory Gallagher.” – Slash

“As soon as I heard Cradle Rock, I was hooked. I thought, ‘This is what I want to be when I grow up.”
Joe Bonamassa

“I really liked Rory, he was fine guitarist and singer and lovely man.” – Jimmy Page

“He was just a magician, he’s one of the very few people of that time who could make his guitar do anything it seemed. It just seemed to be magic. I remember looking at that battered Stratocaster and thinking “how does that come out of there?” – Brian May

“The man who changed my musical life was Rory Gallagher, I picked up a guitar because of him.”
Johnny Marr

“A beautiful man and an amazing guitar player. He was a very sensitive man and a great musician.”
The Edge

“An amazing player, very spirited… he had a particular sound using that Stratocaster and he really got it because of the brute force in the way that he played, he just had such a passion about it.”
Joe Satriani

“Rory was the one to measure yourself against. He was a real credit to
music and pushed it to another level altogether.”  – Peter Frampton

FORMATS AND TRACK LISTING

30 Track / 2CD Set

CD1

1          Taste                           What’s Going On                            (from 1970’s ‘On The Boards’ LP)                              2:48
2          Rory Gallagher           Shadow Play                 (from 1978’s ‘Photo Finish’ LP                                    4:47

3          Rory Gallagher           Follow Me                                      (from 1979’s ‘Top Priority’ LP)                                    4:40
4          Rory Gallagher           Tattoo’d Lady                                (from 1973’s ‘Tattoo’ LP)                                              4:41

5          Rory Gallagher           All Around Man                           (from 1975’s “Against The Grain” LP)                     6:15

6          Rory Gallagher           I Fall Apart                                      (from 1971’s “Rory Gallagher” LP)                             5:12

7          Rory Gallagher           Daughter Of The Everglades  (from 1973’s ‘Blueprint’” LP)                                       6:12
8          Rory Gallagher           Calling Card                                    (from 1976’s ‘Calling Card’ LP)                                    5:24

9          Rory Gallagher           I’m Not Awake Yet                     (from 1971’s ‘Deuce’ LP)                                               5:37

10        Rory Gallagher           Just The Smile                              (from 1971’s ‘Rory Gallagher’ LP)                              3:41

11        Rory Gallagher           Out Of My Mind                          (from 1971’s “Deuce” LP)                                             3:06

12        Rory Gallagher           Edged In Blue                               (from 1976’s “Calling Card” LP)                                   5:29

13        Rory Gallagher           Philby                                              (from 1979’s “Top Priority” LP)                                   3:50

14        Taste                            It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again (from 1970’s “On The Boards” LP)       6:33

15        Rory Gallagher           Crest Of A Wave                         (from 1971’s “Deuce” LP)                                             5:54

CD2    

1          Rory Gallagher             Bad Penny                                   (from 1979’s “Top Priority” LP)                                   4:04

2          Rory Gallagher             Walk On Hot Coals                    (from 1973’s “Blueprint” LP)                                        7:02

3          Taste                              Blister On The Moon (from 1969’s “Taste” LP)                                               3:27

4          Rory Gallagher             Loanshark Blues                        (from 1987’s “Defender” LP)                                       4:27

5          Rory Gallagher             Bought & Sold                            (from 1975’s “Against The Grain” LP)                       3:26

6          Rory Gallagher             A Million Miles Away               (from 1973’s from the Tattoo LP)                              6:56

7          Rory Gallagher             Wheels Within Wheels           (from 2010’s “Notes From San Francisco” LP)      3:38

8          Rory Gallagher             Seven Days                                  (from 1987’s “Defender” LP)                                       5:14

9          Rory Gallagher             Ghost Blues                 (from 1990’s “Fresh Evidence” LP)                            8:00

10        Rory Gallagher             Cruise On Out                            (from 1978’s “Photo Finish” LP)                                 4:42

11        Jerry Lee Lewis ft. Rory Gallagher (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (1973 outtake from the Jerry Lee Lewis ‘The Session… Recorded in London With Great Guest Artists’ LP) 3:50

12        Rory Gallagher           They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore (from 1973’s “Tattoo” LP)                  4:05

13        Rory Gallagher           Moonchild                                     (from 1976’s “Calling Card” LP)                                   4:47

14        Rory Gallagher           Jinxed                                              (from 1982’s “Jinx” LP)                                                   5:12

15        Taste                            Catfish                                              (from 1969’s “Taste” LP)                                               8:06

2LP Black Vinyl / 2LP D2C Clear Vinyl Exclusive  

Includes the 7” black vinyl single ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ ft. Jerry Lee Lewis and Rory Gallagher

Side A 

Rory Gallagher             Bad Penny                                                4:04

Rory Gallagher             Shadow Play                                            4:47

Rory Gallagher             I Fall Apart                                                5:12

Rory Gallagher             Calling Card                                              5:24

Side B 

Taste                              What’s Going On                                     2:48

Rory Gallagher             All Around Man                                      6:15

Rory Gallagher             A Million Miles Away                           6:56

Rory Gallagher             Just The Smile                                         3:41

Side C 

Rory Gallagher             Seven Days                                              5:14

Rory Gallagher             Jinxed                                                        5:12

Rory Gallagher             Edged In Blue                                          5:29

Rory Gallagher             Philby                                                         3:30

Side D 

Rory Gallagher             Walk On Hot Coals                                7:02

Rory Gallagher             Tattoo’d Lady                                          4:41

Rory Gallagher             Crest Of A Wave                                    5:54

15 Track / 1CD

  • Bad Penny 4:04
  • Shadow Play 4:47
  • I Fall Apart 5:12
  • Calling Card 5:24
  • What’s Going On 2:48
  • All Around Man 6:15
  • A Million Miles Away 6:56
  • Just The Smile 3:41
  • Seven Days 5:14
  • Jinxed 5:12
  • Edged In Blue 5:29
  • Philby 3:30
  • Walk On Hot Coals 7:02
  • Tattoo’d Lady 4:41
  • Crest Of A Wave 5:54

Jerry Lee Lewis featuring Rory Gallagher

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / 7” single D2C Exclusive

Unearthed from the Rory Gallagher Archives and included for the first time on the forthcoming “The Best Of Rory Gallagher”’ is this never heard before outtake featuring Rory singing and playing the Rolling Stones hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” with the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis, originally recorded for Lewis’s famous 1973 “London Sessions.” The B-side, “Cruise On Out,” is taken from Rory’s acclaimed 1978 album “Photo Finish.”

Author: Ian Woolley

Staff writer Ian Woolley has been in the music industry for longer than he cares to remember (actually 1974) and has built up a vast amount of musical knowledge across many genres down the years. Relocating from Wales to the South Coast of England in 1981, he began a successful career as DJ which also took him to work briefly in France, Malta, Switzerland, and finally Dubai in 1998. His newly formed side company QB Productions was launched in 2018. At the same time he began to write monthly columns for the Beat Music Magazine interviewing many worldwide pop artists across all musical genres reviewing their autobiographies and books, as well as new albums. These days he freelances writing show and music gig reviews at various theatres around the UK and recently launched an online Podcast called ‘WoolleysBeat’ where he interviews many well-known leading pop artists and bands.As a lover of many genres of music since his teens, Ian’s knowledge is without question and although he works occasionally with many established acts, he has always been keen to promote upcoming bands and artists.His motto is ‘you never pass a good busker by’!

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