Rory Gallagher - Tattoo (1974)
Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948–14 June 1995) was an Irish blues/rock guitarist, born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal. He grew up in Cork City in the south of Ireland. He is best known for his solo work, releasing several albums, and for his tenure in Taste during the late 60s.
Gallagher's first bands were showbands which played the popular hits of the day. In 1965 he turned The Impact into an R'n'B group which played gigs in Ireland and Spain. He formed Taste in 1966, but the line-up which gained fame was formed in 1967, featuring Gallagher on guitar and vocals, John Wilson on drums and Richard McCracken on bass. The group released the albums, Taste and On the Boards, and made two live recordings, Live at Montreux and Live at the Isle of Wight. The latter appeared a long time after the band broke up at that same Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.
After the break-up of Taste, Gallagher toured under his own name, hiring bass player Gerry McAvoy to play on his first eponymous album (a relationship that would last twenty years on the road) and Wilgar Campbell on drums.
The 1970s were Gallagher's most prolific period. He produced ten albums in that decade, including two live albums, Live in Europe and Irish Tour '74, which for many best captured his bands' raw and naturally dynamic qualities.. In 1972 he released the album Deuce, which is essentially three-piece R&B. Also in 1972 he was voted Melody Maker's Top Musician of the Year, dethroning Eric Clapton. His album Live in Europe has been a big selling album not only in Ireland but also internationally.
Gallagher played and recorded what he said was "in me all the time, and not just something I turn on ...". Though he sold over thirty million albums world wide, it was his marathon live performances that won him greatest acclaim. His passion and skill for the blues is documented in the 1974 film Irish Tour '74, directed by Tony Palmer.
The line-up including Rod De'Ath on drums and Lou Martin on keyboards stayed together between 1973 and 1978. Other release highlights from that period include Against the Grain, the jazz-tinged Calling Card album (assisted in production by Roger Glover (bassist with Deep Purple) and the hard blues-rocking Photo Finish and Top Priority albums.
A dedicated follower of blues music, Gallagher played with many of the genre's biggest stars, collaborating with Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis on their respective London Sessions in the mid 70s. Gallagher was also invited to tryout with The Rolling Stones following the resignation of Mick Taylor, with Canned Heat after the departure of "The Eagle", and was David Coverdale's 2nd choice (after Jeff Beck) to replace Richie Blackmore in Deep Purple.
Gallagher's health and his ability to perform were increasingly compromised by excessive use of alcohol, combined with drugs that had been prescribed to alleviate his anxiety about flying. From the late 1980s, he suffered increasingly poor health, yet he continued touring. By the time of his final performance on 10 January 1995 in the Netherlands, he was visibly unwell. A liver transplant became necessary and was nearly successful, but just before being discharged from the hospital, an MRSA infection developed. His health quickly worsened and he died in London on 14 June 1995. Gallagher was never married and he had no children.
Posted by wino at Thursday, March 20, 2008