Rory Gallagher is one of the many guitar gods of the 60’s and 70’s, back when it mattered. It doesn’t matter very much now and it hasn’t mattered very much since at least the late 70’s. He is not very well known over here in the United States .
None of Rory Gallagher’s records blow me away, they are not bad, seeming on the surface to be straight blues, with lyrics about mean woman who mistreat, bullfrogs, hollow logs, and lonely roads. I’ve never been all that taken with the white man’s take on the blues unless they tweak it out a little and I’m sure Rory tweaks it, but I just don’t pick up on it, not on wax anyway.
But live is another story. Guitar gods are normally pretty boring. Seeing footage of this guy it’s clear something bedsides the blues is going on. Maybe it’s because he’s from Ireland, and Ireland in the 70’s was crazy. Watch ten minutes of the “The Beat Club Sessions 1971-72” , this man has total dominance over his guitar and plays somewhere between pilot like control and frenzied wolverine abandon. He never slacks or leans back or mellows out like some other noted “gods”. He’s always right up front nose to glass, slow or fast. Really fun to watch!
When Jimi Hendrix was asked in 1969 what it was like to be the world’s greatest guitarist he replied: “ I don’t know, ask Rory Gallagher”
You can Enjoy The Entire Beat Club Sessions Below. Also highly recommended is the Irish Tour: 1974 DVD.