Monday 5 December 2016

Rory returns to rock fans with mystery 'lost' album from 70s

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

Published 06/05/2011 | 05:00

Guitar legend Rory Gallagher on stage in his prime
Guitar legend Rory Gallagher on stage in his prime

A mystery "lost" album by guitar hero Rory Gallagher, which has remained hidden for over 30 years, will be released next month.

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The blues legend recorded the album in 1977 and 1978, but refused to release it at the time, his brother revealed.

'Notes From San Francisco' has never been heard by fans, even though Gallagher recorded it while he was in the USA in the late 70s.

His brother Donal told the Irish Independent last night that "Rory finished the album but he didn't want it released".

He said that his late brother sensed that trends were changing and that the album would not fit in.

"I think part of the reason was that music changed around then and also the line-up of his group changed back to a three-piece," he added.

But now, 16 years after his death, Gallagher's style continues to win admiration.

Legend has it that when Jimi Hendrix came off stage at the Woodstock festival, he was asked what it was like to be the greatest guitar player in the world. "I don't know," he answered. "Ask Rory Gallagher."

More recently, legendary guitarists including The Edge, Slash from Guns 'n' Roses and Johnny Marr of The Smiths have all cited him as a major influence.

The album will be issued next month, on the same weekend that 10,000 fans gather at his birthplace in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, for a three-day festival celebrating his music.

Legendary guitarist Jan Akkerman, Thin Lizzy's Eric Bell and Whitesnake's Bernie Marsden are among the line up for this year's Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival.

"Rory Gallagher was the first Irish rock musician to travel the world. That's why people come to us from Australia, Canada, America, Greece and Spain. Last year, one hundred fans turned up from Norway alone," said organiser Barry O'Neill.

Donal Gallagher added: "What I love about Ballyshannon is that even if you don't have any money you can still enjoy it."

Prolific

Born in Donegal in 1948, but brought up in Cork, Gallagher first found fame with his band Taste during the mid-60s.

He went on to enjoy a prolific solo career, releasing 10 albums and being named top international musician of the year in 1971.

Gallagher's career was cut short when he died, aged 47, from a hospital bug weeks after a liver transplant in June 1995.

His music continues to be celebrated with events around the world, including a Rory Gallagher night in New York on May 23, and the annual festival named after him in Ballyshannon from June 2 to 5.

Irish Independent

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