In June 1995 I had been living in Germany for about five years. After arriving in Germany and taking one dodgy job after another I’d finally found a job with a future in the accounts department of a major bookshop in Düsseldorf. It was my habit during my lunch break in those days to walk around the corner to Düsseldorf’s premier location The Kö. It was where all the top fashion shops were, but more importantly for me it was also where there was a small booth selling international newspapers. It was the cover of the local Rheinische Post newspaper that caught my eye though – Rory Gallagher’s picture was on it. Rory was dead. A Liver Transplant that seemed to have gone well had led to complications… I bought The Sun and the Daily Mail and headed back to my office with a heavy heart.
“Three or four years ago I just started listening to the music again. All the old albums I’d played on… and thought: ‘This is great!'”
– Gerry McAvoy
It’s a funny thing. One man’s favourite musician is another man’s signal to head for the bar. One man’s great guitar solo is another man’s ‘too many notes too loud’ and one man’s hero is another man’s villain. With one notable exception: Rory Gallagher. I’ve yet to find anyone with a bad word to say about the Irish Bluesrock icon. So why, when longtime Gallagher bassist Gerry McAvoy came to write about his life on the great man’s road, did Gallagher’s brother try to stop publication? In an exclusive interview, 3Songsbonn asked McAvoy, former Gallagher drummer Ted McKenna and the man they both believe is the closest thing to Rory Gallaghers sound this side of the celestial Blues Chorus – Marcel Scherpenzeel for their views on the man and his magic.
It was the early 70’s and my friend Louis had just bought the new CD from a man named Gallagher. That was all I knew. Not much of an expert in those days, I innocently asked “Is that the guy who plays with Lyle”?
I soon discovered that this Gallagher had another partner. The partners name was God and his only involvement was giving Rory a talent for playing guitar like no other has, before or since.
This particular disc, just released through Sony via Rory’s brother Donal, caught my attention particularly because it was originally dumped by Rory Gallagher in a hotel wastebasket the day Donal was due to present it to Chrysalis Record Executives.