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Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times Kindle Edition
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"This guitar is part of my psychic makeup."
"This is the best, it's my life, this is my best friend." Rory Gallagher.
It's simple. If you're a Rory Gallagher fan, get this book. Most of the few known parts of Gallagher's life are here, from his boyhood, through early bands like The Impact, on into Taste, and into the various bands he led under his own name. The book looks at his session with Muddy Waters and into the 70's when Gallagher was (arguably) at his best. There's a chapter devoted to the 1980's, when things were difficult for Gallagher and his style of music. From there he continued to play and record into the 90's (his last complete studio album was "Fresh Evidence") until his death in 1995. The author also looks at various albums beginning with Taste, and through the albums under his own name. Also included is an in depth Discography of Gallagher's singles and albums.
Equally compelling (maybe more so) are the many photographs (both color and b&w) and other period graphics throughout the book, which add needed depth to the text. The author, Marcus Connaughton, has used what information he could find in describing various points in Gallagher's life. But Gallagher was notoriously tight lipped about his personal life. Even his brother Donal never really knew him well, and described him as lonely and melancholic. But the photographs generate real excitement and give added weight in showing Gallagher's commitment to his music-he never compromised or sold out.
Few biographies have, basically, so little information as far as gaining some insight into who that person is/was. But I have to say again, it's the many exciting, atmospheric photographs of Gallagher on stage (check out pages 84-85, and page 110, and page 127-you'll see what I mean) that give us some insight into Gallagher. The constants are easily seen-the checkered shirt, the same battered Stratocaster guitar, his deep feeling for the music, and the excitement he could generate on stage.
He had the ability to capture an audience with his playing-whether it was a slow blues or when he kicked things into overdrive-it didn't matter. It was truly something to experience. I only heard him once, but that was all the proof I needed to know he was the real deal-not some pasty Irish boy trying to play the blues. His devotion to the music was obvious. That and how much fun he was having.
And that's what many of these photographs show. This is one of those rare biographies when the photographs seem to tell more (or at least enough) about someone. While this isn't (hopefully) the last word on Gallagher, it will do until then.