A biography compiled by S. M. Donnarde and Sergio Seghetti (corrections and additions welcome)
- Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Republic of Ireland, 2 March,
Family moved to Cork in the 1950s.
- Age 9
- Bought first acoustic guitar and taught himself to play.
- Age 10
- Began to play in public in local amateur shows.
- Age 12
- Won talent competition at Cork City Hall. Bought first
- Age 13
- Formed first band.
- Bought (secondhand) the famous '61 sunburst Fender
Stratocaster, for 100 pounds, in Cork (reputedly the first such guitar
in Ireland). (The 'battered Strat' was to be Rory's most notable
trademark over the next 31 years.)
- Age 16
- Joined Fontana Show Band (later renamed The Impact) while
still at school, and played in the evenings, in and around Cork.
- Toured in Britain with Fontana.
- Fontana's name changed to The Impact. Played a stint at an
American airforce base near Madrid.
- The Impact returned to London. Stint in clubs in Hamburg
the band split.
- Rory formed a 3-piece group with The Impact's former
bassist and drummer. Played in clubs in Hamburg.
- Rory formed new trio - Taste - in Cork with Eric
Kitteringham (bass) and Norman Damery (drums).
- Taste played in Hamburg; also in Cork, Dublin, and
elsewhere in Ireland. Secured a regular booking at the Maritime Hotel,
R&B club in Belfast.
- Rory formed new version of Taste with Richard McCracken
(bass) and John Wilson (drums). Taste moved to London; played in
England and Germany.
- Taste toured US and Canada as support to British group
- Taste toured Europe and Scandinavia. Taste's final
appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival.
- Rory goes solo with his own band.
Line up of Rory Gallagher Band: Rory Gallagher
(guitar, vocals) with:
1970 - 1972: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Wilgar Campbell (drums)
1972 - 1976: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Lou Martin (piano), Rod De'Ath (drums)
1976- 1981: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Ted McKenna (drums)
1981- 1991: Gerry McAvoy (bass), Brendan O'Neil (drums)
1992- 1994: David Levy (bass), Jim Levaton (keyboards), John Cooke
(keyboards), Richard Newman (drums). Regular guest: Mark Feltham
- "Live! In Europe" earned Rory platinum sales and Melody
Maker's "Musician of the Year" Award.
- Rory became the first artist to perform on a Eurovision
television transmission to over one hundred million people. He also
embarked on his 10th American tour.
- Late 1994
- Rory falls seriously ill while touring in Europe.
- 14 June, 1995
- Rory dies in King's College Hospital, London, from
complications following a liver transplant in April. He lived in
Chelsea, London. He never married, and had no children.
- 16 June, 1995
- Rory receives ovation from the people of Cork who line the
streets as his funeral cortege procedes to the Church of the Descent of
the Holy Spirit.
- 19 June, 1995
- Thousands attend Requiem Mass and funeral in Cork. Rory is
laid to rest in St. Oliver's Cemetery, Cork.