Biographies





A biography compiled by S. M. Donnarde and Sergio Seghetti (corrections and additions welcome)
Born
Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Republic of Ireland, 2 March, 1948. 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 electric guitar.
Age 13
Formed first band.
1963
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.
1964
Toured in Britain with Fontana.
1964/5
Fontana's name changed to The Impact. Played a stint at an American airforce base near Madrid.
1965
The Impact returned to London. Stint in clubs in Hamburg before the band split.
1965
Rory formed a 3-piece group with The Impact's former bassist and drummer. Played in clubs in Hamburg.
1966
Rory formed new trio - Taste - in Cork with Eric Kitteringham (bass) and Norman Damery (drums).
1967
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.
1968
Rory formed new version of Taste with Richard McCracken (bass) and John Wilson (drums). Taste moved to London; played in England and Germany.
1969
Taste toured US and Canada as support to British group Blind Faith.
1970
Taste toured Europe and Scandinavia. Taste's final appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival.
1970
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 (harmonica).
1972
"Live! In Europe" earned Rory platinum sales and Melody Maker's "Musician of the Year" Award.
1976
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.


Gallagher's Blues