Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Favorite Rory Gallagher Moment

My friend Scott once let out an hilarious, profanity-laced tirade about Lonnie Donegan while I had been playing a compilation of Donegan's early hits in my store. Scott didn't care that without Donegan there'd be no Beatles...sorta. He just hated what he was hearing. And I wasn't enjoying the compilation that much either, so I didn't mind Scott's tirade. Too much skiffle music can bring out the profanity in anyone. But to this day, I can't think of one without the other. Not Scott without Lonnie. Not skiffle without profanity.

Back in 1978, I found an album at the legendary Titus-Oaks Record Store, on Flatbush and Church Avenues, near Erasmus High School in Brooklyn.  It was Lonnie Donegan, who I didn't care for at the time, backed by some of my rock and roll heroes. "Puttin' On The Style" featured Ringo Starr, Nicky Hopkins, Brian May, Ronnie Wood, Gary Brooker, Jim Keltner, Klaus Voorman, Peter Banks, Albert Lee, Mick Ralphs and Elton John. How could I pass this up?

Long story short, I hated the record. No amount of superstars was going to help me through 40 minutes of skiffle. But I always remembered the first track, a rerecord of Donegan's most famous song, "Rock Island Line," with Rory Gallagher on lead guitar.  My friend Phil would rave on about Rory, and I just never got it. But the playing on this track, the tone of the guitar...sucked me right in.

I just recently found a sealed copy of "Puttin' On The Style" for $4. Whatever bothered me, doesn't now. This album is a blast, and it seems like everyone is having fun, probably because, like The Beatles, all involved cut their rock and roll teeth on early Lonnie Donegan records.

I didn't realize it was released on CD with bonus tracks. It's HERE if you want it.


Anonymous said...

hard for me to pick a favorite Rory moment, tho I think an appearance of his on Kirshner's show in the early 70's was the first time I saw a rock star look so unassuming, in flannel and jeans. that made a big impression.

the late 70's Chrysalis albums are my least favorite, but the earlier stuff was always at least interesting for Rory's many ways with the blues. fave song is "Railway and Gun" off Taste's "On the Boards."

Gene Oberto said...

Golly Gee Whiz, how I wish I could hear the two minutes AFTER the fade out.

Sal, you know I am a Rory Gallagher junkie and there is nothing he touches that isn't great to me. If there was EVER a tragedy in rock, it was his life ending WAY too soon.

For you Spotify neophytes, one of its problems it has is for all its selection, they can have the wrong ones. I went to hear the above LP, and they have a 2 CD greatest hits of original material under the same name. It happens all the time.

Sal Nunziato said...


(check your e-mail)

jeff said...

On, Rhapsody, I'm seeing an album of that title but with a white cover. it's a greatest hits collection. Is that the same one. Released this year?

Sal Nunziato said...

The "white cover" album is actually the compilation I mentioned at the beginning of the post. That is NOT the same as the 1978 release.

jeff k said...

argh, yeah, didn't sound like it.

Anything Should Happen said...

Hello from a Wet Trip which has brought us about an hour and a half from Reading.

There is a Lonnie Donnegan CD at the Motorway Services here.

Everything you say is spot on, him, Joe Brown and Tommy Steele are credited with what came after and of the trio, Joe Brown is really likeable, the other two well!

Rock Island Line is Enough.

Stories from the archive. My dad dealt with Lonnie Donnegan a lot in the early Sixties, he related countless stories of him being an arse, never missed an opportunity to state how he invented Merseybeat and left all he met wanting to punch his lights out.

Fast forward a decade and a half and the girl I went out with at school was a dancer who supported the local shows.

Tommy Steele would appear in some musical annually and have great pleasure in making these teenagers cry by shouting at them constantly and removing from the show in a tantrum.

Rory Gallagher has never meant that much to me. You have to like that plodding Blues Rock and I don't.

There are many who worship him and I've never seen why, doesn't make him bad, he was just never for me.

Don't get me on Clapton.

Onward and upward, or is it downward? It is south anyway.

A walk in the woods said...


This is sublime. Madness! I have a bunch of buddies who I sit around with sometimes and we have "Vinyl Nights" or "Open Ears Nights", the latter of which is about playing some of the weirdest stuff we can find.

I MUST have this one for the next Open Ears. Will be buying it for sure.

Also, I've always heard about Rory Gallagher but never heard a note of his music... thanks for this intro.

Eric said...

rory and roy buchanan, neo UK geetar rock gods

milo said...

Rory could make even skiffle sound good.