The Road to Hamburg

‘A Question & Answer Session with Johnny Campbell’

Cork City Library, Thursday, 27 August, 7pm

During his musical apprenticeship with the Fontana Showband, the young Rory Gallagher, a mere fifteen when he joined in 1963, learned his craft as a touring musician. Never to be content as a cog in a machine churning out safe, dance-hall friendly, pop hits, night after night, Rory would inevitably push himself to the fore. As his reputation as a guitarist began to grow, the Fontana changed their name to The Impact in 1965 to reflect a more blues/rock-oriented set list showcasing Rory’s fiery guitar work.

Ireland’s conservative music scene was hardly the ideal stomping ground for this new direction, however, and The Impact was forced to find work abroad. As a natural metamorphosis, a stripped-down three-piece version of the band — featuring Rory on guitar & vocals, Johnny Campbell on drums and Oliver Tobin on bass — eventually found themselves on the club circuit in Hamburg, Germany.

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For three Irish teenagers arriving in Hamburg in 1965, a city still reverberating with the aftershock from legendary performances at the Star Club, from the likes of The Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis, it must have been like walking on to a film set, such was its legendary status. Even today, Hamburg is a city which pulses with primal, hedonistic energy. We can only imagine what it was like back in its heyday of the 1960s.

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Monument to the legendary Star Club in St. Pauli, Hamburg

Throughout this relatively short but formative period in Rory Gallagher’s career, Johnny Campbell was the man behind the drum kit. As part of the 2015 National Heritage Week programme of events, Johnny will be in Cork City Library on Thursday, 27 August, at 7pm, for a special ‘Question & Answer’ session on his time with The Impact Showband and Rory Gallagher. So, if you’d like to hear it ‘from the horse’s mouth’, then here’s your chance!

In 1966, Rory Gallagher quit The Impact and went on to form the Taste. The rest, as they say, is history. And what a history it is! even if it ended prematurely. Like another Irish hero, Cú Chulainn, Rory Gallagher lived a short life that was filled with glory and his name will live on as part of musical lore until the last Fender Strat is plugged into the last Vox AC 30.

 

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Rory’s Mountain Dew: Number 1 in Hot Press!

In its latest issue, Hot Press, Ireland’s leading music magazine, published a list of Ireland’s greatest gigs since the magazine’s inception in 1977. The number-one spot in the festivals category was claimed by none other than Rory Gallagher at the Mountain Dew Festival, Macroom, County Cork, in June of 1977!

And who could argue with the result? Not alone was the Mountain Dew Festival the first major, open-air music festival of its kind to be staged in Ireland, but it was headlined by the nation’s first true Rock God!

As Hot Press puts it: Rory Gallagher had soundtracked the 1970s for so many people, playing powerfully incendiary shows in the National Stadium and the Ulster Hall every year, but the first Macroom Festival was a moment when Irish music entered another dimension.

Follow the link below to read the full honour roll and scroll down to the Top 10 Festivals section to read the entry on Rory in Macroom.

Image copyright of Hot Press Magazine.
Image copyright of Hot Press Magazine.

Were you there in Macroom in 1977? Do you think it deserves the top spot as Ireland’s greatest ever festival? Feel free to share your memories in the comments below!

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Acoustic Tribute to Rory in his Hometown

This year’s Cork Rocks for Rory weekend was a great success and attracted Rory Gallagher fans from all parts of the globe to the city on the Lee Delta!

 

The Rory Gallagher Music Library played host to the fabulous Dave McHugh who played an acoustic set of blues tunes which inspired Rory himself. This is Dave’s own rendition of ‘Gamblin’ Blues’, a tune associated with the great Lil’ Son Jackson and which features on Taste’s record, ‘Live Taste’. Rory played a smokin’ hot version of this tune at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 on his Fender Telecaster.

Rory Gallagher Photo Gallery!

Rare Images of Rory

As part of our Rory 20 commemorations in the Rory Gallagher Music Library we have made available online for the first time, an amazing collection of rare photographs of Rory & band in full flight, taken in Manchester in the late 70s!
The photographer is Stephen Smith and we would like to thank him for donating his collection to our Rory Gallagher Archive.

Click on the image to view the gallery

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Let us know what you think!

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Cork Rocks for Rory 2015!

Cork’s annual tribute to guitar legend Rory Gallagher will take place this weekend, the 5th and 6th of June, and the Rory Gallagher Music Library will of course be playing its part!

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Well known axe-men Dave McHugh and Brian Tambling will perform a set of acoustic blues songs that influenced Rory Gallagher in the cosy setting of our music library at 2.30pm on Saturday, 6th June.

Dave McHugh
Dave McHugh
Brian Tambling
Brian Tambling

Admission is free for this event so don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience the music that helped to shape a legend, played by two of the best musicians in the game today.  As 2015 marks the twentieth anniversary of Rory’s passing you can be sure that this year’s Cork Rocks for Rory event will be one to remember.

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“Dowtcha Jimmy boy!”

Jimmy Crowley to launch new book ‘Songs from the Beautiful City : The Cork Urban Ballads’ at Cork City Library.

Jimmy Crowley is a man who needs no introduction to Corkonians and little introduction to the rest of ye! The renowned balladeer has been singing songs from his native city for decades and many of these are to be enshrined in his new book which will be officially launched on Thursday 14th May at 7.00 in the City Library, Grand Parade.

The book will be launched by Mick Moloney, NYU and John Dolan, Features Editor at the Cork Evening Echo.

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Bígí linn mar sin le h-aghaidh oíche cheoil is scéalaíochta ó dhuine de na ceoltóirí is cáiliúla na cathrach seo!

Don’t miss what promises to be an unforgettable night of story and song with one of Cork’s most celebrated bards. For more information please visit Jimmy’s website: http://www.jimmycrowley.com/

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Cork Singer/Songwriter to fulfil his wish!

DAVE BURKE DEBUT ALBUM LAUNCH

Cork City Library

Wednesday 25th March 2015

7.00pm

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Dave Burke is by now a well known figure in the Cork singer/songwriter scene and has built up quite a reputation for himelf over the last few years. We are delighted to host the launch of Dave’s debut album ‘Fulfil the Wish’ in the City Library on Wednesay March 25th.

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The event is free of charge and starts at 7.00pm. All welcome!

Fáilte roimh gach éinne!

More info about Dave Burke on his Facebook page. Click below!

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