Rare Images of Rory

Rory Gallagher – May 1964


Rory Gallagher can be seen in this photograph standing second from the left.  The photograph is dated May 1964 and it is believed that Rory would have been a student in St. Kieran’s College, Camden Quay, Cork at this time.

Rory 20 – Commemorating twenty years since the passing of Rory Gallagher (1995 – 2015) 

Steve Smith donated these fantatic photos he took of Rory and his band in Manchester in the late 1970s.

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Watch the slide show or view the images below!

In the photographer’s own words:

Stephen Barry Smith (b. 2nd January 1949)

“Born in Bolton, Lancashire, England. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I became a guitar fan from hearing The Shadows and Bert Weedon. I then came under the spell of the first ‘british blues boom’ in 1963 – Rolling Stones, Pretty Things, Them et al and (as did most of my generation) traced the roots of the music.

Turning my back on the ‘white’ blues/rock bands of the late sixties, I was more interested in Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf and T-Bone Walker. It wasn’t until I started College to become an Architect, that a classmate mentioned Taste and Rory Gallagher. An unknown quantity to me at that time and it wasn’t until ‘Live in Europe’ hit the record racks that I started to take notice.

I first saw Rory ‘live’ on 19th December 1974 at The Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England and was instantly knocked out by his performance. I had never seen an artist with so much energy and vibrancy before. He connected with the audience and this is my long lasting abiding memory of Rory.

I last saw Rory in concert on Friday 28th May 1993 at the Portsmouth Festival – travelling specifically to see Rory and, as luck would have it, after his performance, overnight gales devastated the marquees and the remainder of the Festival had to be cancelled.

I didn’t acquire a decent camera (SLR) until the summer of 1975 – primarily purchased to pursue my other main interest, photographing wildlife. Both interests of music and wildlife photography have stayed with me to this day.

I clearly remember Rory’s gigs of up to 3 hours long – without a break – and Rory’s seemingly reluctance to leave the stage. Rory laid down on disc some great music – particularly with what I consider to be his ‘classic’ line up (Gerry, Rod and Lou) but it was his ‘live’ performances that are best remembered not only by me but (I suspect) by his many fans.”

We are very grateful to Steve for making these photographs available to us and for allowing us to share them with fans of Rory Gallagher around the globe.


Here’s some more wonderful rarities that were donated to the Rory Gallagher Music Library by Willie Martin.

Hope you enjoyed these rare snap-shots of Rory Gallagher history. Please let us know what you think in the comments section below!



25 thoughts on “Rare Images of Rory”

  1. Thanks for the pictures, they show exactly how much he enjoyed performing live and I really miss him a lot . Since You tube has all the information about his touring, private life, his problems and his wonderful music I rediscovered him after a break of almost 30 years.
    Thanks a lot for keeping his memory alive and he deserves so much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They were taken at the Apollo in Manchester i suppose as i was at that show with two friends back in 1979.
    It’s great that people want to keep Rory ‘s memory alive. His music means so much to so many people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s very nice to see pictures of Rory, seen him several times, from Pinkpop, Bluesrock Tegelen to Nijmegen and he never disapointed, rough, raw but also very delicate! Still miss him.
    Thank you foor the pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic photos, brought back great memories. Saw Rory Play on many occasions from the Ulster Hall, Cork City. Lisdoonvarna. Only one word can describe all these gigs. “Sublime” 20 years on, I still feel the same. RIP Rory.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great pics… Saw Rory many times in Birmingham.. Town Hall gigs and Odeon New Street & one weird gig in a hall at the NEC.. Always brilliant, such love & respect for an artist.. & such a band.. Can’t believe it’s 20 years..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. At this special time it is more important than ever to keep the flame burning bright for Rory & Taste. With new CD & DVD releases imminent spread the word and share at every opportunity. Rory On! Ken, @dematmozilla

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fantastic photos, thanks to Stephen Smith!!! But definitely not from 1979: the band is the quartet with Gerry McAvoy, Rod De’Ath & Lou Martin, and this band split around may 1978. I think those pics were taken in 1977 or beginning 1978 (maybe the 13th or march 1978 when the quartet played in Manchester)?



  8. fair play to Willie Martin for donating the above postcards and autographs. It must have been very tough for him to part with these, coz from what I hear, he is Rory’s biggest fan!!

    Well done Will!!


  9. Thank you very much for sharing these marvellous photos that captured Rory’s devotion very well. We visited Rory Gallagher Music Library this summer and would like to return in the near future. Greetings from Hungary.


  10. Thanks a million for these magnificently emotive pics .. you have me in tears. I was at this gig and, looking at the photos, brings the memories flooding back so vividly .. till the end of time he’ll be on my mind

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you Steve Smith for donating these beautiful pictures of my all time hero, Rory Gallagher. This is the Rory that I remember.


  12. Great photos Steve of the great man Rory, i saw Rory at the Free Trade Hall Manchester in 1975 and 1977. The 77 gig which you have photos of on this page, was the one were he broke a string mid song the band carried on playing he just walked back to his Amp pick up a new string put it on his Strat had the guitar back in tune walked back to the mic and carried on playing has though he hadn’t missed a beat, all in less than a minute. I will never for get that moment.


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