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.
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!