However musically unfulfilling the showband ultimately was for Rory, it became a direct path to Taste, the first major rock band he was a member of. Again, though, the band had to do it from England, where work was more plentiful. It was 1969, and the guitar-bass-drum lineup was all the rage in England; Taste, with the blistering guitar lines and throaty vocals of Rory Gallagher, became a standard carrier for the movement. However, Taste failed to make a lasting impression in American, where Led Zeppelin, Cream and others like them were being greeted as The Second Coming. Looking back, armed with the knowledge of more than ten years on the road, Rory questioned only the business handling of the band, never its music: “If we’d had more of a chance to gauge management and things like that, we probably would’ve stayed together a bit longer and done better in the States . . . I mean, we only did one tour of the States, with Blind Faith, whereas we should’ve come over and worked at it more, ‘cuz that was the year of Ten Years After and bands like that . ..”
Once more, a setback turned out to be a blessing. Taste had proven to one and all that Rory Gallagher as singersongwriter-musician was a force to be reckoned with, capable of generating enormous energy on stage. With the demise of Taste, Rory became a “solo artist,” forming a band consisting of himself, Wilgar Campbell on drums and Gerry McAvoy on bass, and a new slice of Rory was unveiled to the public; this version was subtler, relying on a mixture of acoustic and electric instrumentation to more fully present the music.
And he toured. A lot. In England, Europe and America; he became a legend of sorts by giving a lengthy New Years’ Day concert in Belfast a couple of years back, the first live music that sad city had heard in almost two years. At the
time, he said he didn’t know what all the fuss was about; sure, there were all the obvious dangers, but the kids deserved a concert, and Rory remembered being one of those kids. There are more roots than musical ones that help comprise Rory’s philosophy, and that’s the real strength of his music. It’s built on a firm foundation and