I’ve seen a lot of great blues-rock guitarists who’ve passed away before their time–guys like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Healey, and Roy Buchanan–and I’m very grateful that I got to see them wailing away in their prime.
What really bugs me, though, is that I never got to see Rory Gallagher.
The Irish guitar wizard–who died from complications following a liver transplant in 1995, at the age of 47–is the one I’d choose to see if I could hop in a time machine and head back to the seventies again.
But until a real-life Stewie from Family Guy comes up with that contraption, the closest anyone will get to hearing a Rory Gallagher gig is by going to see Band of Friends, a trio composed of his old rhythm section (bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna) and fierce guitar slinger Davy Knowles.
Luckily for any Vancouver-area Gallagher freaks, the Canadian Pacific Blues Society is bringing that band to the Fox Cabaret this Friday (December 14).
I don’t know about you, but I’m goin’.
In an interview last week, I asked McAvoy which Gallagher tunes were currently going over the best.
“There’s so many,” he said. “Obviously ‘Bullfrog Blues’ is a bit of a winner. ‘A Million Miles Away’ we do, and ‘Tattoo’d Lady’, things like that. We do ‘Shadow Play’ from Photo-Finish.
“There’s a whole bunch of stuff,”, he added, “and we sort of change it every night depending on the audience. There might be a shout-out for a song, and we might go back to the first album for ‘Laundromat’ or something like that. We try and give it a whirl.”
For more from McAvoy, see the story in this week’s issue of the Georgia Straight.
Read it on paper for that old-school Gallagher vibe.