A battered strat; a tartan shirt; hair clinging to his face with sweat; total dedication to his music - and his fans. This quiet-spoken gentle man was once the darling of Glasgow's Apollo Theatre and I saw him there.
He had injured his hand, and while many others would cancel a gig (or a tour) we knew Rory would come. For an hour and a half or so, the Glasgow crowd kept up a seemingly constant chant of "Rory! Rory! Rory!".The houselights went up but no-one moved - there may have been an announcement but no-one would have heard. The balcony was bouncing to the stamp of the audience's feet.
Then,quite slowly and without introduction he walked onto the stage - the place exploded. The energy and anticipation the crowd gave off can't be described. They made it a great gig - and Rory didn't let them down.
Rory Gallagher was, in my opinion, one of the greatest electric guitarists the world will ever see. He took white electric blues to new heights and played with a complete lack of ego. He once auditioned for the Stones but (like Ry Cooder) that would have been the musical death of him.
Go out and buy a copy of "Irish Tour '74" and experience the man at his best - live!
Legend is a term given to few bands with justification but the Grateful Dead are a legendary band. From their early days as house band for the acid tests to the marathon gigs of recent years they have carried their audience with them through four decades. Over the years they have come to symbolise the whole of the "counter-culture". Their attitude to their fans and the distribution of information and music is unique.
To me Garcia was the Grateful Dead and without him I would question the continuation of the name. Jerry's work can be found on dozens of albums but check out an early live version of "Dancing In The Streets" for a sample of his jug band and blues roots.
Memorial donations can be sent to Rex Foundation, PO Box 2204, San Anselimo. CA 94979. USA.
Robert Hunter's "An Elegy For Jerry"
For a long time Malcolm McLaren has been threatening to make a film about Peter Grant's life - and believe me, it was some life! Bouncer at the 2i's Coffee Bar; film double to Robert Morley; professional wrestler. Started his management career with the New Vaudeville Band before reviving the career of the Yardbirds. He was the obvious choice for manager when Jimmy Page dragged Led Zeppelin screaming from the remnants of the Yardbirds.
Totally loyal to his band, Grant secured the best deals for them with promoters and record companies. He would often be seen physically removing bootleg merchandise sellers from concert venues. It was Grant's idea to concentrate on album releases, showing that he had an amazing knack of anticipating the cult status this would bestow upon Zeppelin.
A true svengali and one of the few legendary rock managers, he will be sadly missed.
Songwriter and vocalist with the folk-rock band Lindisfarne, Hull never really reached the prominence his early work suggested. "Lady Eleanor" was probably one of the finest examples of folk-psychelelia ever cut on vinyl. It's a shame then that he may be better remembered for a crass "novelty" rendering of "Fog On The Tyne" recorded with the footballer, Paul Gascoigne. "Fog..." was nothing more than a good-time pub tune which had already stormed to the top of the UK charts twenty years before.
The band, and Hull, seemed set in the mould of purveyors of party music providing the soundtrack to the long-drinking nights of the north east of England. To say they had become an institution would not fully appreciate the place they held in the hearts and minds of their fans.
Hull's solo work sometimes shone but was always intelligent with a wry wit and insight missing from many of todays contemporary songwriters. Before his death, he was working on a new solo album which he is reported to have finished on the day a heart attack claimed his life.
Started musical career with the Weston-Super-Mare cover band Balloons in 1967. Toured abroad extensively and in 1971 band changed style to rock 'n' roll and name to Fumble. Support band for David Bowie's 1972 and '73 tours.
Sean was recruited to Bowie's band for the Top Of The Pops recording of "Heroes" and stayed for the 1978 tour. He contributed part of his tour diary to "David Bowie - The Starzone Interviews" which makes fascinating reading.
As an openly gay artist it seems sad that his death from Aids has been given little attention. Media interest has centred around the bizarre case of his mother having murdered his brother in 1972. His wish to give his brother a proper funeral was acheived only weeks before his death.
A memorial concert featuring the surviving members of Fumble was scheduled for August 19th but no information about that has been received.
It's hard to believe but Vivian is to be heard on one of the most popular albums of all time - Tubular Bells. Yes, it's him introducing the instruments leading up to the actual banging of those chrome tube like things.
To many, Stanshall was the ultimate English eccentric. His career started in 1966 with the much loved Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band who limped through several gifted but uncommercial releases before teaming up with Paul McCartney (using the psuedonym, Apollo C. Vermouth) as producer and hitting the charts with "I'm The Urban Spaceman". The group's mixture of rock parodies and satire ensured them a warm place in the hearts and minds of the college rock circuit.
Commercial success may have eluded Stanshall after the break up of the Bonzos in the early '70s but the scale of his vision can be seen to the full on "Sir Henry At Rawlinson End" a stunning parody of the English upper class which was turned into a film with Trevor Howard in the title role.
The eccentricity much loved by fans was a symptom of a much deeper mental instability which had taken its toll over the years. However, he seemed once again to be well and charting life as he saw it. Although his output had been erratic over the years to say the least, he had completed a new body of work which had been aired on BBC-2's "The Late Show" prior to his death.