His Life and Times
By Marcus Connaughton
Published by The Collins Press
Bad Penny Well Spent: The Definitive Rory Gallagher Biography Hits Shelves
Rory Gallagher was Ireland’s first ever rock star; a shy and gentle young musician who became a guitar hero and icon to legions of fans, selling 30 million records worldwide. Now, 17 years after his untimely death, the first comprehensive and authoritative Rory Gallagher biography finally hits the shelves.
Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times is written by Marcus Connaughton, a veteran of the Irish record industry and a blues expert. Featuring exclusive interviews with many of Rory’s contemporaries, including the multi-award-winning filmmaker Tony Palmer, Rory’s Taste band mate John Wilson and U2’s world-renowned sound engineer Joe O’Herlihy, it provides the most personal insight yet into the life and music of one of the greatest guitarists the world has seen.
Single-minded, extremely private, and never satisfied with his work, Rory was something of a loner and a very difficult nut to crack. From buying his famous Stratocaster guitar as a Cork schoolboy, to life on the road, to band break-ups, to recording with Jerry Lee Lewis and Muddy Waters, this compelling biography attempts to offer an honest and thorough look into the world of Ireland’s most enigmatic musician.
The Strat was the key to Rory’s sound. He could talk about it all night. ‘It’s dated November 1961 – in certain people’s opinions this is when Fender hit their peak,’ he once commented. ‘I like the maple neck. Like on the earlier guitars, they’re probably a bit more crisp, but there’s a warmth to this, a mellowness because of the rosewood neck. This is the best, it’s my life, this is my best friend. It’s almost like knowing its weak spots are strong spots. I don’t like to get sentimental about these things, but when you spend thirty years of your life with the same instrument it’s like a walking memory bank of your life there in your arms.’
Filled with never-before-seen photographs and exclusive insights, Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times is a compelling testament to the musical life of a legendary rock star told by contemporaries, road crew, family and friends.
So whether songs like ‘Bad Penny’, ‘Tattoo’d Lady’ and ‘A Million Miles Away’ have been providing the soundtrack to your life, or whether you just want to expand your musical knowledge, this book is the ultimate guide to one of the country’s greats and a comprehensive account of some of the most progressive years in Irish music history. A real collector’s item, Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times is required reading for music lovers everywhere.
Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times by Marcus Connaughton is published by The Collins Press, price €19.99. It is available in bookshops and online from www.collinspress.ie.
Marcus Connaughton is a veteran of the Irish record industry. In the late 1980s he joined RTÉ as a radio producer. Over the past twenty-plus years, he has produced a wide range of programming from the Metal Show on 2FM to Bluestime on RTÉ Radio 1, and currently presents and produces Seascapes. He delivered the Inaugural Rory Gallagher Memorial Lecture in November 1995 in Cork, and has compered and spoken at numerous tributes to the late guitarist in Ireland, Britain and Europe.
The Collins Press is a Cork-based independent publisher of non-fiction books, established in 1989. Recent titles include From the Ground Up: How Ireland Is Growing Its Own by Fionnuala Fallon and Window and Mirror: RTÉ Television 1961-2011 by John Bowman. www.collinspress.ie