Blues Rock Titan Joe Bonamassa borrows the late Rory Gallagher's infamous Stratocaster for his performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London
The 1960's saw many guitarists emerge from the competitive trenches of the British Blues scene. One such man was Rory Gallagher. With his fierce fret work and rugged voice, combined with a love of the blues, rock 'n' roll, folk and R&B, forged a sound all his own. Barely out of his teenage years, the Irish guitarist cut his teeth with the blues-rock power trio, Taste, before diving head first into a quarter century solo career, all the while winning the hearts of fans and the reverence of guitarists around the world. Sadly, Rory Gallagher passed away in 1995, but he lives on in the music he so lovingly crafted, through which his legend will never die.
Gallagher's musical legacy has had a significant impact on many guitar players that came after him, and Joe Bonamassa is no exception. Rory's inspiration can be seen whenever Joe performs a personal favorite of the late guitarist's, the ever powerful "Cradle Rock". In 2011, Joe had the privilege to harness Gallagher's "well worn" signature and iconic sunburst 1961 Stratocaster, which had been retired by Rory's brother. Just recently, Joe Bonamassa had the honor to once again perform two songs, "Sloe Gin" (featured on the video above) and "The Ballad Of John Henry", with this historic Strat, which was Rory's primary for over thirty years, at the renown Royal Albert Hall on March 30th.
“As soon as I heard Cradle Rock, I was hooked. I thought, ‘This is what I want to be when I grow up.’ Looking at pictures of Rory on albums, he seemed like kind of guy that would have worked at my dad’s factory. He had that working class hero thing.
Donal Gallagher was supremely nice enough to bring me Rory’s Strat to the Hammersmith Apollo in 2011 and once again this year to the Royal Albert Hall, and I got to play it. As a fan that was the high point of my life. He’d played the guitar so much that he’d worn down the contours in certain places; you felt where his hands would have played. It was pretty surreal.” -Joe B.