Hot Press has been greatly saddened to hear of the death of Michael Crowley, who passed away last night.
Michael was the owner of Crowley's Musical Instruments in Cork, and has gone down in industry legend as the man who, in 1963, sold the distinctive 1961 Fender Stratocaster to Rory Gallagher for £100. Battered on occasion, and road worn from Rory's heavy touring schedules, the famous Strat was used throughout his long and illustrious career, and became Rory's trademark and talisman (pictured).
Rory remained friends with Michael, who had a cameo role in Rory's celebrated film Irish Tour 74, directed by Tony Palmer. The shop, which is located now on MacCurtain Street – on which Rory also lived – remains at the forefront of music instrument retail in Cork and is run by members of the Crowley family.
"He was a stalwart of the industry," Lesley Kane of KMI Distribution commented on hearing of his passing. "It was always a pleasure to deal with him."
Michael will be mourned by his family – wife Pat, daughters Deirdre and Sheena (who run the shop), Fiona and Aideen and sons Tadgh and Michael – and friends, and by everyone in the industry, especially the Cork musicians young and old, to whose development he and the shop he established have given so much. RIP.