- 05 Jul 20
Mike Lowe shares his reflections on Rory Gallagher's legacy, as part of our special 25th anniversary tribute to the legendary Irish guitarist.
Mike Lowe is a director of sound company Britannia Row Productions, the UK arm of Clair Global Corporation (CGC). CGC is the largest sound company in the world with a huge roster of artists from Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber to the Rolling Stones and U2.
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After over a decade on the road, first with Liverpool bands and for the latter four years predominantly in America with super group Emerson, Lake and Palmer, in the mid-1970s, I built a sound system and started my first sound company.
Rory Gallagher was one of our first customers. We worked with him for the rest of his career. His journey took me to many firsts, such as The Macroom Mountain Dew Festival, Ireland’s first rock festival in 1977. I believe that Rory was also the first artist to perform at the NEC Arena in Birmingham. I have had a wonderful life in the sound business. Rory was a foundation stone in giving me this life.
We shared the same early musical influence: Muddy Waters and the blues greats. Rory was about the music. For one European tour we put together a sound and lighting effect opening to ‘big-up’ his stage entrance, something he would never ask for himself. Many years later, his brother and manager Dónal told me that Rory hated it. Every night for a whole tour he suffered the opening, too kind to quash the creativity of others. He was about the music.
Even 25 years since his passing, the loss is still raw. Of the thousands of artists that I have had the pleasure and privilege to work for, Rory towers over them all as the musician’s musician – who was above all else about the music. We can no longer experience his extraordinary live performances, but he has left us his music in abundance – a great legacy for which can be ever thankful.
I am certainly enormously thankful for the life of William Rory Gallagher.
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The special Rory Gallagher 25th Anniversary Issue of Hot Press is out now – featuring reflections on Rory's legacy from President Michael D. Higgins, Imelda May, Johnny Marr, Mumford & Sons, Mick Fleetwood, Steve Van Zandt, Slash and many more. Pick up your copy in shops now, or order online below: