- 30 Jun 20
Yer Man Outta The Smiths Talks About Yer Man In The Check Shirt in The Hot Press Rory Gallagher 25th Anniversary Special Edition.
We all knew that guitar wunderkind, former Smiths man, and all-round decent skin Johnny Marr was a life-long fan of Rory Gallagher - he's there in Marr's autobiography, Set The Boy Free - but he reveals the extent of his devotion and admiration in the latest edition of Hot Press. In a lengthy and generous interview - "Glad to do it. Love Rory" - Marr takes us from his teenage years, buying a Rory album on the strength of the sleeve along, up to the friendship he formed with the master himself.
"There was something about the way he looked, his vibe and his name, his guitar – all of those things. I think you can tell a lot about a person from a few photographs. He intrigued me. I just got this feeling that I was going to like him," is how Marr remembers coming across his first Rory album in the racks of his local dream emporium. He then goes on to explain - to yours truly, and let me tell you that talking to the man whose face used to be on my t-shirt back in the eighties was a bit of a thrill - what made Rory so special, and why he was so different from his axe-bothering contemporaries.
Johnny talks about following Rory from gig to gig around the North of England, and ending up sleeping in bus stations or walking home in the rain - he probably got a Smiths song out of that. Not only did he meet Rory as a teenager, which, in part at least, inspired Marr's approachability and generosity towards his own fans, but he even got the opportunity to tell Rory what he meant to him later on.
"That's what I assumed about Rory: that the life of a guitar player was better than everything else. My assumption was one hundred percent right and I have him to thank for its effect on my life."
The interview is a dream for both Smiths fans and musos alike as Marr dissects Rory's musical approach, and even points towards a few of his own famous tunes that betray a Gallagher influence. You need not get caught out at the next Smiths Fan Convention Table Quiz when asked what song Marr played on Rory's actual guitar at a Shepherd's Bush encore, because it's all revealed within the pages of the Hot Press Rory Gallagher 25th Anniversary Special Issue!
And, of course, that's not all! Pick your jaw up off the floor and join us as we:
• Recall the key musical moments in a career that was littered with extraordinary highs.
• Talk to his brother Dónal Gallagher about Rory’s extraordinary legacy
• Hear from Slash what inspired his life-long obsession with Rory’s music
• Delve into the back pages of Hot Press for superb original material on Rory's music – including a superb, in depth interview carried out by the legendary, late rock writer, Bill Graham.
• Publish in full the special oration delivered by Hot Press editor Niall Stokes at the memorial service for Rory, held in London in 1995.
• Recall the moment before the Lisdoonvarna Festival in 1982 that Rory occupied the legendary Mad Hatter’s Box for Hot Press!
• Bring dramatically to life the qualities that made Rory Gallagher the ultimate People’s Champion.
• Remember what The Edge (you know, that bloke outta U2) had to say when he was the first ever recipient of the Rory Gallagher Rock Musician Award at the Hot Press Awards in 1996.
The Special Issue will also include contributions from a range of other artists, including Steve Van Zandt, Mick Fleetwood, J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), Imelda May and many more...
Read all about the brilliant competition we’ll be running for a Rory Gallagher Signature Fender Stratocaster, worth €5,300.
"Where can I get it!" you scream. "Please, please, PLEASE, let me get what I want. Lord knows, it would be the first time!" Alright, calm down. A rush and a push - well, a click, below - and it's yours!
Need more Rory? Of course you do! Here’s The Rory Gallagher: 25 Hot Press Playlist. Move the chairs back, strap on your "Air Strat", and get down.