Fri 30 Nov 2012
#1 reason to love Rory, in 1978, Bob Dylan was not allowed backstage at one of his concerts, because Rory did not recognize him.
#2 reason to love Rory, he is among 100 of Rolling Stone Magazine’s best guitarists.
#3 reason to love Rory, Jimi Hendrix, when asked what it felt like to be the best guitar player in the world, responded with “I dunno, ask Rory Gallagher.
#4 reason to love Rory, his sweat had so much alkaline in it, due to a rare blood type, that it wore off the paint/varnish of all his guitars.
Two things hit me while wanting to write about Rory Gallagher. One was a comment that Blu, left here yesterday, that has echoed through my mind. This idea that time is irrelevant has sent me thinking about past events. I realized that in my history, their were times when I knew more than I do now. Maybe I knew what was meant to be or maybe not. But I was definitely more together mentally if not intellectually. I do not attribute that to naivete.
The other thing that struck me was the idea of alone. Rory Gallagher’s music conveys what “alone” really is. And while “alone” may be this very sad thing to some, “alone” can also be very empowering. You can stand on your own two feet and you will always have those two feet. I mean, I really hope you keep both your feet. But if you don’t, think of the money you will save on socks.
It isn’t the lyrics to Rory’s songs that fill me inside. It is the guitar. He managed to play his guitar as a voice, he made it scream of his despair, his loneliness, his own angst. Rory was more than a talented superstar kid. He was more than a tortured soul, driven to drink. Rory represents what happens when we live life devoted to our true talents, to mastering our craft. He sits right up there with Bruce Lee when I think of lives well spent.
I flashback often to my twentieth year. I was knocked up by a bartender who never looked back. He had his chance and he didn’t take it. I never thought to feel bad about the situation. I was optimistic and young. Life found me 7 months pregnant driving around the countryside with an ex. I took a turn at the end of a hill and hit a snake. We got out of the car to have a look. I stood there, tiny in the world, looking at a thirty or more baby snakes writhing all over the road. That snake was pregnant. I felt my feet on the ground supporting my giant swollen belly. I knew then that I would never be able to depend on anyone else. I knew what freedom was. Life was never going to be about money and jobs and bills. Life just was and it was always going to be me who created my own happiness. That is the real “alone”. It is not sad it just is. I am not sure why a dead mama snake and a pregnancy ala “Natalie Portman left at the Walmart” showed me that, but they did.
I had forgotten about that feeling until yesterday. I lost track. I was so much smarter back then. I now have the greatest husband, and the best family in the world a girl could ever ask for. This is “luck of the draw”. I am here to paint my reality. I create it. This is my world. Lyrically, Rory Gallagher was so strong with seemingly simple words. The formula of Rock and Roll is, live young die fast. The problem with this is that some of us refuse to die, refuse to give in. In the mid seventies, amidst the glitter and atrocious fashions, Rory showed up in a flannel shirt. I am not going to be bought or sold and neither was Rory. Instead of lyrics, listen to the guitar. That 1961 Fender Stratocaster with the varnish eaten away, the one Rory kept track of and played for over 30 brilliant years, that is your lyric. That guitar was stolen and it found its way back to Rory. That is your story. That guitar is telling you everything you need to hear.