Irish guitar legend Rory Gallagher is being honoured in Cork this weekend to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.
There are numerous events taking place throughout the city, and also further afield, to celebrate the life and work of the gifted musician.
The new Rory Gallagher music studios will be opened in Cork. They will provide an affordable location for young musicians to record their work and take their first steps into the industry.
Gallagher died on the 14th June 1995, and this Sunday will mark the 20 year anniversary. He is considered by many as one of the greatest guitar players who ever lived. Fellow legends such as Slash and Brian May have even admitted that they ‘got their sound’ from Gallagher.
His brother Donal was at Cork City Hall to announce some of the ‘Remember Rory’ events that will take place across the city.
Donal’s son Eoin will play one of his uncle’s songs on Friday at the Shandon Bells, and several local radio stations have agreed to play Tattoo’s Lady, one of Gallagher’s most famous songs, at the same time as a tribute.
The emotional poem by Louis Paor, A Poem for Rory Gallagher, will be read out to the crowd at Cork City Football Club before the team takes to the pitch to the sound of one his songs.
Donal admitted that this weekend will be an emotional time for the family: “Because his music is so well recorded on tape, CDs, and DVDs, and because I am constantly working with his music, going back through everything he wrote, going back through old interviews in magazines or old radio interviews, his presence is immense.
“He constantly reoccurs in my dreams. In some ways, it doesn’t feel like he is gone.
“He was such a perfectionist that, when you are working with his music, you have to be careful you don’t tamper with it, and you do feel he is looking over your shoulder at what you do.
“And some nights, I have nightmares where he comes in to the room, and he asks me to play back an album or look at something — and I’m there, waiting for his approval. But we do what we can and I feel he is smiling down.
“It’s great to be here to announce these commemorative events in City Hall — where he won a talent competition aged nine, and played some of his best gigs.
“We are quite happy that his legacy is intact, and increasing if anything.”
It is not just in Cork that Gallagher will be honoured this weekend. There are numerous events around the world planned to mark the occasion. Fender, the company that made his guitars, are to name their conference centre in Arizona after him.
There are also suggestions that some unheard material by Gallagher’s band Taste could be close to release, having previously been unavailable due to complex issues regarding the ownership rights and royalties.
Here is a video of the great man doing what he did best.