By Steve Newton
If you’ve been reading this blog much over the last few years, you’ve surely figured out that I’m not a big fan of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I got so fed up with the way the RRHOF would continually overlook deserving artists like Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray–and instead induct rappers, cheesy pop stars, and other non-rockers–that I started up my own institution and named it Newt’s Rock Hall.
I inducted Rory the first chance I could, naming him–along with Winter, Wray, Deep Purple, and Iron Maiden–in my inaugural Class of 2015.
The guy’s just such a stunning guitar player and one-of-a-kind singer-songwriter that it boggles the mind why he keeps getting shunned by Jann Wenner and the other dimwits at that other, better known Rock Hall in Cleveland.
When I got the opportunity to chat with Rory’s old bassist Gerry McAvoy last week–in advance of the Band of Friends show at Vancouver’s Fox Cabaret this Friday (December 14)–I asked him how he felt about his old friend and bandmate being ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“I think he deserves to be part of it, absolutely,” McAvoy said, “because of his uniqueness if nothing else. You know, people like Brian May and Johnny Marr from the Smiths, right down the line–loads of guitar players–have said that he’s an influence, you know.”
McAvoy–who wrote a book about his time with Rory Gallagher titled Riding Shotgun–contends that Gallagher’s “uniqueness” is what made him such an incredible guitar player.
“His style was quite unique,” he says. “There was a lot of ‘Irishness’ in Rory’s playin’. There’s a certain Irish lilt in the way Rory played, even though he was playin’ blues–or his style of blues.”
Let’s here it for the “Irishness” of Rory Gallagher’s blues–and for the Rock Hall one day pulling its head out of its ass long enough to appreciate it.