By Steve Newton
Yet for some unfathomable reason, neither of them have garnered the massive, worldwide fame their dedicated followers know is their due.
In a perfect world, their names would be as recognizable as those of Clapton, Beck, or Page.
And like those three, they would both have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame many years ago, as soon as they were eligible.
But don’t get me started on that.
Of course, the diehard Gallagher and Moore fans aren’t too concerned about such honours being bestowed on their heroes. They’re okay just listening to their old records and soaking up the guitar glory for themselves.
But still…wouldn’t it be nice to never hear “Rory who?” ever again while trying to turn a regular music fan on to sheer greatness?
And speaking of sheer greatness, have you ever heard of Joe Hodgson?
I hadn’t myself, up until a few days ago, when he sent me an email under the simple subject line “Some new guitar music.”
Dear SteveMy name is Joe Hodgson and I’m a guitar player from Co. Tyrone , Northern Ireland. I recently came across your website and I have really enjoyed reading your articles.I’ve just released an album called ‘Apparitions’, and I was wondering if you’d be interested in having a listen… It’s an instrumental album (with a full band) so there’s plenty of guitar playing on it, to say the least… I would love to hear your thoughts on my music. It’s rock-based, but it’s not metal, it kinda charts its own course, bending and blending a few genres. You’ll find a link below to the album on Spotify, and if you like, I could also send you a cd copy… I really hope you enjoy the music, and I hope to hear back from you.All the best, Joe.
Oh, he heard back from me alright.
As soon as I started playing Apparitions I was totally blown away. The 16-track album covers a lot of musical ground, touches on multiple genres, yet its focus, Hodgson’s guitar–whether concocting gorgeous melodies or delivering serious shred–keeps you riveted throughout. It was clear to me that this guy I’d never heard of before was a brilliantly adventurous player, right up there with the likes of Satriani and Vai.
See for yourself:
When I visited Hodgson’s website to learn more about the wicked picker, the Gallagher/Moore connection was laid out right there on the About page.
“His love of guitar was ignited after discovering Irish blues legend Rory Gallagher,” it reads, “and shortly after he managed to procure his first instrument, a battered old second-hand Woolworth’s Top Twenty guitar.
“The day that changed Joe’s life for good, though, was when he saw another Irish great, Gary Moore, play at the UK Monsters of Rock Festival. Joe recalls, ‘I was blown away by the sheer brilliance of Gary’s playing on every level, and from that moment on, all I wanted to do was play guitar.'”
So there you have it. Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore might not be household names, but if their talent can combine to inspire guitarists like Joe Hodgson to reach such lofty musical heights, that says it all.
I suggest you go listen to the Apparitions album right now, and start spreading the word about Joe Hodgson to all the other six-string freaks in your orbit. You just know that when he makes it to the top of the guitar world he’ll be telling everyone who’ll listen about the undying influence of those other two Irish blokes.
We’ll get them into the Rock Hall yet! And maybe Hodgson one day, too.
To hear the full audio of my 1984 interview with Gary Moore subscribe to my Patreon page, where you can also eavesdrop on my uncut, one-on-one conversations with:
Dave Martone, 2020
Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, 2006
Joss Stone, 2012
Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, 2005
Jack Blades of Night Ranger, 1984
Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard, 1992
Colin James, 1995
Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, 1998
Tom Cochrane of Red Rider, 1983
Ed Roland of Collective Soul, 1995
Taj Mahal, 2001
Tom Wilson of Junkhouse, 1995
Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, 2003
David Lindley, 2002
Marty Friedman of Megadeth, 1991
John Hiatt, 2010
Nancy Wilson of Heart, 2006
Jeff Golub, 1989
Moe Berg of the Pursuit of Happiness, 1990
Todd Rundgren, 2006
Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, 2001
Steve Earle, 1987
Gabby Gaborno of the Cadillac Tramps, 1991
Terry Bozzio, 2003
Roger Glover, 1985
Matthew Sweet, 1995
Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, 2003
Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars, 2001
John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, 1995
Steve Hackett from Genesis, 1993
Grace Potter, 2008
Buddy Guy, 1993
Steve Lynch of Autograph, 1985
Don Wilson of the Ventures, 1997
Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar, 1998
Trevor Rabin of Yes, 1984
Albert Lee, 1986
Yngwie Malmsteen, 1985
Robert Cray, 1996
Tony Carey, 1984
Ian Hunter, 1988
Kate Bush, 1985
David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, 1984
Jeff Healey, 1988
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, 1996
Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, 1993
Colin Linden, 1993
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 1995
Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, 1986
Elliot Easton from the Cars, 1996
Wayne Kramer from the MC5, 2004
Bob Rock, 1992
Nick Gilder, 1985
Klaus Meine of Scorpions, 1988
Jason Bonham, 1989
Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, 1991
Joey Spampinato of NRBQ, 1985
Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, 2003
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, 2003
Steve Kilbey of the Church, 1990
Edgar Winter, 2005
Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, 1990
Randy Hansen, 2001
Dan McCafferty of Nazareth, 1984
Davy Knowles of Back Door Slam, 2007
Jimmy Barnes from Cold Chisel, 1986
Steve Stevens of Atomic Playboys, 1989
Billy Idol, 1984
Stuart Adamson of Big Country, 1993
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, 1992
Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule, 1998
John Bell of Widespread Panic, 1992
Robben Ford, 1993
Barry Hay of Golden Earring, 1984
Jason Isbell, 2007
Joey Belladonna of Anthrax, 1991
Joe Satriani, 1990
Vernon Reid of Living Colour, 1988
Brad Delp of Boston, 1988
Zakk Wylde of Pride & Glory, 1994
John Sykes of Blue Murder, 1989
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, 1998
Lars Ulrich of Metallica, 1985
John Doe, 1990
Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, 1992
Myles Goodwyn of April Wine, 2001
John Mellencamp, 1999
Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1999
Kenny Aronoff, 1999
…with hundreds more to come