Irish Times- John Wilson on Rory Gallagher

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Irish Times- John Wilson on Rory Gallagher

Postby SUBY1974 » 25 Nov 2017, 11:39

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/musi ... 1?mode=amp

Ex-Taste drummer reflects on Rory Gallagher’s ‘essence’
After combating cancer, John Wilson back on road with own version of seminal group
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 21:16

“Rory despised everything to do with show business – in my time in Taste, we never had any big equipment, no huge PA, no big lighting rigs – it wasn’t a show, it was just three guys playing music and that was the essence of Rory. He was just a guy who played guitar and loved doing it.”

Former Taste drummer, John Wilson is in reflective mood as he recalls the heady days of the late 1960s when, together with bassist Richie McCracken, he provided the rhythm section for guitarist Rory Gallagher as they played venues all over Ireland, Europe and the US to popular and critical acclaim.

Recruited with McCracken after Gallagher broke up the original Taste, featuring fellow Corkonians Eric Kitteringham and Norman Damery, Wilson and Taste Mark II opened for Eric Clapton and Cream and later Blind Faith, and they also played the Isle of Wight in a bill that also included Jimi Hendrix.

‘Working musician’

“I had already played in Them and knew what it was like touring – I’ve been a working musician all my life and I only play one way and that’s the best I can, so it doesn’t matter to me if it’s Eric Clapton or Joe Soap on the gig or 20 people or 20,000 – and that was the way Rory approached music as well.”

Out of commission for almost five years after combating throat cancer and three aneurysms in his neck, Wilson (69) is back on the road with his own version of Taste. Later this week the trio bring their show to Cork, where Gallagher grew up and honed his playing style.

“The band now features Alan Niblock on bass and Sam Davidson on guitar, but I have to make it very clear to the audience at the start of the evening that it’s not a Rory Gallagher tribute band – Sam Davidson does not play like Rory or look like Rory, play a battered Strat or anything like that.
“We take the music Rory had written in the early days, stuff he had written when I played with him and when Norman and Eric played with him, and we perform it the way we play today and hopefully if Rory were still alive, he would be doing the same thing because he always liked experimenting.”

Coming to Cork will offer Wilson the chance to meet up with his predecessor behind the drumkit in Taste, Norman Damery, and he is very much looking forward to that reunion as he believes neither Damery nor bassist, the late Eric Kitteringham in the first Taste, got the credit they deserve.

“Norman and Eric never get any acknowledgment for what part they played – they gave Rory two or three years of their lives to let Rory try and find Rory, and then when Rory was handed over to Richie and me we just took him to the next stage to let him develop and become what he became.

Old material

“We’re just going to play a lot of the old material and if you listen to the music Rory wrote during the Taste era, it’s different from his later work because it has a lot of country influences and jazz influences, and I may get a chance to explain where Rory was when he wrote a certain thing or why.

“Rory just loved being creative and we never played anything the same way twice – it was always different every night, and when Rory played with Taste, he was able to do whatever he wanted. In my time with him, Rory never wanted to be famous, he just liked being a guy who played guitar.”
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Re: Irish Times- John Wilson on Rory Gallagher

Postby RobertaSparrow » 01 Dec 2017, 00:15

I met John very briefly when I was in Ballyshannon this summer. He is a very sweet gentleman, and very humble.

“We’re just going to play a lot of the old material and if you listen to the music Rory wrote during the Taste era, it’s different from his later work because it has a lot of country influences and jazz influences, and I may get a chance to explain where Rory was when he wrote a certain thing or why."

I would love to hear him tell of what he remembers, of Rory's influences, his recollections of the when, where, and why of those old Taste songs. Perhaps next summer . . . 8-)
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Re: Irish Times- John Wilson on Rory Gallagher

Postby SUBY1974 » 02 Dec 2017, 20:30

Yes I was thinking the same Cynthia. Subrata.:0)
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Re: Irish Times- John Wilson on Rory Gallagher

Postby Jay Jay » 03 Dec 2017, 11:35

Happy 70th Birthday to John Wilson today :)

A few years ago John was diagnosed & suffered with a cancer illness. He seems to have recovered and pulled through that chapter in his life thankfully. Playing the drums in his "Taste of Rory" band as well as ever, as I myself witnessed @ The Rory Fest in Ballyshannon in June of this year. May he long continue playing RG music and talking about Rory with such affection and so respectfully for years to come :)

Rock On for Rory
All the Best
Jay Jay

PS. Great to see John Wilson & Norman Damery (ex Taste drummers) pictured together after the above mentioned Cork gig :)
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