What Did Rory Think of U2? A Comparison of Rory and U2 Style

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What Did Rory Think of U2? A Comparison of Rory and U2 Style

Postby SUBY1974 » 20 Mar 2016, 05:02

U2 were a support act for Rory? What did Rory think of them and is U2 and overrated rock band? Subrata.x
Last edited by SUBY1974 on 20 Mar 2016, 21:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? Are U2 An Overated Rock Band?

Postby capo » 20 Mar 2016, 06:51

Well, on the RoryON website, a great resource for Rory related articles, under the "Rory Stories" section, is a reminisce by Roger Wrobel, titled "Hanging out with Rory in Arizona,1985". I know this well because Roger talked with Rory in the morning at the club where I was to see Rory, my one and only time, later that night. Anyway, after talking happily about other bands and musicians, Roger, on mentioning U2, noted "his temperment changed". "I remember them when they were kids" Rory said, "who"d come and see me", he said rolling his eyes," now they're Rock Stars, you know,too busy for me." That's uncharacteristic of Rory, who never showed jealousy or bitterness toward other musicians, but its telling about his attitude toward them. I also recall seeing in print, a few places, of Rory being critical of Bono's and U2s peace at any cost stance toward the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, mentioning the "White Flag" Bono would parade on stage. Rory was for a united Ireland, in his quiet, but firm way. We all know the Edge still speaks highly of Rory, and was quite moved when, years back, he was presented with the first "Rory Gallagher Musician Award", I think it was called, someone can correct me on that. Anyway, thats all I know Suby, hope it helps. Peace. :)
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? Are U2 An Overated Rock Band?

Postby M.felix » 20 Mar 2016, 11:53

I think Rory did not agree with what the band turned then, but he spoke about the band but realized his criticism in his words, I do not know I think Rory did not give a damn pro U2.
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? Are U2 An Overated Rock Band?

Postby Jay Jay » 20 Mar 2016, 16:05

Don't believe a word.. to quote the Thin Lizzy song :) .. I can't see Rory really speaking about his fellow countryman badly?

Rory was greatly respected by all the U2 band members. As I've seen in individual U2 band members interview comments by them all over the years.. Bono from a "Whisper to a Scream" doc.. "Rory Gallagher was amazingly talented musician " Plus I think Rory's feelings were mutual for them also ;)

Rory ~ Bono ~ Edge.jpg
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? Are U2 An Overated Rock Band?

Postby ailish78 » 20 Mar 2016, 17:59

Yes I doubt very much that Rory would have critisized U2. I don't think he ever said a bad word about any other musician, did He?
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? Are U2 An Overated Rock Band?

Postby capo » 20 Mar 2016, 18:13

I will only say, you can all go to RoryOn and read the quotes. I will say that Rory was not speaking to a member of the Press, but informally with a fan, and I doubt he thought that his words would ever be in print years later. This is one persons reminisce, recalled years after the fact, so take it for what its worth, if anything. As far as his views on Bono's peace stance, I thought all good Irishmen could and did have differing views on the solution to the "Troubles", without thinking ill or badly of each other. Remember everybody, Rory was human, just like the rest of us. I'm done.
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? Are U2 An Overated Rock Band?

Postby SUBY1974 » 20 Mar 2016, 21:23

I am a U2 fan. Their album Joshua Tree from 1987 is iconic. I saw them in 1997 during their Portmart tour at Wembley Stadium. Every rock musician and rock group have their own style of music. What I liked about Rory is that he had no ego. It was all about the music. He had a simple set and no fancy stuff. He just played and that is the beauty performance. With bands like U2 etc, they need the limos;the bodyguards; the leather gear; rock star shades, the ego personality; their own dressing rooms; the swancy hotels etc. IMO Bono and others need the "props" to be a rock star. Some bands are so overated. Rory did not need "props" to be an international rock musician . He already knew he was. He also showed me that intimate gigs are just as special. I don't have to be in rock stadiums all the time. From what I can see you could also have a pint with him. He was just so down to earth.
U2 have their controversies but I guess this not the place to air them. Maybe the heading of this post could be changed?? Subrata.x
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? Are U2 An Overated Rock Band?

Postby RobertaSparrow » 20 Mar 2016, 22:15

capo wrote:Well, on the RoryON website, a great resource for Rory related articles, under the "Rory Stories" section, is a reminisce by Roger Wrobel, titled "Hanging out with Rory in Arizona,1985". I know this well because Roger talked with Rory in the morning at the club where I was to see Rory, my one and only time, later that night. Anyway, after talking happily about other bands and musicians, Roger, on mentioning U2, noted "his temperment changed". "I remember them when they were kids" Rory said, "who"d come and see me", he said rolling his eyes," now they're Rock Stars, you know,too busy for me." That's uncharacteristic of Rory, who never showed jealousy or bitterness toward other musicians, but its telling about his attitude toward them. I also recall seeing in print, a few places, of Rory being critical of Bono's and U2s peace at any cost stance toward the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, mentioning the "White Flag" Bono would parade on stage. Rory was for a united Ireland, in his quiet, but firm way. We all know the Edge still speaks highly of Rory, and was quite moved when, years back, he was presented with the first "Rory Gallagher Musician Award", I think it was called, someone can correct me on that. Anyway, thats all I know Suby, hope it helps. Peace. :)


I think Rory had a very intentional policy of not speaking on the record about the political divisions in Ireland, and he was wise to do so, because he did not condone violence and knew the power of words to affect others, including the well-being of others. As others have pointed out, among friends and his trusted inner circle, he would likely speak frankly, but he was mindful that as a public figure, and in particular a well known Irishman, he wanted to act as respectfully and ethically as possible. He literally had family on both sides of the issue.

As far as what he may have said off the record about U2 members, bear in mind that Rory was as human as any of us, he was speaking candidly off the record. In 1985 U2 was on top of the world. Rory's star had faded, especially in the United States. I don't think it was jealousy that motivated any comments, I think it was perhaps a touch of sadness, that these "kids" who worshiped him in his heyday were now in the limelight, and Rory may have felt a bit left in the dust by it all. But remember, this was a conversation between a guitar hero and a fan, and he was musing about these things in confidence

I see it in the same light as reading complaints by George Harrison about John Lennon or Paul McCartney years after they parted ways. People are human, they say things that taken out of time and context may seem harsh.

I've noticed on a couple of the Rory FB sites as well, mention of U2. I don't know why. Did they win an award or break a limb or something?
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? A Comparison of Rory and U2 S

Postby bronyr » 21 Mar 2016, 06:13

My take on Rory's comments in 1985 to Roger were off the cuff and if Roger had been a journalist Rory probably would've checked himself and been a bit more measured in his response. I don't think he disliked U2, nor do I think he felt left behind after the huge U2 wave took hold all over the world in the 80s. When talking to Dave Fanning in 1988, the subject of U2 fans "going to see a Rory Gallagher show" came up. Interesting comments. At about 5:18 minutes in, Rory discusses whether or not he is a "snob" towards U2 (or Waterboys) fans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ-uWgCsbWo

I imagine that Bono's overt showmanship and his constant talk about politics may have gotten under Rory's skin a wee bit. (?) In another interview in 1982 with Herve Picart, regarding politics in music, Rory says: " It goes without saying that I have my own opinion on what’s going on in Ireland, but it’s something that is too complex, too grave to be expedited in the few words of a song. My opinion is that Ireland must become a united country once again, that Ulster is a country that is kept alive artificially, and that only the reunification of Ireland makes sense. Well, that’s my opinion, only my opinion. The political song exists in Ireland and is very alive. It reflects all opinions. Me, I grew up with political verses. There are good political singers, but in the long run, I find it useless, inappropriate even, sometimes. Certain Irish groups like Stiff Little Fingers wrote strong material on the subject. But in that group’s case, it’s more social than truly political: these are emotional reactions from people that say what it’s like to live in the streets of Belfast. Politically speaking, it doesn’t really have a reach to it, and I think that political involvement must be followed up. Only looking to unblock things, through songs, will never be enough. Me, I would feel very useless if I were to claim my humble opinion in my songs. I know that this point of view must surprise the French, what with the strong tradition that your people have in this domain. But, what I don’t like very much is that the political song is quickly becoming a fad, an exercise in style in which the content is disappearing, little by little. And I’m not looking at making rock music more serious than it already is. We can’t amuse people with nightmares. Now I’m not saying that we have to load up the genre with ineptitudes like “Rock! Rock! Rock! Love! Love! Love! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” But depth and philosophy ruin rock. I like effective words that feel right within a riff, and especially words that won’t feel encumbering, five years later, when I’ll want to sing them again."

A link to the full interview, pretty interesting: http://www.roryon.com/Best233.html
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Re: What Did Rory Think of U2? A Comparison of Rory and U2 S

Postby bronyr » 21 Mar 2016, 06:14

bronyr wrote:My take on Rory's comments in 1985 to Roger were off the cuff and if Roger had been a journalist Rory probably would've checked himself and been a bit more measured in his response. I don't think he disliked U2, nor do I think he felt left behind after the huge U2 wave took hold all over the world in the 80s. When talking to Dave Fanning in 1988, the subject of U2 fans "going to see a Rory Gallagher show" came up. Interesting comments. At about 5:18 minutes in, Rory discusses whether or not he is a "snob" towards U2 (or Waterboys) fans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ-uWgCsbWo

I imagine that Bono's overt showmanship and his constant talk about politics may have gotten under Rory's skin a wee bit. (?) In another interview in 1982 with Herve Picart, regarding politics in music, Rory says: " It goes without saying that I have my own opinion on what’s going on in Ireland, but it’s something that is too complex, too grave to be expedited in the few words of a song. My opinion is that Ireland must become a united country once again, that Ulster is a country that is kept alive artificially, and that only the reunification of Ireland makes sense. Well, that’s my opinion, only my opinion. The political song exists in Ireland and is very alive. It reflects all opinions. Me, I grew up with political verses. There are good political singers, but in the long run, I find it useless, inappropriate even, sometimes. Certain Irish groups like Stiff Little Fingers wrote strong material on the subject. But in that group’s case, it’s more social than truly political: these are emotional reactions from people that say what it’s like to live in the streets of Belfast. Politically speaking, it doesn’t really have a reach to it, and I think that political involvement must be followed up. Only looking to unblock things, through songs, will never be enough. Me, I would feel very useless if I were to claim my humble opinion in my songs. I know that this point of view must surprise the French, what with the strong tradition that your people have in this domain. But, what I don’t like very much is that the political song is quickly becoming a fad, an exercise in style in which the content is disappearing, little by little. And I’m not looking at making rock music more serious than it already is. We can’t amuse people with nightmares. Now I’m not saying that we have to load up the genre with ineptitudes like “Rock! Rock! Rock! Love! Love! Love! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” But depth and philosophy ruin rock. I like effective words that feel right within a riff, and especially words that won’t feel encumbering, five years later, when I’ll want to sing them again."

A link to the full interview, pretty interesting: http://www.roryon.com/Best233.html



Having said all that, I should say I used to be a huge fan of U2. So much so that I met them in in 1984 and 1987 and 1992. By 1993, though, I was sort of over the whole thing :)
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