New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby Robin Howells » 07 Dec 2018, 19:51

Got my copy today
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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby Sid_Sidow » 08 Dec 2018, 01:58

Feedback?? Opinion??
Good or hack job?
Thanks!! ss

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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby capo » 09 Dec 2018, 17:19

I wrote a lengthy review for the book to post here, but thought better of it, one more opinion won't matter. I was thinking of that quote of Socrates, " The unexamined life is not worth living". I think sometimes, when it comes to biographies, the "over " examined life is just as bad. My recommendation, put on Irish Tour '74 very LOUD. That's all you really need to know about Rory.
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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby Sid_Sidow » 10 Dec 2018, 03:44

IT '74 is ALWAYS my favorite, and loud is good!! :D :D
Thanks!! ss

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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby RobertaSparrow » 11 Dec 2018, 08:08

I finished reading the book. I'll probably give it a second, slower read, but I read it through quickly and here are my first impressions.

I did not really find anything new in the book. I have all of the Rory books that have been published in English to date. This book essentially quotes from all of those earlier sources, but he does not really provide any new information or insight, it is mostly paraphrasing from those sources. The author does give credit to those other books, and he does a much better job of citing his sources, and I appreciate that, but there wasn't anything new that I could see. There were some photos in this book that I had not seen before, and he quotes other fans extensively ias well.

There were some references to some of the rumors surrounding Rory that have circulated around, many of which have started some heated arguments on this very forum. :mrgreen: Conjecture and rumor. There were a number of Rory fans and tribute musicians quoted in the book as well.

I will happily add this to my collection of Rory books, but there really was nothing new in it, and there were some unfortunate rumors given air that I did not feel were necessary.

To date, IMHO, the best book about Rory that I have read is Gallagher, Marriott, Derringer, and Trower, by Dan Muise.

And Donal, if you're reading this, please finish your book about Rory- :D We would enjoy hearing your stories and memories about your times on the road with your brother, and your insight into Rory's musical influences. I'd love to know what music was in Rory's personal record collection for one. Don't leave us waiting Donal. 8-)

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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby Jay Jay » 11 Dec 2018, 22:33

RobertaSparrow wrote:I will happily add this to my collection of Rory books, but there really was nothing new in it, and there were some unfortunate rumors given air that I did not feel were necessary.

To date, IMHO, the best book about Rory that I have read is Gallagher, Marriott, Derringer, and Trower, by Dan Muise.


Thanks Cynthia for being honest and letting me know as I too have bought all the other books. So won't bother buying this one... but as i said earlier on thread, knowing my luck someone now will put it in my Christmas stocking? I agree also that the Gallagher, Marriott, Derringer, and Trower, by Dan Muise book was imho the best read.

Come on Donal... WE ARE ALL waiting buddy for the definitive RORY BIO :)

Rock On for Rory
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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby Robin Howells » 15 Jan 2019, 12:10

I finished the book, The man behind the guitar, I don’t think I really learned anything new. I would love to get a copy of Gerry’s book, but a little too pricey for my blood.
Anyway, my thoughts on a Donal authored Rory bio, how about Cameron Crowe? I believe he was a Rory fan. I enjoyed everything he did in both Creem and Circus mags. Perfect man to help.
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Re: New Biography: Rory Gallagher The Man Behind the Guitar

Postby Annie Elliott » 07 Mar 2019, 09:16

zanny wrote:One or two of the factual details that I assume Donal would prefer not to see in print seemed unnecessary to me. On the other hand, Vignoles has finessed some other sensitive things.
According to the Irish Independent's review, Vignoles' biography is definitive. It's certainly not that. Taking his lead from a quote from Donal, Vignoles sees his own distinctive contribution to 'the man behind the guitar' as coming from his chapter on Rory's lyrics and the insights they give to Rory's character. However, that chapter is one of the weaker parts of the book, in my view. Much of what Vignoles infers from lyrics is already in the public realm, and what he adds by way of his own contextual or interpretive comment is superficial.


Well said. Also a number of the 'factual details' in the book are completely unsubstantiated, such as the claim for Rory using the bouzouki of Manolis Chiotis on 'They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore,' or the idea that the song in some way pays tribute to Chiotis's song, Perasmenes Mou Agapes. Rory talked about listening to Greek folk music, but that's a far cry from the claim Vignoles makes. A few errors like this, which could have been easily corrected, undermine the credibility of the book generally.

I'd take most of the book with a grain of salt. The rumors about Rory's personal life are pure fantasy. And why anyone thinks the opinion of fans or the interactions of fans on social media is relevant in a biography is unclear. The constant speculation about what Rory was thinking, why he wrote certain lyrics, what does it all mean etc made me wonder if the author had a required word count set by his publisher. Of all the books on Rory I've read, I found this one to be the least interesting with two exceptions, the excellent memories and insights from Norman Damery and George Kitteringham. And by the way, not thanking Norman in the credits was a big mistake IMHO.
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