Rory's Final Days

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Rory's Final Days

Postby capo » 04 Jan 2015, 02:45

I really am hesitant to post this subject matter. I don't want my intention to be misunderstood as morbid curiosity or invading Rory's privacy and dignity. Here goes. To most of us who post here Rory is more than just another musical act we followed. We are deeply invested and interested, maybe too much, in all facets of his life, beyond just his art. This is not unhealthy I think, we all need passions and interest to make our lives richer. All this build up is too say I have always wondered about how Rory spent his last days on earth. We have day by day accounts of so much of his life, but little details of the maybe 100 or so last days. We know he went in Hospital in March and died in June. I always wanted to know how he spent his time recovering from the surgery. Did he have his acoustic guitar with him to occupy his time? Did he read some of his beloved crime novels? Did he have a VCR in his room to watch movies? Was he able to get outside to feel the sun and breath fresh air? Who were his visitors besides close family, Tom and Mark Feltham? Its just things I always wanted to know, I don't think I would call it "closure", its just a gap of knowledge we have. Thinking know as I write this, Donal is the only one, if he chooses, to provide the answers, unless others out there know some. Maybe those with medical expertise can offer what a transplant patient is able to do while recovering. I do recall Donal saying they hung movie posters of his favorite films on the walls. I wonder what music he listened to also. Because this year is the 20th since his passing I guess its been on my mind more then usual. Anyway I think I've written enough on this now. Maybe others can weigh in. Am I out of line to ask these questions? Peace.
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Re: Rory's Final Days

Postby RobertaSparrow » 04 Jan 2015, 10:29

Hi there Capo,
I for one don't think your question is out of line. I think we all here wonder these things to varying degrees.

I puzzle over the effect that Rory had on all of us, especially the "old guard," we older fans who were there with him when he stood on stage. There was something so captivating in his playing, in his happiness, the sheer joy that radiated out of him up there, the way he'd take in the energy and reaction of the crowd, internalize it and redouble that magic in his playing.

I for one remembered that for decades. I never saw him in the 80's, 90's, it was as if he disappeared. I never forgot him, but I always wondered where he was, what he was up to now. My circle of friends in those decades had never heard of Rory, so he was never part of the conversation, and there were times when it seemed so intense, yet so distant a memory that I wondered how no one else ever brought him up. And as I have said before, I'd mention the name Rory Gallagher to later friends who would just look at me blankly and either bring up Oasis (yuk) or even worse, that awful comedian.

It floored me when, after I got my first decent PC that could cruise the internet flawlessly, I one day decided to look up the musician and artist that I had so often wondered about, and read how his life had changed, and how very ill he was. Yes I wondered.

My memory of seeing him, young and handsome, and so joyful and welcoming to his audience, his gentle speaking voice compared to his rough, bluesy singing voice, and damn how he could play that guitar. Not even play it, possess it, make it an extension of the music in his spirit.

He was so driven to play his music, until that sad day, the anniversary of which we are fast approaching, where his sheer determination and drive were not quite enough anymore, and he collapsed on stage.

IMO he knew he was very ill by that point, I don't think he had given up as some have said, I think he was at his wits end to know what to do, when he first began to see them, his personal doctors weren't helping him. By the time he was hospitalized, he was very weak and probably very discouraged.

And he didn't want his fans or all but a select circle of friends to know how ill he was. He was a private person, he was his whole life. I don't think he wanted this final journey in this life to be shared, and I respect that. But yes, I wonder.

Capo, I don't think your question is out of line. But it does have the potential to bring some very emotional responses. We all tend to be an emotional family of fans once we get started- here's to hoping we all keep a cool head on this one- ;)


Here's a reminder, why we're all here :D
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Re: Rory's Final Days

Postby AnnaMaria » 04 Jan 2015, 11:03

I remember Reading, as a coment to a Youtube video, that a nurse from the hospital who took care of Rory said that he was so very ill. I don´t Think she could say more due to her work. In the end he was probably in and out of coma.

I Think Tom and Mark were there and Mark played for Rory to try to get him out of coma but he did not Wake up.

I read he got a "get well" card fom Bob Dylan and he was so proud of that and he kept the card on the desk beside his bed until the end.

I also read that Donal asked Rory if he could release "Notes from ..." and Rory said it was ok, but Donal had to promise that he would remix it. I can´t even imagine how terrible it must have been for them both to discuss this thing. They were Brothers and so Close and soon one was gone and the otherone had to be left alone with pain and sorrow.

The strange thing about Rory is that he doesn´t feel gone at all. He´s out there somewhere still inspiring us.
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Re: Rory's Final Days

Postby Stevo » 04 Jan 2015, 11:04

At the time, I never knew Rory was ill. (I also didn't know that the band line-up had changed).
A close friend told me about Rory passing away. I still have a vivid memory of it. I was in Trillians Rock bar in Newcastle on a typical Saturday night, and my best friend (and fellow guitarist) came up to me, while I was at the bar waiting to be served, and said "have you heard, Rory Gallagher has died". I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I just felt sick. No, that can't be right. Rory? My Rory?
The younger fans will have to appreciate that this was before the internet, so you couldn't just Google things to check facts. I had to wait for the tributes to appear in guitarist magazines, and then one of them described Rory as a 'hard drinking Irishman' which I lost my temper over. I never saw Rory drunk.
Back to the main question, I think Donal is the only one who can answer any questions about the final few weeks. Maybe it will be in his Rory biography?
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Re: Rory's Final Days

Postby Jay Jay » 04 Jan 2015, 11:16

Sorry Capo but you're gonna have to wait until Donal's book comes out..
Even then I'm thinking Donal may find it a little difficult to mention too much detail about those final few months?

IMHO Rory I don't think would like us to dwell on this last part of his life. He would rather be "moving on" to celebrate his musical legacy



Listen end of first songs "I'm Moving On" lyrics " then Rory goes straight into " Baby Please Don't Go "
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Re: Rory's Final Days

Postby Tom Jonas » 10 Jan 2015, 21:05

I have seen several friends/relatives more or less conscious in a hospital bed at the Intensive Care Unit. It is a very humiliating environment for all of us, both for the patient and the visitor.
I don't think anyone of us who has enjoined Shadow Play or Bad Penny would have seen him those days.
We all have a varying degree of integrity.
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Re: Rory's Final Days

Postby Annie Elliott » 14 Jan 2015, 22:25

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Last edited by Annie Elliott on 15 Jun 2015, 12:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rory's Final Days

Postby Tom Jonas » 16 Jan 2015, 10:06

they are comfortable and treated with dignity.


Yes, of course, these patients are treated with greatest care and dignity by the staff.
What I meant was that the patient is in a very exposed and a humiliating (can't find the exact English words) situation.
You are in a bed, very ill, surrounded by lots of machines and devices, many drips going on, tubes into your body here and there.
A million miles away from how you usually appear to friends and relatives.

För example, when my mother-in-law was there, slowly dying, she only wanted her absolutely closest relatives to visit her. She did not want me to see her in that state
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