RORY GALLAGHER CORNER
What do you think of that
I’m sleeping down at the laundromat
He’s been forgotten, but maybe if kids listen to “Laundromat” they’ll be inspired to pick up a Stratocaster and make a glorious noise.
I was late to the Rory Gallagher party, or maybe I was early. I saw his group Taste open for Blind Faith in the summer of ’69, but I had no idea who Rory was. And then I was turned on to him by my friend John Hughes in college, back in the day when an act could break out regionally, they never played this cut in New York, but it was on the airwaves in K.C.
I wasn’t gonna go to the corner, the pictures didn’t seem that impressive, but then I started getting e-mail about going and I just sauntered down there. On one hand it’s easy to ignore, just a sign high on a wall, but underneath that is a bronze Stratocaster, actual size, and that struck my heart, even though no one else was looking up. Because that’s the essence, the axe. What you could do with one, even the punk bands used one, but in the hands of true players you’d hear this mellifluous sound, sometimes edgy, always different, a far cry from the repetitious 808 heard on endless tracks back in ’82, and now today.
My favorite Rory Gallagher cut is “Walkin’ Wounded,” because of the groove, because of the majesty, try not nodding your head to this, it’s like he’s breaking ice with his guitar and the drums pound and Rory emotes like he cares, cool is not what he’s going for, then again, that’s what he ends up with.
The blues. We’ve all got ’em. They blew up because people could identify. Never underestimate the power of connection, it’s what holds the world together.
It’s a neighborhood, it’s an actual bar, and it’s where Rory’s corner is.
Now if I were still in college, if I still drank, I’d spend my evenings there. Reminds me of the Alibi back in Middlebury, all wood, rough edges, not sharp. Where it’s about your personality as opposed to your look. And the guitarist was playing Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town” and it was like the internet era never existed. It was just a guy with a Martin, strumming and singing, how did it become about beats? But that’s only on streaming services, seems like songs sustain, not that they get any press, but they are the oral tradition that will survive, they penetrate your heart, that’s humanity, when you get rid of the tricks and just start playing and singing.
THE BOOK OF KELLS
Kind of a disappointment actually. There are endless exhibits of build-up that supersede the ultimate book itself. Then again, it is old, and it is colorful and it’s amazing how they made it, but…
The library on the floor above is positively JAW-DROPPING!
They stocked every book published in England and Ireland. It’s overwhelming, you get the feeling that all the knowledge is RIGHT HERE!
That’s how you learn most, the written word. It supersedes the spoken word, which is kind of funny if you think about it. But book lovers would just like to sit there and marinate in the vibe of the Trinity Library. And it’s not only the feel, but the look… The vaulted ceiling, the ladders…
We ain’t got nothing like this in the New Land.
It’s the hottest ticket in Dublin. It’s the PRISON!
And you wouldn’t want to be there. One tiny room, with only a blanket to keep you warm, the candle needing to last two weeks. And it’s amazing the people they executed, and the people who were locked up and let out and are now seen as heroes. It was illegal to beg during the potato famine, and if you got locked up you were better fed than you were on the street, so cells built for one were inhabited by nearly ten!
But mostly it’s about revolution. The Irish wanted self-rule. They eventually got it, after a long hard fight. We are no longer warding off the English in America, but somehow the majority is no longer ruling. Is it in our destiny to fight?