The first time I ever saw anything on Rory Gallagher is firmly etched in my head. During the 1990s in the UK, Top of the Pops 2, or TOTP 2, regularly ran every weekend, showing archive footage of musicians from the 1970s on. As a young music fan, it was a regular staple of my TV viewing.
"I looked up to Stu, I depended on him to tell me the truth. Stu would tell me if something was good and I'd believe him"John Lennon (The Beatles In Scotland by Ken McNab)
For as long as I can remember, I have been tense, a worrier, on edge, nervous, scared, you name it. As a child, I didn't have a name for it, other than feeling like this black net was descending, holding me rigid and making the world seem a bit at odds. Finally, at the age of 19, I found myself at the doctor for it, and I got a name and diagnosis for how I was feeling. Anxiety Disorder.
Lists of top ten guitarists published by large music magazines or major TV broadcasters are, frankly, dull. Sure, they list musicians who are undeniably, immensely talented and are worshipped everywhere, but it’s always the same people on the lists. They are more predictable than a MOR 1980’s hair rock riff. A change is as good as a holiday. Alternatively, in this instance, it might provide you with some new amazing guitarists you may never have come across before and definitely should check out.
Following the cessation of both the First and Second World Wars, the general attitude was that this level of conflict should be prevented from happening again. That may have been the mode of thought, and a rather commendable one at that. However, the sad fact is that humankind has pretty much been imploding into deadly conflict almost non-stop for well over a century, and, sadly, it doesn't seem like it's going to end anytime soon. There will always be protest, in various forms, against war—and one of the most powerful types of protest is music itself.
Both of my parents are massive Elvis fans. His was the first music I heard that had an effect on me, with the end result that I'm something of a fan too. It's quite interesting how what your parents listen to can influence your own tastes as an adult. I have several memories of watching Aloha! From Hawaii (on repeat), the '68 Comeback, the various films, singing "American Trilogy" endlessly, my mum grumbling about how Priscilla changed the curtains (no, I have no idea what that means!) and my Dad just totally enjoying the music. Now my own daughter is following in my footsteps as a three-year-old bopping about to "Polk Salad Annie." So, with a look back over what I grew up listening to, here is what my own Elvis sonic landscape kind of looks like, very much shaped by my folks.