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Rory Gallagher’s IRA kidnap fear

Irish blues-rock icon Rory Gallagher feared a late-night phone call from the Rolling Stones was a terror threat from the IRA.

Stones keyboardist Ian Stewart phoned the Gallagher house in Cork in January 1975, while the Irish Troubles were at their height.

And Gallagher – who died in 1995 – worried that he was about to be kidnapped.

His brother and manager Donal tells the Sun: “It was a really scary time in Ireland. Paramilitaries were kidnapping people. So when the phone went off after midnight, and a strange voice asked if Rory Gallagher was there, we got very scared.”

The guitarist spent four days rehearsing with Mick Jagger and co, with a view to replacing Mick Taylor. But he ultimately decided to focus on his solo career, leaving the door open for the Faces’ Ronnie Wood to join up.

Donal recalls: “They got on brilliantly – but we’ll never really know what happened.”

A four-disc set concentrating on Gallagher’s band Taste has just been released.