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.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.