A never before issued Rory Gallagher studio album from 1978 and a live show from 1979 feature in a two CD set to be released by Sony this June.Notes From San Francisco captures Ballyshannon-born Gallagher in action from aborted recording session with famed American producer Elliot Mazer who worked on Neil Young’s Harvest and The Band’s swansong The Last Waltz.
Mazer recalls that the sessions grew “tense”, as Gallagher wasn’t happy with the mixing process, describing them as “too complicated”, and by the end of January 1978 he shelved the whole record and broke up his band of the past 5 years.
Last year Rory’s brother and manager, Donal, allowed his son and Rory’s nephew, Daniel, to recover the album from the Gallagher archive and begin the process of mixing it with his engineer.
CD 2 features a live album taken from four nights at The Old Waldorf, San Francisco in December 1979 which included Van Morrison in the audience and Rory, Gerry McAvoy on bass and Ted McKenna on drums. Daniel Gallagher chose to add the live side to highlight why Rory chose to shelve the studio album and reduce his band back down to a three piece. As Rory often said he wanted to get back to “meat and potatoes rock & roll.”
Rory’s desire to get back to the stripped back, three piece line up of his earlier solo and Taste work may in part be down to his attendance at the infamous Sex Pistols show at The Winterland Ballroom. While mixing the studio record in January 1978, Rory Gallagher went along to the show and was completely blown away by the Pistols energy and fury, he described it “as close to Eddie Cochran as you’re going to get.”
The album’s sleeve image is an original postcard Rory Gallagher posted to his mother while on tour. Gallagher would always send postcards back home to Ireland from wherever he was in the world. The Limited Deluxe Edition of Notes From San Francisco will include a set of personalised Rory postcards complete with “Rory Stamps” which have been sourced from the original US company that produced them. Also included are reproductions of Rory’s hand written lyrics which were kept by Elliot Mazer.
Notes From San Francisco is released in Ireland on June 3. The full track listing is:
Rue The Day
Wheels Within Wheels
Cruise On Out
Brute Force & Ignorance
Fuel To The Fire
Off The Handle
Bought and Sold
Do You Read Me
Wheels Within Wheels (Alt version)
Cut A Dash
Out On The Tiles