In July of 1972 I was living in a town on the west coast of Florida. Sarasota Fla. to be exact. My friend Bill had just been accepted to attend the University of Miami and after his first few weeks there he began phoning me and keeping appraised about the upcoming concerts that were taking place on the University's Patio. Bill and I had both been avid Taste fans and when he told me Rory was coming I fell over!! I bought my bus ticket and headed for Miami on July 19th, 1972. Rory was just starting a US tour to promote "Deuce" and there was no way I was going to pass this up! We found out Rory and the band were staying across the street from the University at the Holiday Inn and proceeded to the hotel to catch a glimpse of him before the show.
We entered the lobby and Rory was standing there with his guitar in hand ready to WALK across the street to play the show. We approached him and began speaking to him about how much we appreciated his unique style of playing and how much Taste had meant to us. He was flabbergasted that we had heard all of the Taste albums and his first solo album and we began to discuss blues artist of the past. Show time was approaching and he invited us to accompany him across the street!! WOW walking across the street in Miami,across US1, with Rory Gallagher and his guitar! I still get goose bumps when ever I drive on the same street when I visit there.(I have since relocated to Austin,Texas)
Rory gave me permission to photograph this concert and turned away 2 school photographers to give me a prime area to shoot my pictures!! Well he gave a show of a lifetime,playing all of the tunes from "Deuce" as well as old Taste and Blues numbers. At 11:00 the University shut off the generators and Rory picked up his mandolin and kept playing!! Needless to say the students went nuts!! After the show I went back over to the Holiday Inn and got to speak with him for over an hour about his music and his plans for the future. I have never met a musician with a heart such as Rory Gallagher and July 20th 1972 will always be locked inside my memory!! RIP Rory!!
Mark Gaines - 23. Oct 1998
Copyright Mark Gaines