Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74

At a post-show press conference in 1970, some hack asked Jimi Hendrix:,

“How’s it feel being the world’s best guitarist?”

Jimi, cool as ever, shrugs. “Dunno, man. Ask Rory Gallagher.”

Jimi had watched Gallagher play just 2 days earlier.

I had never heard of Rory before hearing this story (which has no proof but is widely accepted as happing).

So, I started to hunt for the best documentary I can find on Rory.

While I’m still a Rory-Rookie, the best Rory doc I can find is “Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74” (some call it just “Irish Tour ’74”).

If you want more Rory documentaries, check out my List of Best Rory Gallagher Documentaries.


ZZ Top Fan Update: And for you ZZ Top fans, I know that Jimi Hendrix has also mentioned Billy Gibbons as a favorite guitarist of his. I’ll do a separate article on him at some point.

Watch “Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74” for Free

You can almost all of the Rory Irish ’74 Tour doc for free on YouTube.

Below are the clips in order as they appear in the documentary.

They total 56 minutes and 5 seconds which means that 27 minutes and 55 seconds are missing. I explain more about that at the bottom of this article. There’s some confusion about the total length of this documentary. Wikipedia lists it as 57 minutes versus IMDB (84 min) versus Discogs (83 min).

The videos below total 60 min. and 26 seconds. Ping me if you know of any missing footage and I’ll add it. Some say that there’s footage of Rory playing in a pub.

Thanks to and BilboBlues, YBens , Broadshee le, and Ulrich Clausen for posting the below vids on YouTube!:

Walk on Hot Coals

I think that “Walk on Hot Coals” above shows the most unique parts of Rory’s playing.

I’m an amateur guitarist (read: crappy), but Rory is clearly what my other crappy guitar-playing friends and I call “being inside the song” on this one.

Tattoo’d Lady

Again, he’s “inside the song” on this one. He gives his bandmates moments to shine…but it’s clear who’s leading the band.

Who’s That Coming?

Rory plays slide guitar in the above. You can see why Jimmy Page loves Rory.

A Million Miles Away

The first minute of this clip has an interview with Rory.

I love what he says about how he likes living in Cork.

“It’s the kind of place where everyone nearly knows everybody else. If you want to meet someone else, you more or less know where to find them. If you don’t want to meet someone you can more or less go where you won’t meet them…which is kind of nice.”

Rory Gallagher (on living in Cork, Ireland)

Then, Rory dives into song. There are some great visuals of Ireland during the song.

Going to My Home Town

Check out Rory’s mandolin playing (above) at the beginning of “Going to My Home Town”.

That’s an instrument you didn’t see Jimi Hendrix or Clapton play.

Cradle Rock

This is a hard and speedy number.

Rory is loving this one — look at how he clenches his fist (positively) to his bandmates.

As The Crow Flies

I think As The Crow Flies is the only song in this documentary that is not written by Rory.

It was written by Tony Joe White.

Hands Off

Hands Off has some of the best interaction between Rory and bass player Gerry McAvoy.

Rory almost gets pulled into the crowd on this one.

Some sites mislabel this song as “Hands Up”. That’s another Rory song — you can listen to here.


Bullfrog is another fast tune.

Rory plays some slide again on this one. At 2:30 mark, he starts doing some unique slide-soloing.

There’s some great shots of the audience going nuts on this one.

And I love the backstage clip of Rory drinking a pint of Guinness that they sprinkle in the middle of the clip.

They also show Rory walking (and driving) around what I think is Cork. He shops at a music store.

He flips through “The Bob Dylan Song Book”.

Then, he picks up the “On The Boards” album by Taste (a trio band Rory was in) and smiles.

This is the only song in which every band member takes an extended solo:

There’s a solid piano solo by Lou Martin at around 1:18.

There’s an awesome bass solo by Gerry McAvoy at the 3:03 mark; followed by a drum solo by Rod de’Ath right after.

Rory plays multiple solos including at the end.

The crowd is really going nuts in this one.

Rory Visits Crowley’s Music Store

Rory talks about how he doesn’t consider himself “a top twenty musician at all…even though I could write a top twenty song…but I don’t think that’s important”.

He talks about wanting to walk into a shop without being recognized.

He walks into Crowley’s Music Store and picks a banjo and tries an electric guitar and talks to a fan while sitting at a keyboard. Then he plays acoustic guitar and says “this is where I got my first guitar”.

Rory Gallagher Teaches Slide Guitar

He shows his pill bottle and steel slides and gives a quick tutorial.

Watch Rory Gallagher Irish Tour 1974 (for $$)

You can also watch the Rory documentary for $$. Here are a few options:

You can buy the DVD at:

You can find the latest streaming options for Rory’s ’74 Irish Tour doc here (though it lists nothing last I checked (June 29, 2024).


  • My Rating: 94/100
  • IMDB Rating: 8.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 100/100 (Users); na/100 (Critics)

Release Date: April 11, 2011 was the release date for Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74 in the U.S. I’m not sure if it was released earlier somewhere else.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc