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Rory Gallagher: Live at Montreux
Rory Gallagher Live at Montreux
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2006     4hr 34min

Legendary Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher played the renowned Montreux Festival on five occasions, spanning his breakthrough years in the mid-seventies right up to the year before his tragic early death at the age of 47 in ...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, DTS
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/30/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 4hr 34min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Ultimate Rory Collection
amsterdamaged | 06/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"American Fans Rejoice. For years we've had to settle for the dreadfully directed "Irish Tour" movie, or inferior quality bootlegs sold on Ebay. Well, your prayers have been answered. "Live at Montreux" is a stunning collection of live concerts that captures Rory at his very best, from every stage of his career. There are four shows (75, 77, 79, 85), each about half an hour in legth, plus the entire concert from '94, and a bonus compillation on acoustic tracks. In all, there's about four and a half hours of material. The sound quality is amazing (dolby digital and DTS). The lighting, cinematography, and editing are all top notch. The performances are superior to any of Rory's live CDs.

Rory tears through "Tatoo'd Lady" and "Cradle Rock", delivering impassioned solos which are far superior to previously released live versions. "Garbage Man" is a slow blues tour deforce. On "Laundromat", Rory pulls out all the stops. The '75 performance was shot on film rather than tape, and the cinematography is amazing, adding drama and tension which serves to compliment the music.

By 77, Rory begins to move away from strictly blues-rock, and his music takes on a harder edge, as can be heard on the tracks, "I Take What I Want", "Shin Kicker", and "Shadow Play". "A Million Miles Away" is breathtaking and impassioned as always. On "Too Much Alcohol", "Out on a Western Plain", and particularly on "Pistol Slapper Blues", a textbook example of piedmont style taken to insane new heights, perfectly shows that, as a master of the blues, Rory was a virtuoso at every form.

What more can be said? This is the best music DVD in my collection. For pure molten pleasure, it holds up against the Led Zeppelin DVD, Jimi at Woodstock, and even Stevie Live at the el Macambo. So kick back, crack open a cold one, and get ready to rock. 5 stars is not enough.

Rory At His Best
political idiot | california | 06/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For many years the 1974 Irish Tour DVD has represented quintessential live Rory Gallagher. This collection, however, may well replace it. Rory was the real deal and never gave in to the temptation of the commercial route like many of his contemporaries. Rory was not only a monster flat picker who was able to get that cool harmonic out of the string with his right hand but he was also a great standard tuning slide player. What distinguishes Gallagher from other players is his presence, raw talent, and genuine passion. What he lacks in vocal ability he more then makes up for with stunning command of those six strings. Just a beat up 1961 Stratocaster (most players opt for a few stand bys in case of a string break or an open key change, but not Rory) plugged directly into a 100 watt amp most of the time provide for no BS sets of great guitar based music. Each set is a mix of originals and cover material and he pays tribute in fine order to some of my favorite Chicago blues men.

In contrast to the atrociously filmed, syncopated, and edited Irish Tour DVD, each session on this one is actually filmed, sync'd, and edited properly. This is mostly an electric affair, but he does throw in a sweet acoustic number now and again ( "Banker's Blues" from 1985 and the 1994 medley with Bela Fleck's banjo accompniment are particularly great, but sorry to say no offering of the Tony Joe White classic "As The Crow Flies" on this one). On "Calling Card" from '77 (Rory throws a couple of pre- Eddie Van Halen finger taps in for size). My preference is for the earlier more raw footage from '75 - `79 as it does get a little more refined and slightly more subdued as time passes. It is too tough to name all the standouts as the whole group of shows is stellar.

Band mates change and Rory progressively fills out, but this is two jam packed DVDs spanning near twenty years at Montreux. Disc one covers 1975 - 1985 and disc two is the whole 1994 show just a year before his death and some extra cuts from previous years. This chronological collection is a tasty tribute to a master strat man. Rory left us way too soon and this collection just reminds us of his seemingly infinite creativity and talent."
The mighty Rory, captured in all his glory... 6 stars
Mr. Thomas Thatcher | Salisbury, UK | 01/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Santa at last gave me this DVD, although the Santa looked not unlike me. As with Rory Gallagher Live at the Rock Palast, this collection of electrifying performances once again sets the standard that others should aspire to, although many of them clearly do not even try. It also reminds me, miserable old sod that I am, why I find it so hard to get worked up about bands such as Maximo Park, Coldplay, Embrace, the Doves, the sad American geek punkers like Fall Out Boy, Bowling For Soup, no-hopers like Linkin Park and Green Day and, going back, such appalling aural assaults such as the hugely over-rated Clash and 99% of those pathetic punk rockers. Why are they all such feeble musicians? Why can none of the bass players play bass? Anybody put on their Slits or Adverts LP lately? No? Never Mind the Bollocks? No? The only thing to say about the Sex Pistols is that they were like Motorhead but without the talent , the skill or visual charm.

Those of you familiar with Rory know the score. The first concerts contain the ultimate Rory line-up of Gerry McAvoy, Lou Martin and Rod De'Ath, the latter being surely among the few top rock/blues drummers ever. The first three concerts, from '75, '77 and '79 are really exciting and brilliant, with Laundromat from the 75 concert being one of the best live performances I have ever seen. I am also reminded just how good, witty and musically skilful Rory's own songs are. Also simply hypnotising are Tatoo'd Lady, Take What I Want, Do You Read me and Calling Card (from Calling Card) and all the acoustic numbers. Bankers Blues (Broonzy) and Pistol Slapper Blues (Fuller) are both fantastic, holding the audience spellbound with his acoustic guitar and voice alone.

As most of you know, Rory didn't like pedals or effects at all, so one has many opportunities to see how he uses the tone and volume controls on the guitar with his right hand to produce the sounds he wants, plus a whole variety of "pick" harmonics and use of amp/guitar. As the tone, volume and harmonics change about every five seconds while he plays some incomprehensibly good solo, you suddenly realise why all the Van Halens and Satrianis and Vais, with 8 million pedals and effects, and miles of widdly-woo, are so unsatisfying - it doesn't mean anything. It's just watch-me notes.

Gerry McAvoy's bass is just sensational and his bitter sweet memoir of over 20 years on the road with Rory, including 30 American tours, is well worth reading. It's called "Riding Shotgun".

I cannot single out any particular track because they are all exceptional, and perhaps Rory's exuberant rendition of his hero Muddy Waters' Garbage Man sums up the band and the man: Rory adored urban and country blues and always considered that the proponents, Muddy, Blind Boy Fuller, BB King, Freddie King, Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, Lighting Hopkins and so on were in a different league from him. Not so. Rory brought back the exciting blast of music that was made to be danced to and to be celebrated that somehow got lost in many of the po-faced purist interpreters. We should remember that the magnificent Robert Johnson, for example, played for dances and weddings and in juke joints, not in a sterile "I got de blooze" atmosphere.

I have to say that the last full concert shows a Rory that saddens me. Of course he's better than most people will ever dream of being, of course he loves it and gives it his all - but he looks ill and his hands have liver spots. How guilty do we all feel that Rory sat alone in a dismal flat in London for a couple of years, virtually unvisited, and the year after this he was to die? How sad is it that all those who eulogised him after his death (no names, but "you two" know who you are) never mentioned him when he was alive or even half-alive? All those Irish rock concerts with the dreaded U2, the dreaded Van Morrison, the dreaded Water Boys and the dreaded Sinead O'Connor - but no mention of Rory. However, on the last full concert he does pull out a version of Leadbelly's "Out on the Western Plain" which has some of the best acoustic playing I have seen and blows away, on its own, almost the entite opus of the above roster of Gaelic funsters. I should mention for the musos that Rory uses 4 tunings, standard, open G open D and open E, and that on six electric numbers he plays some of the finest slide guitar you'll ever hear this side of Elmore James or Ry Cooder, sometimes in standard tuning like Jeff Beck. Wonderful.

I remember the excellent Ray Coleman in the old Melody Maker (Ray was articulate, literate and intelligent, like Chris Welch of the same paper. These are now unpopular traits)) telling the tale that at one of the Montreux Jazz Festivals, 1975, the famous American jazz guitarist Larry Coryell (of 11th House fame) was jamming around with other jazzers in a noodling way to a very restless crowd. Along came Rory in his checked shirt, jeans and plimsolls and took the riff by the scruff of its neck, set it going, and presided over one of the best impromptu sets of any Montreux Jazz Festival, still remembered as a lifetime high-spot by many.

He got to play with his hero Muddy Waters (his other huge white influence was Lonnie Donegan) at the London Sessions (available on CD and good in places, but not stunning) and it stands out a mile that of all the usual suspects, Rory learnt from Muddy immediately and played accordingly. He tells how even watching Muddy tune up sent shivers down his spine, like meeting God and being asked to help out.

No, Rory was not about striking attitudes, or being a professionally rude and grumpy grumpy rock star or saving the world, or insulting public figures with the cover of fame to protect him. He was about playing the best, most exciting rock and blues ever and this DVD confirms it with no further words needed. How in God's name all those who claim to have been influenced by Rory can say that, when their playing is so anodyne and lacking in real feeling is beyond me. As always, the viewer is left with a huge sense of loss that Rory died so young, a victim, ultimately, of the grape and the barley. Ironically, two of the bonus acoustic tracks are his own Grape and Barley Blues (covered by the Dubliners, yet) and Tony Joe's Too much Alcohol.

The world lost one of its greatest players and, importantly, nicest and kindest people in 1995: thank God these tapes are surfacing so that others can see what it was like to be in the presence of a master. He didn't change the world, he just made it better.

I saw Rory Live 38 times, got to know him quite well, watched him blow Hendrix off the stage (not hard given the tuning/timing/equpiment/volume problems that Hendrix had, not to mention the dope), saw him take massive festivals by storm - and not once did I or anybody else hear him utter a harsh word or nasty comment. No fan was turned away, no book left unsigned. He was even graceful about his fan Slash (of fun-lovers Guns 'n' Goats) when the latter jumped up on stage with Rory at the Roxy and, seeing what Rory could do, jumped off again pretty damn' quick in shame. I remember also that after the first Isle of Wight Festival, all those who went agreed that Taste (Rory) and Procol Harum with Robin Trower won the day by a very long way. Legend and memory has changed this to Hendrix lately. I still have the cuttings, though! We know the truth.

If you don't believe me, get this DVD and just watch the 75 and 77 concerts. If you can still listen to the Clash, or the Doves, or Coldplay, or Babyshambles, or Green Day, or Lifehouse, or Yellow Card or Embrace, or (shudder) the Magic Numbers without cringing at how much we have recessed musically, I will personally refund the price you paid for the DVD. I have done my best with all these bands and have seen many of them live (the Clash exerience still makes me wake up in a cold sweat, thinking I have died and gone to Hell and watched some hellish rehearsal of no-hopers in Dinton Village Hall) but they are all so feeble compared to this quality. They would have been booed off any stage in any small village hall in the 60s. Not Rory. Oh no, not Rory.
D. K Newman | Coronado, CA, United States | 07/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been searching Amazon for a long time now to see if there were any live DVD's of Rory and this is better than I hoped! Excellent quality audio & video. When I started out playing guitar in the early 70's, I was in awe of what he did with just his guitar and a 45 or 60 watt Fender amp, while a majority of everybody else was hiding behind walls of Marshalls.
With a minimum of equipment and a maximum amount of talent and humility, Rory gave us all a ton of joyous music to enjoy!"