Rory Gallagher’s 1960s Hofner Colorama

access_time First seen circa 1960

Rory used this guitar briefly while he played within the showband Fontana, sometime in the early sixties. The guitar wasn’t actually his but was borrowed because the only other guitar he had at the time was the Rosetti Solid Seven. Apparently, that guitar just didn’t cut it, and Rory soon invested in a Stratocaster.

When I joined the showband, after a few months I got a Strat. It took me four years to pay it off on HP. I`d borrowed a Hofner Colorama for a while, which wasn’t bad. Anyhow, I sold the Solid Seven when I got the Fender and borrowed a Vox AC30 from the bass player in the band.

…RORY GALLAGHER talks to NICK ROBERTSHAW

The Colorama that was most likely an early 60s model with double cutout body, featuring tremolo bridge and either one (Model 163) or two (Model 164) single-coil pickups. It was finished in red, as all of the Coloramas at that time were.

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access_time 1963

1961 Fender Stratocaster

Rory bought this guitar (Serial Number 64351) for £100 in 1963 on credit from the owner of Crowley’s Music Store in Cork, Michael Crowley. Over the years, the Strat would become Rory’s main guitar and the one he would most often be associated with. Origin Story The story of how Rory came to own his 1961 Fender Stratocaster is somewhat interesting in itself. The guitar’s previous owner was Jim Conlon, who is known […]

access_time 1970

1966 Fender Telecaster

Rory was first seen playing this guitar during a gig played sometime in early to mid-1970 [Photo of Rory Gallagher 1970 Copenhagen, Denmark]. The exact date of this gig is unknown, but January 1st (as noted in the original photo description) seems to be unlikely since Taste played Ulster Hall in Belfast on that exact date. The next time Rory appears with this guitar is the Isle of Wight concert in August 1970. At that point, […]

access_time 1963

Vox AC30

Rory first got his hands on a Vox AC30 way back in the early sixties, when he was playing in a showband called Fontana. This was around the same time when he acquired his first Fender Stratocaster – so 1963. When I joined the showband, after a few months I got a Strat. It took me four years to pay it off on HP. I`d borrowed a Hofner Colorama for […]

access_time 1981

Marshall 100-watt Bass Head

This amp was used by Rory during the 80s, usually in combination with a Marshall 50W combo, and Rory’s trusty Vox AC30. Embed from Getty Images The amp wasn’t actually Rory’s but was borrowed from Gerry McAvoy. When it comes to amps I tend to vary things about every six months. I started with a Vox AC30 combo, and that model is still in my set-up, but I go through […]

access_time 1979

1957 Gretsch Corvette

Purchased for $80 in a Pawnshop in the late 70s. This eventually became a substitute guitar for the Esquire. At present I’m using a Gretsch Corvette for slide instead of the Esquire. The Corvette is Gretsch’s attempt at a Les Paul Junior, but I took off the Gretsch pickup because it was too weak and I put on a P90, which is an old black Gibson single coil pickup. Beat Instrumental, […]

access_time 1959

Rosetti Solid 7

This was Rory’s first electric guitar, bought about two years after he acquired his first acoustic guitar – a dark sunburst general model of unknown manufacturer. This guitar was made by a Dutch firm called Egmond and imported into the UK by Rosetti company, who sold them for about £20 in the 60s. Although we couldn’t find any photos of Rory with the guitar, he most likely had the two-pickup model, since the three-pickup one […]

access_time 1989

Boss BF-2 Flanger

According to a 1989 interview, Rory liked to use flangers over chorus pedals. At that particular point of time, he was using the Boss BF-2. I don’t use chorus – I prefer flanging (I use the BF-2). Rory Gallagher A Question of Taste There’s also a quote from him from the early 90s on the subject of flanger versus chorus, which is a bit confusing. Depending on how you read […]

access_time 1971

1958/59 Fender Esquire

First photos of Rory playing this guitar that we know of were taken by Richard Zimmermann on October 20, 1971, in Milwaukee, so it is somewhat safe to say that Rory acquired it sometime in summer or early fall 1971. The guitar is an Esquire model, but Gallagher himself often referred to it as a Telecaster since it was fitted with a neck pickup – essentially converting it to a Tele. The Telecaster is a 1953 Esquire […]

access_time 1972

Boss DB-5 Driver

In a 1989 interview, Rory mentioned that one of his main pedals is a Boss BD-1 Drive, which he has been used basically from the beginning. About the first one I got was the Boss BD-1 Driver, which I still use. It’s a big green box (rather like the old Boss CE-1) with three settings: Distortion, Fuzz, and a third which is almost straight -a plain graphic and overall volume […]

access_time 1991

Herco Flex 75 Guitar Picks

Based on Rory’s description, the guitar picks that he used in the 90s were the grey (charcoal) Herco Flex 75s. These are quite popular among the “old-school” players, such as Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, and Gary Moore – just to name a few. If you’re looking to get yourself a pack, this is the current version manufactured by Dunlop – Herco HE211P Flex 75 Nylon Flat Pick. [I use] Charcoal […]

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