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.


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 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 […]

access_time 1982

DOD 680 Analog Delay

Used regularly live. In the studio, however, Rory preferred to use a Watkins Copicat Tape Delay, which he thought sounded more authentic. And I’ve got a DOD analog. They’re back on the amps, and that’s set at the minimum setting, just for a little bit of slap-back. Kerrang No.15 May6-19, 1982 I always have a small delay on one of my amps, like a Memory Man or a DOD. Kerrang […]

access_time 1978

Boss GE-6 Graphic Equalizer

Rory used an EQ pedal to get more mid-range from his amps. As far as the exact model, on Rory’s official website there are photos of the Boss GE-6. Since this pedal was produced from around 1978, it could be that Rory used it for the majority of his career. I’ve also got a couple of Boss effects which I think are very good, a chorus, flanger, overdrive and a […]

access_time 1982

Boss FA-1 FET

Mentioned by Rory in 1982, as something he was using at the time as a replacement for Dallas Rangeboost that he was used extensively up until then. I use the Boss FET pedal which, although a transistor, has been designed to sound as much like a valve as possible. It still can’t beat the old Dallas Rangemaster that was doing the rounds in the ‘sixties though. Kerrang No.15  May6-19, 1982 […]

access_time 1991

Martin Medium Gauge Acoustic Guitar Strings

According to an interview Rory gave in 1991, he used Martin medium gauge strings on his acoustic guitars. Acoustic would be medium gauge Martin strings. guitar for the practicing musician, August 1991 issue. If you’re looking to buy a set for yourself, basically look for any decent .013 – .056 strings. If you want strictly Martin, go for their Martin MSP4200 SP Phosphor Bronze set.

access_time 1995

1958 Fender Stratocaster

Rory owned a vintage 1957 maple-neck Stratocaster that he used only in the studio. This information comes from the 1998 article published in December 1998 issue of The Guitar Magazine, and from the Rory Gallagher official website, where you can see the photos of the guitar. It’s unknown when exactly Rory acquired this Stratocaster, on which specific tracks he used it.

access_time 1974

1932 National Resonator

First used by Rory on As The Crow Flies during the Irish Tour in 1974/75. Occasionally, later on, he switched to a prototype model Takamine electro-acoustic which was much easier to amplify in live gigs. I’ve also got a steel bodied National Resonator. You wouldn’t believe it only cost £100. That’s a fantastic price. It’s brown, an Acolian model it’s called, I think. It’s the thing. It’s the type with […]

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