Rory Gallagher’s 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 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 boost, which is the setting best suited to me. It can really change the character of your guitar.

Rory Gallagher A Question of Taste

However, what’s confusing is that there doesn’t seem to exist such a pedal.

To figure out what’s going on – in the quote above, Rory mentions that the unit in question resembles a CE-1 (photo below) and that it’s green. Of course, scouring the internet for vintage Boss models returns no results, nor does there seem to exist something called a BD-1.

A vintage Boss CE-1 pedal.

So, most likely what happened is that the interviewer misheard Rory, or that there were some errors in transcribing the interview because there is a big green Boss pedal that Rory used. But it wasn’t a BD-1, it was a Boss DB-5 Driver.

Given the similarities in the naming scheme (Boss Blues Driver versus Boss Driver), this seems like the most likely possibility.

Rory’s own Boss DB-5. Thanks to Daniel Gallagher for the photo.


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Pj Williams
Pj Williams
3 years ago

You can see this pedal clearly on top of his amp during the intro section of Tatoo’d Lady on the Live In Cork footage. Its about 1.30 in right before the band join in.
Ive been a long time fan of boosts and eq’s because of Rory there is really no other way to get those kind of tones. Great work on your site!