Slash, Rory and the Legendary Fender Stratocaster Sunburst

Published On 8 April, 2015 | By Andy Kershaw | Andy Kershaw, Journalism, Television

In November 2014, I had an emotional reunion with Donal Gallagher, brother of Rory. (Rory was my first music hero, when I was 12).

I was interviewing Slash (ex Guns & Roses), for The One Show, in Dublin, about our shared enthusiasm for Rory. Donal turned up with THAT guitar, serial number 64351 – Rory’s famous, battered 1961 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst.

Rory used this very guitar on the night of my first live gig (Manchester Free Trade Hall, November 1974), an experience which truly changed the course of my life. Never before had I heard anything as loud. I came out of that concert knowing that working in live music was where I really wanted to be.

64351 was still with Rory when he came to play at concerts I organised at Leeds University, years later. Rory was the most modest and humble rock star with whom I’ve ever had dealings. Yet massively talented.

It was hugely moving to see Donal again – also Rory’s tour manager for all those years – and I felt very honoured to be allowed to hold the guitar. And strum it inexpertly. Bless you, Donal. And Rory is still much missed.

  • Andy and Slash with Donal and Rory's battered 1961 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst
  • Andy and with Donal Gallagher and Rory's battered 1961 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst
  • Andy with Rory Gallagher's battered 1961 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst
  • Rory Gallagher playing his legendary 1961 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst
  • Andy interviewing Rory for The Whistle Test in 1985

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