Did jimi hendrix says Rory Gallagher is the best guitarist of the world ?

music quote print

rory gallagher sweating on his guitar 

This is a common quote you can found on the internet about Jimi Hendrix speaking of Rory Gallagher as the best guitarist of the World....

"What is it to be the best guitarist of the world ? - I don't know, ask Rory Gallagher !" - Jimi Hendrix

So i've tried to find out if it's true or not, and where and when it was ...

rory gallagher jimi hendrix

Jimi was not really in the competition for the title and was very reserved about talking about it : like this interview on the Dick Cavett show in 1969, smile broke out and  replying :

People call you "one of the best guitar players in the world" - Dick Cavett

“the greatest sitting in this chair, maybe.”- J Hendrix

Jimi Also claimed his favourite guitarist was Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top but what about this so famous quote concerning Rory.

Here are my leads for this investigation !

  • The Mike douglas Tv show
  • The Dick Cavett show
  • Did they actually met ??????
  • The Isle of Wight festival - 1970
  • Donal Gallagher Version

      1.Jimi Hendrix at the mike Douglas show : about Rory gallagher 

          This is the main reference i've found about this quote

          "What is it to be the best guitarist of the world ? - I don't know, ask Rory Gallagher !" - Jimi Hendrix

            So let's find this interview on the main website for video, but after 5 minutes of research, i clearly didn't find out this interview.

            best guitarists of all time

            So i've been looking for the Mike Douglas shows resume featuring all episodes from 61 to 81, but didn't find any matches on the keyword "jimi", "Hendrix","Rory" and Gallagher (i did get matches but not the good ones !) If somebody got a hint, please lety me know !

            2. Did Jimi Hendrix meet Rory Gallagher ? matching the dates

            My second point was to know if Jime could have met Rory : Hendrix carreer was between 1966 and 1970 the year he died.

            Rory gallagher was in the irish band "Taste" between 67 and 70 and started a solo carreer afterward.

             rory gallagher jimi hendrix best guitarist

            So the two guys could have met theses years, but still no matches in the TV shows interview but one match in 1970 : on August , during the isle of wight festival : Taste plays and Jimi Hendrix as well !

            So they met there at least once. Let's find out if we can find a Jimi Hendrix interview of 1970. He sees rory plays the guitar so he lnows how good he is but did he says it on the microphone ?

            - Had you met Jimi?
            -"I never met him. I saw him playing two times, but three shows. I was in the Speakeasy Club in London once, and he was sitting a couple of tables away, talking to someone. I hadn’t the guts to go over and annoy him. That’s happened to me a few times. And you regret it later – I mean, all you got to do is shake their hand and make contact. Because these people pass through this world and you don’t get to say hello to them, you know." - Rory Gallagher  sources

            rorty gallagher  best guitarist of world

            3.Jimi Hendrix interview on the Isle of Wight Festival

            1970 is a great Year for Taste, and Rory is a really appreciated and talented musician : John Lennon championed Taste.

            But there is no trace of this famous question "how it felt to be the world’s greatest guitarist", and there are no signs he replies "that he had no idea and the question should be redirected to Rory."

            But one fact is clear : Rory was the one who sweats the most on his guitar !

             rory gallagher sweating on his guitar

            4.Donal Gallagher version

            Here is an extract from an Interview with Donal Gallagher, brother of Rory and manager. Quite interresting to see a new light on this story !


            I’m sure you’ve heard this question plenty, but I’m going to ask it anyway. What truth is there to the story that Jimi Hendrix asked Rory Gallagher how it felt to be the best guitar player in the world?

            Donal Gallagher: That’s a difficult one because it’s something that’s been circulating for a while, and it certainly has been used by the record companies. The source that it stems from is from a South African writer, I can’t remember his name straight off, but he wrote it on his blog. From what we understand, it happened after the Isle of Wight Festival. Now, with these quotes, they get arms and legs onto them, and I’ve seen that it was at Woodstock, but that’s not the case.

            I do know that Hendrix had been to see Rory. In fact, on one occasion, Rory had a guy on stage jamming with him, this guy called Tim Rose. Tim Rose had a hit with this song called “Morning Dew,” and the other side of the record was “Hey Joe,” which was a traditional song he had contemporized. So he was on stage that night and spotted Hendrix at the back of the room and actually left the stage to go physically attack Hendrix because he felt Hendrix stole the song.

            So Rory told me to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t do anything whatsoever to Jimi, so I followed him down to make sure that he didn’t. So anyway, Hendrix and Tim got talking, and Hendrix bought Time a drink and told him how much he like his record. He told him that it inspired him to rerecord it.

            Certainly, Jimi did see Rory on a few occasions at the clubs in London. I think that the phrase, to be honest, was at the Isle of Wight Festival. Now, Rory had opened on the Friday night, early at the festival. That caused quite a sensation; he actually got five encores. I still have all the press clippings. Here was this new guy who stole the festival. Hendrix didn’t play until Sunday night and wasn’t very well actually. He was quite ill at the time, and didn’t do a particularly great set.

            This interview with the South African guy was conducted afterwards, so he may have been asking, “With everyone excited about Rory Gallagher…” and then the question. So you can take it in two slightly different ways, but nonetheless it’s an acknowledgement.



            So here it is, to be continued and the identity of this South African Journalist to be find !

            rory gallagher biography portrait

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