Rory Gallagher Performs “Gambling Blues” Solo at the Isle of Wight — Premiere

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Rory Gallagher’s 1970 performance at the Isle of Wight festival with his power trio Taste is the centerpiece of a new documentary, and you can watch a clip from it below in which the guitarist delivers a solo performance of “Gambling Blues.”

Titled What’s Going On—Live at the Isle of Wight, the video (from Eagle Rock Entertainment) is a chronicle of both the trio’s 1970 performance and a documentary about Gallagher and the band’s significance.

Gallagher made his name in the Seventies and Eighties as a singularly gifted guitarist. His flair for fiery blues-rock improv, performed on a weathered Strat, won him an elite group of fans that included Bob Dylan, and inspired many guitarists who came after him, among them The Edge, Slash and Brian May.

But prior to launching his solo career, the Irish guitarist found success with the power trio Taste. Between 1966 and 1970, the group released two studio albums and two live records, including their 1971 postmortem Live at the Isle of Wight, which featured their set at the 1970 rock festival.

The Isle of Wight show was filmed by director Murray Lerner on 16mm film. It has been meticulously restored for this release. The audio has also been remixed for the video and the accompanying soundtrack. 

Gallagher’s nephew Daniel says of the clip shown below, “This is the moment in Taste’s performance at the Isle of Wight Festival where the crowd realized that they were watching a band and, in Rory, a guitarist in such astonishing form that despite they’re subsequent breakup, it would become the stuff of legend. Forty-five years later, we can finally see what those fortunate 600,000 in attendance witnessed thanks to Murray Lerner’s film.” 

The video features all six tracks included on Taste’s Live at the Isle of Wight album along with three music videos for “I’ll Remember,” “What’s Going On” and “Born on the Wrong Side of Time,” and a trio of performances from the German TV show Beat Club. Featured interviewees include Brian May, The Edge, Bob Geldof, jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, and Gallagher’s brother Donal, who also served as road manager for Taste.

What’s Going On—Live at the Isle of Wight is available on Blu-ray and DVD, and the soundtrack is offered on LP, CD, and digital.

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