I was just a kid when I met Rory. I can't remember the venue (I really wish I could). It was a bar in Manchester sometime in either '73 or '74.
A friend of mine introduced me to the band and I ended up playing. Rory asked me what my name was, I said Chris Dair, and he said "it can't be Dair, it must be O'Dair", which I later found was true! I remember we played Catfish Blues and it was absolutely brilliant, a knockout.
I met him again at the Free Trade Hall awhile after that. The guy I was with knew the singer out of the support band and we were backstage saying Hi, talking and drinks etc. All of us, including Rory of course, went back to the Imperial for drinks after the gig, and I was there till about 5 am, Rory just played all night. I remember he played Traintime Blues on this old steel guitar (not sure if it was a Dobro) for about half an hour. Rory also played my Dobro.
He was a very down to earth guy, there was no edge to him whatsoever, he said what he believed and that was it. I got the impression he wouldn't say anything unless he meant it. He believed very passionately in what he was doing.
I remember having to get a taxi to the station and coming back home on the "milk train" in the morning.
The way I feel about people like Rory now is very different to how it felt at the time. Then it didn't seem that much out of the ordinary to any of us.
Hope this is of interest to you - It was a very special time for me as a guitarist, and I treasure the opportunity I had to meet and play with Rory.
I met Bukka White when I was a very young guitarist, he was doing a tour with several other great jazz/blues players - I am pretty sure it was in Leek, Staffordshire in the UK - I wish I'd chronicled all the people I played with during that period of my life!
As a musician it was the really important things that stuck in my mind, for instance, who he was, what he was playing. He played with incredible technique on his right hand - kind of playing a double rythm (slide with left), he was playing a Dobro, I don't remember the song. Afterwards he was a true gent as always and said to me "That's some fine guitar!". Needless to say I never forgot that!