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Edge Pays Tribute to Legendary Bluesman Who 'Laid Road' for U2

Irish Independent
U2 guitarist the Edge last night unveiled a sculpture to legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher in Dublin's Temple Bar.

Making a rare offstage appearance, the Edge said that Rory had "laid the road" which U2 had followed.

"I just want to say Rory was an incredible influence on me as a guitar player," the U2 guitarist told a crowd of more than 1,000 people. "I got to know him a bit and I did call him my friend."

The Edge said that Rory's legacy would be immortalised in his music.

Rory Gallagher blazed the trail for other rock'n'roll bands who followed.

"He laid the road on which we followed," he said.

Lord Mayor Catherine Byrne recited lines from one of Gallagher's best-known songs "Shadow Play" and said she was proud that the sculpture, a bronze replica of Rory's paint-stripped Fender Stratocaster would be a beacon for fans in the cultural quarter of Temple Bar.

The Lord Mayor said the sculpture which was unveiled by the Edge was another historic milestone for the city of Dublin.

Councillor Byrne described Rory Gallagher as a fantastic musician, an artist who was self-taught and who last played in Temple Bar in front of 50,000 fans.

Donal Gallagher, Rory's brother and manager, said that the guitarist had loved Dublin adding that he had played some of his best performances there.

He praised Mark Walsh of Keynote Music, the driving force behind the bronze guitar sculpture.

Gallagher is regarded by many as the greatest-ever blues guitarist and during his lifetime sold 14 million albums.

The bronze guitar unveiled by The Edge on the gable of the National Photographic Archive was sculpted by Bronze Art.

Rory Gallagher, who was born in Ballyshannon Co. Donegal but grew up in Cork City died in 1995 at the age of 47 from complications following a liver transplant.

Thousands of people attended an open-air concert in Gallagher's memory at the Meeting House Square in Temple Bar following the unveiling of the sculpture.

© Irish Independent, 2006.