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Rare Guitars: Rory Gallagher’s 1963 Epiphone Coronet

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Rare Guitars: Rory Gallagher’s 1963 Epiphone Coronet
Image: Eleanor Jane
Rory Gallagher 1963 Epiphone Coronet
All images: Eleanor Jane

The old adage of “less being more” may have struck a chord with Rory Gallagher, at least with this particular guitar in his collection.

One of the most strikingly desirable guitars Daniel Gallagher – Rory’s nephew – brought with him during our interview is an Epiphone Coronet from 1963. With its single P-90 pickup and beautifully checked and faded finish, it might be the most eye-catching guitar in the collection, and Daniel agrees…

“I absolutely love this guitar!” he enthuses. “The upper-fret access, the colour, everything! [Rory] absolutely loved P-90s. I think if he could have routed out his Strat and put a P-90 in the bridge he probably would have! He loved Les Paul Juniors, the Gretsch Corvette he had, he routed it out and put a P-90 in there. 

“He liked P-90s for slide, so you can see this being a slide guitar. With a lot of songs, such as Bullfrog Blues, he liked to have one setup, as opposed to having loads of controls and pickups to mess with. It was like, ‘that’s the tone for that song’. So having just the one pickup, he liked that there was no messing, really direct, loads of attack – and having loads of access at the upper frets would also be great for slide. 

“I think he just got this because it was green, for Ireland! The checking on it is amazing, and the scratchplate is bowing, but it looks so cool – I’d steal that!”

Check out more of Rory Gallagher’s jaw-dropping collection here.