top of page
Eternal "Rory Gallagher" Tribute

Eternal "Rory Gallagher" Tribute


Eternal "Rory Gallagher '61" Tribute 


Not many guitars make the national news when stolen, but in 1966 Rory Gallagher’s famed guitar did just that when it went missing after a gig in Dublin. It was found shortly after lying abandoned in a rainy ditch - the thief realising that it was too hot an item to handle.

Much like the man - who died at an early age, the guitar is an understated classic. Not perhaps as renowned as SRV’s “Number One” or Clapton’s “Blackie” but equally important, particularly to those from Ireland where it was unheard of to have your very own guitar hero, but also to his wider audience of discerning blues and guitar fans in general, Rory was a shy, quiet and introverted soul and his guitar reflected this in many ways.

According to legend, it was the first Stratocaster to ever reach Ireland, and Rory bought it on credit for £100 in 1963 from Crowley’s Music Store in Cork when its original owner, who had ordered a Fiesta Red one, returned it.

It began life as a stock alder-bodied 1961 model with a three-tone sunburst finish and maple neck with a slab rosewood fingerboard. It would undergo a lot of changes in the thirty-odd years of touring - the finish most famously was worn away by use, Rory’s sweat and a short period of laying in a rainy ditch when stolen and quickly abandoned by the perpetrator.

The original celluloid pickguard warped from heat exposure (not in Ireland one presumes!) so was replaced with a slightly later one post ’64 or according to the screw layout.

The pickups were changed as they failed or needed rewinding mid-tour so the pickups here are my recreations of his. I've settled on what seems to be most consistent, which is a late ‘50s/early ‘60s Formvar wound neck unit, a mid-'70s Plain Enamel middle pup (with the D and G poles pushed down so they poke out the bottom of the flatwork!) and an overwound, beefier late '50s style bridge pickup - again using Heavy Formvar and black wax-potting. I've used shielding paint in the cavities, but kept the electrics somewhat neater and more reliable than the original which was heavily modified and messed with over the years.

Rory also installed a 5-way switch and rewired for a master volume and master tone layout but I’ve wired for master tone on the bridge pickup with the other tone for neck and middle as it makes things more flexible tonally, but it’s an easy mod should you prefer a master tone set-up for authenticity.

The tuners have been changed numerous times with the original headstock showing clear evidence of the original Klusons, ‘70s F-stamped units, Schallers and finally non-locking Sperzels of which five survived - the low E tuner being replaced with a Gotoh when it failed at a show.

The second string tree was most probably added with the Schallers to reinstate the string angle over the nut which is lost with modern tuners (compared to Klusons).

The bridge saddles (and possibly the bridge) have also been changed as the original bent steel ones would have rotted away from sweat/use. I’ve seen footage of Rory playing the guitar with chunky brass saddles (most probably Schecter) but it seems that he returned to a set of ‘70s die-cast saddles in chrome finish.

One of the original clay dots at the 12th fret also went missing at some point and was replaced (not particularly sympathetically) with a white plastic one, and I’ve recreated this feature too. 

The guitar would have been re-fretted on several occasions and Rory by all accounts preferred using the original vintage-sized fretwire, but for my version, I’ve used medium 6130 fretwire but retained the vintage 7.25” radius for an enhanced vintage feel and she’s an absolute breeze to play. 


  • Model: Eternal “Rory Gallagher” Tribute S-Type
  • Body: Lightweight two-piece alder
  • Neck: Maple with rosewood fingerboard
  • Neck profile: Slim C-shape
  • Neck dimensions: 21.8mm deep at 1st fret to 24mm deep at 12th
  • Radius: 7.25”
  • Fret size: 6130
  • Number of frets: 21
  • Nut width: 41.9mm
  • Finish: All nitrocellulose, heavily aged three-tone sunburst on body with worn tinted maple on neck
  • Plastics: Three-ply mint green pickguard with aged parchment pickup covers and knobs
  • Bridge: Gotoh vintage repro with steel block and ‘70s style block saddles
  • Tuners: Sperzel non-locking with Gotoh on the low E string.
  • Pickups: Eternal hand wound ’Shin-Kicker' Rory G Set.
  • Electronics: CTS vintage repro 250k volume and tone pots with a “Phone Book” capacitor, a CRL five-way selector switch, cloth-covered hook-up wire and a Switchcraft output jack socket.
  • Nut: Handcut bone
  • Strings: Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46
  • Weight: 7.9Ibs
  • Case: Vintage style hardcase included
bottom of page