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Famous Guitars

1961 Sunburst - Rory Gallagher

Serial# 64351

1961 Sunburst - Rory Gallagher

Most associated with:

Rory Gallagher
Born: March 2, 1948
Died: June 14, 1995

Current Ownership:

Family Estate courtesy of:
Donal Gallagher

Previous Ownership:

Jim Conlon

This guitar is the most authentic and heaviest road-worn guitar in existence. I mean. its gotta be.

If guitars could tell stories from the road, it would have many. This was Irish rock and guitar virtuous Rory Gallaghers main guitar of choice. He took it with him on every gig he played.

The guitar is said to be the first Stratocaster that made into the borders of Ireland but its not confirmed. But the story goes: A musician called Jim Conlon (who died in 2008) ordered this guitar in 1961 and when he got it, it was a sunburst. He originally wanted a red Strat because Hank Marvin had one. Jim was a guitar player for The Royal Showband

Conlon did however, play this guitar until he received his proper red one. And after that, he put this guitar up for sale at a music store owned by one Michael Crowley. A young Rory saw it there and managed to get the guitar on credit for a sum of £100 which he paid off in installments. And so as they say, off they went on a musical journey.

In 1966, this guitar was stolen. Rory went as far as going to a TV network and have them put out an APB on his beloved guitar. That actually paid off because the guitar was found not long after discarded in a rainy ditch. The guitar was bruised and beaten a little, but still OK.

Fender made a limited Custom Shop replica of this guitar. Due to heavy demand, they decided to still make them and they are in production today.

There are numerous video on YouTube of Rory playing this guitar live.

More information of this guitar:

Official Website


Guitar photo courtesy of

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