1978-81

How I joined: One evening after SAHB split, I decided to pay Alex Harvey a visit. We headed out from his home to see Jackie Lynton, whom he’d worked with in Hamburg alongside Tony Sheridan (The Beatles). As soon as we arrived in the music pub in north London I ran into a recording engineer I knew, and happened to ask him what another engineer, Colin Fairley, was doing. “He’s working with Rory Gallagher, and they’re auditioning drummers,” I was told. “That sounds interesting,” I said – I’d first met Rory when my first band, the Rare Breed, supported his band Taste in 1967. Next day I got a call from Colin. I did my first gig with Rory on 24 June 1978 at the Mountain Dew Festival in Macroom, Ireland.

What we achieved: The first album I recorded with Rory was Photo-Finish and I found over the years that Shadow Play, one of the songs on that album, is a very popular track with the fans. I’m very fond of another track from the same album, Overnight Bag. It’s a song that really sums the ups and downs of life on the road and brings back fond memories of Rory.

What I remember: On the 17th March 1980 we played the Lyceum in London. Rory was famous for wearing the crowd out and this night was no exception. After having worked with him and Gerry McAvoy for some time by then, I was used to pacing myself. We usually did three or four encores, and on the final one I would give it the works. Everything I had in reserve was spent on that last encore so when we reached the end of this particular set I was surprised to look around and see Al Kooper appear on the stage. What can I tell you? We played on for another half an hour. My legs and arms gradually began to seize up, cramping due to lack of salt and at one point. I imagined being carried off, stiff, like a statue – but I managed to get to the end and I think we must have played well over two hours.

What you should hear: Cruise On Out and Mississippi Sheiks from the album Photo-Finish.