Catalyst Club --March 15, 1991
Catalyst Club --March 15, 1991

Santa Cruz, California, a picturesque town on the northern shores of Monterey Bay, was discovered by Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola in 1769. He named its beautiful flowing river, San Lorenzo, in honor of St. Lawrence and named the surrounding hillside, Santa Cruz, or "Holy Cross".

Santa Cruz also has California's only seaside amusement park, it is also the oldest amusemnent park in the state. It houses two national treasures: the 1911 Looff Carousel and the 1924 Giant Dipper roller coaster.

In the heart of the city lies the Catalyst Club,the premier Nite Club of the Monterey Bay Area. Artists such as Neil Young, Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, and Pearl Jam have graced the Catalyst stage in years past. Called the "father of the live music scene" for the bay area, it hosts a 5,000 square foot dance hall and can hold a capacity crowd of 800. The bar downstairs is 100 feet long, starting in the front room and extending into the concert area

In 1991, Rory returned to America after a long hiatus and performed at the Catalyst on the Ides of March. Unfortunately, this proved to be his final tour of the States. At the Catalyst Club that night was Jas Obrecht, a writer for Guitar Player magazine. Prior to the show, Jas had a chance to interview Rory. You can read the interview on Jas Obrecht's blog: Jas Obrecht Musical Archive. Although the weather outside would not have been warm enough for a dip in the ocean or a ride on The "Giant Dipper" at the local amusement park, Rory certainly heated it up inside the Catalyst Club that night. Jas talks about the show in the prelogue to the interview:

NINETY MINUTES INTO A SWEATY set before a jam-packed house, Rory Gallagher gives his band a break and straps on an acoustic. Coricidin bottle clenched-fist roar as he slides into the opening riff of Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues.” After tunes by Leadbelly and Blind Boy Fuller, he returns with his band for three electrifying encores. It’s been six years since Gallagher (pronounced galla-her in the Gaelic, mind you) toured the U.S., and he’s making up for lost time by covering a broad spectrum of songs ranging from his Taste records in the ‘60s to selections from 1990’s Fresh Evidence [IRS].
Beware the Ides of March, indeed!
Rory at the Catalyst Club

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