Last Of The Independents

Album: Live at Montreux (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • On December 1, 1978, Rory Gallagher gave an interview to Mark Stevens in Los Angeles; this was published originally in the February 1979 issue of the magazine Triad, and was later transcribed for the magnificent Rory Gallagher tribute site run by Rory's brother, Donald.

    When asked if his composition "Last of the Independents" was in any way autobiographical, Gallagher replied: "No, but some people have said that to me. They thought that I was the last of a particular group of people, or I was independent or something. Maybe I am a bit, but I doubt that. The song actually came about when I had the title and then wrote the song. Half way through it I realized that I had read the review of the picture Charlie Varrick..."

    This is a slightly offbeat American thriller which was released in 1973. The lead character was played by Walter Matthau (1920-2000) who was better known for playing comedy roles. Charley Varrick (spelt thus) was subtitled Last Of The Independents on both the film trailer and posters.
    Although Gallagher hadn't actually seen the film, the aforementioned review appears to have been fairly detailed, as can be seen from the song; he thought too it was similar to an earlier release, The Criminal, a 1960 British-made film noir which featured Stanley Baker in the lead role.
  • "Last Of The Independents" may follow the plot of Charley Varrick fairly closely, but asked about the verse beginning "I won't sing like a canary..." Gallagher said this came from another (unnamed) film which featured "gangster talk".
  • The song was recorded live at Montreux in 1979. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

Comments: 1

  • Nico from Amstelveen, NetherlandsThis is one of the hilights of rock 'n roll. I would like to paraphrase Winston Churchill on this magnificent performance: "Never was so much rock brought to so many by so few".
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

Early Days of MTVFact or Fiction

If you can recall the days when MTV played videos, you know that there are lots of stories to tell. See if you can spot the real ones.

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."

Emilio Castillo from Tower of PowerSongwriter Interviews

Emilio talks about what it's like to write and perform with the Tower of Power horns, and why every struggling band should have a friend like Huey Lewis.

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.