Laundromat

Album: Rory Gallagher (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track from Gallagher's self-titled debut album. It became something of a fan favourite and a staple of his live shows, appearing on numerous live albums, including one of his most acclaimed records, Live In Europe (1972).
  • The song was written during the breakup of Gallagher's blues band Taste, and inspired by a public laundromat in an Earls Court bedsit where the group lived. According to Gallagher's brother and sound engineer Donal Gallagher, "Taste were in the charts, headlining major festivals, but not seeing the proceeds. Later, when I became Rory's manager, I insisted we go to court to get the royalties. Even then Rory was reluctant. He didn't like conflict." (Sunday Times, 2012)

    Rory's legendary good-nature seems evident in the lyrics, which seem to detail his delight in "sleeping down at the Laundromat", having "no clothes to clean", but meeting friends who will be "with me to the end."
  • In a 1991 interview with All Music, Gallagher said: "I try to sit down and write a Rory Gallagher song, which generally happens to be quite bluesy. I try to find different issues, different themes and different topics that haven't been covered before...I've done songs in all the different styles...train blues, drinking blues, economic blues. But I try to find a slightly different angle on all these things. The music can be very traditional, but you can sort of creep into the future with the lyrics."
  • A tribute band, formed in 2000 in Holland, named themselves after this song.

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