From an article first published in Easdale People magazine, Issue No 17, Autumn 2003.
"I've travelled to look for work, mend a broken heart, to be with someone I longed for. I'd travel
to visit friends and on the way I'd make new ones. I'd roam because I was curious to see what was
around the next corner, sometimes I travelled to follow the warm weather and migrate...like the
whales and the big fishes do."
At the end of August Rory's travels brought him to Easdale Island. He came a day early to see the
island and to spend some time in our home (we have long been members of his international extended
The next evening, after a trombone tune outside the Hall to warn any latecomers that we were
starting, he began the concert in his own special way - walking through the audience from the back
of the hall, welcoming everyone with his harmonica tunes and leading them from the bar like the Pied
Piper. This intro turned into a phone call from his Mum to see if he was O.K.
Rory then launched into two sets of music taken from his 6 albums: songs about his Gran (The Wind is
Getting tronger); his Mum (Shirley's her name); how he was conceived on the roof of a shed in the
park (When Mum and Daddy Made Me); the tale a Turkish refugee who leapt to his death rather than be
sent back home (Huge Sky). He sang songs of community (Too Old For the Orphanage and Too Young For
the Old Folks Home); songs and tunes about travelling, friends, countries; songs sung to keep
memories alive, to make sure we don't forget things, to bring his family with him - all breathing,
crying, loving, laughing - and all to the sound of his tap shoes and spoons beating out the bouncy
rhythms, his harmonica wailing and his guitar chugging.
The concert was too short for the audience and too short to get in all the songs we had asked him to
sing - so off we went to the Puffer where he completed the concert with favourites such as 'Love
Like a Rock' and 'Copper's Song' as well as playing 'Happy Birthday' on the trombone to a shining Jill for her 21st.
You would have to say 'unforgettable' - the island seemed to have something missing after we waved him goodbye. The note he left said he would be back soon - the space will be here waiting for him.