VIDEO: Joe Bonamassa plays Rory Gallagher's 1961 Stratocaster

Some guitars are famous, and others are legendary. In the case of Rory Gallagher's 1961 Stratocaster, the latter term definitely applies. And so it was a special occasion indeed when blues-rock superstar Joe Bonamassa played Gallagher's prized instrument on stage during his two-night stand at London's Hammersmith Apollo.

A massive Gallagher fan, Bonamassa performed with the well-worn Strat for his three opening numbers, a galvanizing cover of Gallagher's Cradle Rock, the original tune When The Fire Hits The Sea and a blazing take on Gary Moore's Midnight Blues.

The '61 Strat, reportedly the first of its kind in Ireland, was extensively modified by Gallagher during his career (he died in 1995). The instrument has been on display in Dublin since 2007, but for Joe Bonamassa's London gigs, Donal Gallagher, Rory's brother, brought it out of retirement.

And it still sounds great, as you can tell by the above video.

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.