"Eric, some of your long-haired friends are at the door.”
The shout would go up the stairs at 5 Park View on Cork’s Victoria Road... and with that, one of the world’s greatest blues guitarists-in-waiting would come in, go up No 5’s flights of stairs, and play some sensational guitar riffs.
Even if they went almost unappreciated by the house’s other occupants at the time.
From the outside, there’s hardly a clue about the small role this stone and brick-faced Cork city house played in the 1960s and early 1970s, but it surely has a niche role in the pantheon of rock and blues legends.
This is one of the places where the late, and great, guitarist Rory Gallagher came to practise, rehearse and jam, when he was setting up his first band, Taste, in the mid 1960s.
No 5 was then the long-time family home of bass guitarist Eric Kitteringham, who left his band The Axels and formed the first Taste band line up, with Norman Damery on drums and with Rory Gallagher on lead guitar.
Amongst the venues, they played were the Star Club in Hamburg (as did the Beatles,) and the Maritime Hotel in Belfast where Taste had a loyal following.
Oh, and Taste also played on the steps of No 5 Park View, Cork, on the second floor’s return landing to a back bedroom, the long-haired trio on the cusp of something special, recalls Eric Kitteringham’s brother George.
(Fresh news to note on the property front: a house Rory Gallagher bought for his mother Monica, Greenbanks on the Well Road and which ended up as part of a €3.3m site assembly for luxury homes has been bought from Nama for c €700,000 by Rockforest Homes, who have presold four houses here at prices from €850,000 to over €1m for a signal, Taste-y development.)
Back at Park View, meanwhile, No 5 in the terrace of 12 limestone and brick-faced three-story homes comes to market this month, set for its first-ever resale, after generations in the same family’s ownership.
It is guided at €320,000, by estate agent Fiona Waldon of Jeremy Murphy, who says the Taste/Kitteringham/Gallagher connection is an added bonus to what’s a very attractive house proposition.
Vendor Tara Hynes, a niece of the late Eric Kitteringham, says the family treasures its musical connections, and she recounts the visits of long-haired lads, with instruments in tow, at the front door of No 5.
Today, the family’s own photo albums have numerous images of early Taste and aspiring rockers in suitably suave poses, long leather jackets, and, wearing ties (pictured above), and among their memorabilia is a framed pencil sketch of a young Bob Dylan, done and signed by Rory Gallagher.
Tara Hynes says No 5 has never left family hands, and she recalls her great grandparents and grandparents living here along with extended family, uncles George and Eric Kitteringham, who passed away three years ago aged 66 after latterly living in Fermoy.
No 5 Park View’s being sold now as the home that housed five generations of kith and Kitteringham kin is now just too big for the current occupants.
It’s a lovely home, well-kept, not over-wrought at any stage, with period home features throughout, including original hall and kitchen tiling, fine fireplaces, and it’s mid-terraced among 12.
The last resale here, of No 8, was to family buyers, and while there may be investor interest here given the location and bedrooms number (up to seven, but the first floor front room with fireplace would be a lovely living space too) the hope is that it too will be family bought.
At the €320,000 guide, it’s on a price par with a standard three-bed semi further into the ‘burbs, and after a decade or two of dockland development hopes for Cork city centre, it’s actually now in train.
One Albert Quay is a just-completed €58m new office block, fully let, O’Callaghan Properties have plans to develop a €90m complex nearby.
Cool bars in the the Victorian Road vicinity (and in the shadow of disappearing grain silos, as it edges back to gentrification) include the stalwart Idle Hour, the Sextant and recent arrival Goldbergs, with the cafe/bar Salt by Kennedy Park.
: Going to your home town?