Eric Kitteringham (pictured above on the left), the original bass player with Rory Gallagher's Taste, passed away on May 7 after a battle with cancer.

According to the official Rory Gallagher website, Kitteringham had previously suffered a stroke which prevented him continuing as a bass player. Kitteringham, along with Gallagher and drummer Norman Damery, made up the original incarnation of Taste, a band that would loom large in Gallagher's history.

After the Axels, an early band of Kitteringham's, split up in 1966, he and Damery joined forces with Gallagher to form Taste. The group were together for two years, often performing at the Star Club in Hamburg, the Beatles' famous stamping grounds.

In 1968, as the band began performing more regularly in the U.K., both Kitteringham and Damery left the band. The original line-up only recorded one independently released single. New members John Wilson (drums) and Richard McCracken (bass) would make up the line-up which played at the legendary Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, and record the band's two seminal blues rock LP's 'Taste' and 'On The Boards.'

"Eric was a fine bass player but more than that he was a very gentle man," Rory Gallagher biographer Marcus Connaughton told the Irish Times. "He was always encouraging a lot of young musicians along the way and that’s the sign of a fine musician.” It's also worth noting that, though Rory Gallagher might not be a household name, ask any guitarist worth his or her salt and he/she will gladly point out just how great a player the Irishman was before his death in 1995.

Hear Taste on BBC Top Gear 1968



More From Ultimate Classic Rock