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Gary Moore – Rest in Peace

Last night I returned home on cloud nine after gigging down on the Playa in Mojacar. It had been a while since I’d been on stage and I’d missed it. Arriving home, I was in great spirits after getting that ‘fix’ again.  A mere four hours down the coast, something had happened that was to hit me like a sucker punch.

On Friday, sitting in our local at lunchtime, I’d met one of Gary Moore’s backstage technicians, taking a short break from touring. We were discussing how Gary achieved his wonderful tone, partly through the heavy gauge strings that he used – incredibly hard to bend, but rich sounding.

Now, as I fired up the Mac upon returning home late Sunday night, I discovered that Gary had passed away in a hotel in Estepona. He was just 58. I was dumbfounded. Gary Moore has always been one of my guitar heroes. He was the real deal, and the complete package, not only a genius guitarist, but a great singer and writer. There were few if any, that could touch him. As if that weren’t enough, he was equally at home playing fusion, blues, jazz and metal.

I first became aware of Gary’s music on “Little Darlin'” by Thin Lizzy. I was always a Lizzy fan, even going so far as to impersonate Phil Lynott on Stars in their Eyes. I also met Gary’s predecessor, Eric Bell.  But when Gary joined their ranks, briefly, for that first time, and Little Darlin’ exploded from the speakers, I knew he was special.  I discovered his earlier work with Skid Row, amazing skills at just 16!

One of my favourite albums of his  is “Run for Cover” because it brings together three of my all-time favourite musicians, Gary, Glenn Hughes and Phil Lynott. But I’m not going to feature anything from that, nor “Still got the blues”. Instead, here’s a lesser-known single from Gary, unbelievably poignant and eerily prophetic, given the last line.  Gary, the word genius is often over-used, but in your case it hardly begins to cover your mastery of the guitar. Rest in Peace, your music will live on forever. I want to extend my condolences to his friends and family at this sad time.

Kev Moore

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February 7, 2011 - Posted by | blues, Jazz Rock, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Video, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11 Comments »

  1. True words Kev – RIP Gary Moore

    Comment by Stef | February 7, 2011

  2. It’s strange, Kevin – when I heard the bad, bad news yesterday evening I immediately thought of you.

    I know the shared surname is just coincidence, but with Gary passing away suddenly in Spain I wondered if you’d ever had any connection with him.

    By a quirk of fate, you had – as the above story tell.

    You were no doubt keen to learn the secrets of Gary’s legendary “Greeny” Gibson guitar and it’s beautiful, distinctive tone.

    I know that some metalheads criticised Moore when he was releasing a string of fine blues albums in the 90s into the last decade, but they just showed their ignorance & parochialism.

    He was just going back to his roots – as indeed you have recently.

    My brother & I have long been Gary Moore fans, since we saw him as a 16 year old guitar whizz kid in Skid Row at Clouds/Cleos in Derby in the Early seventies.

    He always used to do a solo Robert Johnson spot & already had a good basic blues approach.

    I’ve still got their two LPs “Skid Row” & “34 Hours” (that’s how long they had to record it) from that era, 40 years or so ago now. I’ve probably got all his blues stuff & some solo, Lizzy etc, as well.

    We also saw him live with Albert Collins guesting and some big gigs at the NEC & the late lamented Bishopstock Blues Festival in Exeter.

    A sad loss – his music lives on.

    Comment by David Mortimer | February 7, 2011

  3. Stef/Dave – thanks for the comments.

    Dave: It’s funny, when people used to ask me how I spelled my surname, I’d say “as in Gary”, the add “sadly no relation!”

    Stef: Do you remember rehearsing with Crosstown Traffic and Honeycombe playing us Gary’s Colosseum II stuff? It was mind-blowing back then, nobody else was coming close to his mastery of the guitar in rock and jazz/rock. Another legend gone.

    Comment by kevmoore | February 7, 2011

  4. Indeed I do Kev – the huge gulf between his range and virtuosity against that of all the ‘household name’ hero guitar players of the day, i.e. Blackmore, Page, Clapton etc was a genuine shock.

    I also remember the extremely enjoyable Saturday morning rummages around the record shops trying to find Skid Row albums featuring the unfeasibly young Gary Moore.

    Comment by Stef | February 7, 2011

  5. Kev ,when I heard the news today morning i was deeply shocked .Gary was a fantastic musician Kev ,David and Stef ,I agree with you 100%

    Comment by Rainer | February 7, 2011

  6. Hello Kev,

    Nicely written peice. I heard it on the radio whilst listening to the football yesterday afternon. Had to do a double take, totally out of the blue and a complete shock. A serious and sad loss to music.

    Comment by Martin Leedham | February 7, 2011

  7. Rainer/Martin

    Above all, I think it was indeed such a shock. It wasn’t even like he was living the wild life, I didn’t see it coming. Today, Gary’s music has been playing throughout my house, and I guess will do for some days to come.

    Comment by kevmoore | February 7, 2011

  8. […] (read more here) […]

    Pingback by Gary Moore, an Impression « PORTRAITS FOR LIFE | February 7, 2011

  9. Hi Kev,
    I was at home in Arboleas Sunday afternoon posting a few things on music sites.A post just appeared saying Gary had passed away.All very vague but it later emerged he died in Estopona.I put on Planet Rock listening to them playing his music all afternoon and early evening.Such a sad loss to the music world.Never managed to see him live,but loved his stuff.Been looking at loads of clips from the early Thin Lizzy days to the present time on youtube.What a great talent,now sadly gone but not forgotten.On a lighter note,I saw you had a gig last Sunday at Mojacar.Where is the best place to see if you are playing over here.Would it be this home page?I will keep my eyes open as I am here till the end of April.Good luck in all your ventures and I may pop down to Turre and see the art exhibition there.Loved the piece you wrote about Gary.Very fitting comments.

    Comment by Tony Fowler | February 12, 2011

  10. Hi Tony – thanks for the comment. Yes, on those rare occasions when I appear locally, I’ll certainly announce it on here. I’m hoping to make a brief appearance in Turre towards the end of March performing a few reggae songs for a Reggae night at The Pasty Shack for a bit of fun – details to follow. And there will be some gigs with Los Mezcaleros in the coming months too, when I’ll feature a few tracks from my new CD.

    Comment by kevmoore | February 12, 2011

  11. Gary Moore was a rare guitarist indeed.His riffs were always fluidic, original and straight from the heart. Damn, bro, why do they all die so young?

    Comment by jammer5 | February 24, 2011


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