GUITAR ICON GARY MOORE, 1952-2011
In 1968, Gary Moore (above, top left) was just 16 years old when he joined future Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott in the Dublin blues-rock quartet Skid Row*. So, Moore was a charter member of the Society of Overachieving Teen Guitarists that would later include Steve Vai (19, Frank Zappa), Zakk Wylde (19, Ozzy Osbourne), and Devin Townsend (19, Steve Vai). Pretty elite company.
After a pair of short stints in Thin Lizzy, Moore again reunited with Lynott in 1979 for the band’s seminal Black Rose: A Rock Legend (see Axl Rose’s Black Rose-themed tattoo here, upper left). More than twenty solo albums followed, including 2008’s Bad For You Baby.
British tabloid The Sun reports that Moore, 58, was discovered unresponsive by medical staff in a Spain hotel suite where there were “definite signs of alcohol.” The Sun also quotes a source at the hotel who has stated that Moore “seemed fine when he left [the hotel bar] around 11 pm.” A post mortem has been scheduled.
After the jump, check out the MetalSucks round up of tributes to Moore by members of Obituary, Opeth, Black Flag, Testament, Black Sabbath, and mo(o)re.
Steve Gaines (Anger As Art): This hits me as hard as Ronnie Dio’s passing. About ten years ago… I was shown some live video of Gary Moore, and, quite simply, it changed my life. Instead of the shreddy, arpeggio-sweeping, whammy bar guys that dominate the thrash scene, here was a guy who played bluesy hard rock, [and] who could hold a note for what seemed like forever that would bring tears to your eyes. From there I discovered his whole career — blues, prog, whatever… he did it better than most. Gary, I hope Phil was there to greet you. You guys have some time now. Go find Cozy [Powell], and we expect that you have a few records worth of material for us by the time we join you.
Geezer Butler: One of the greatest guitarists of all time. His Still Got The Blues album was one of the great albums, certainly one of my favorites. His way of playing cannot be learned — it comes from the soul.
Mick Box (Uriah Heap): He [was] a wonderful guitarist and friend. He will be sadly missed, but he leaves us with a wonderful legacy of music, and my heart goes out to his family. Rest in peace, my friend!
Ralph Santolla (Deicide, Obituary): Once again, the world has lost a unique voice, a major talent. If it wasn’t for Gary Moore, my life would have been very different. I remember the first time I heard Gary. I bought Corridors Of Power one night just as the record store was closing. The next morning, I put it on the turntable while I was getting ready for school. The first notes of “Falling In Love With You” came on while I was brushing my teeth, and I’ll remember that moment forever. Just a few simple notes, but with the power of the Gods behind them. It changed my life. Every time I record something, I compare it to Uli, Schenker, Randy, and Gary, and I ask myself, “Is it as good as your heroes?” So far, I haven’t even come close.
John Sykes (Blue Murder, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy): One of the greatest guitar players ever. A very sad loss for the music world. His playing will inspire generations to come.
Henry Rollins: A big loss. He was too young to go. Those [Thin] Lizzy recordings with Moore were as good as it gets [and] his solo records were rocking.
Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth): Both myself and Fredrik [Åkesson, Opeth guitarist] are massive fans of his, and we’ve been listening to his music since we [were] kids. He was such a integral part of our musical upbringing, so it’s with great sadness we have to try and accept these horrible news. One of the very best hard rock lead guitar players EVER! We love you, Gary. Rest in peace.
Michael Eden (Eden’s Curse): Gary did things with a guitar that most guitar players can only dream about. His music in regards to Thin Lizzy or his later solo efforts with Phil [Lynott] and Glenn Hughes should be known as some of the best hard rock ever made. It is with a huge loss that this legend is now gone. He might be gone now but his music will forever speak to us! Crank it to 11, Moore! Phil and a few friends are waiting to jam!
Bob Geldof (Live Aid): One of Ireland’s musical legends. One of the greatest blues players of all time. Van Morrison, Rory Gallagher, and Gary Moore — the glorious trinity of the Irish blues men.
Bob Daisley (Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne): I have many fond memories of our years together, both in the workplace of music and as friends. I have love and respect for Gary as a musician and as a person; he was one of the greatest.
Alex Skolnick (Testament): Brilliant guitarist… who didn’t need trends, gimmicks or image — just pure tone and soul.
Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy): Playing with Gary during the Black Rose era was a great experience; he was a great player and a great guy. I will miss him.
*According to Sebastian Bach, platinum-selling hair rock act Skid Row paid Moore $35,000 for use of the name in 1987.