Thanks to Justin Williams from Gear of the Godz Facebook Page for writing this article on Gary Moore’s music, career, gear, and for including some great vids. Thanks Justin!
Any blues-rock or Irish music fanatic would instantly recognize the name Gary Moore; for the rest of us, Gary was the on-again, off-again guitarist for Thin Lizzy. Gary eventually developed a very successful solo career and performed with some of the biggest names in the music industry.
Gary picked up his first guitar at the age of eight. He was left-handed, but learned to play in the traditional right-handed style, making him one of the few guitarists to play off-handed throughout his career. Moore was influenced by a variety of artists, including Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles; however, Moore’s greatest influence was Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac. Green eventually donated his 1959 Les Paul to Gary Moore, who then used it exclusively to recorded an album of Peter Green covers.
In 1973, Moore released his hit solo debut album “Grinding Stone”, which was followed by a series of rock albums throughout the ’70s and ’80s. His next smash-hit album, and arguably his best, was 1990′s “Still Got the Blues”, in which he returned to his roots with several blues and blues-rock inspired tracks. During his solo career, he collaborated with many music legends, including B.B. King and George Harrison.
Throughout Gary Moore’s musical career, he played various Les Paul model guitars, which led to Gibson’s release of the Gary Moore Signature Les Paul BFG. However, he was also known to play a Fender Telecaster or a Gibson ES-335 when he deemed it appropriate, and stated that his choice of guitar “depends on the mood of the song”. Gary Moore used Marshall amps.
Although Gary achieved much more fame in Europe than in the United States, many American musicians have listed him as an influence, including Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, Kirk Hammett, and Joe Bonamassa. Gary Moore died in February 2011 of a suspected heart attack. He was 58 years old. Many musicians, including Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi, have recognized Gary Moore’s talents and impact on modern rock music. Moore’s death came as a shock and a tragedy, but the music community has honored his memory with praise and commemoration, and his talents will continue to influence musicians long after his passing.