Gary Moore RIP: 4 April 1952 – 6 February 2011
Classic Rock is shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Northern Irish guitar legend Gary Moore.
Details are sketchy at present, but Moore apparently died in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning, February 6, while on holiday in Spain. He was just 58.
Moore was found dead in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona on the Costa Del Sol. A post mortem will be carried out later today in the nearby city of Malaga.
The Belfast-born guitarist, who enjoyed spells in Thin Lizzy as well as a successful solo career – both as a rocker and a blueser – appeared at Classic Rock‘s High Voltage Festival last summer.
One of the first people to offer tribute to Moore was Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press, the popular Irish music magazine.
“He was a genius player. Even as a teenager, he had something special about him and throughout his career he worked really hard at improving his technique.
“His contribution to the Irish rock canon was immense, both in his own solo work, his days with Skid Row, the great records he recorded with Philip Lynott and with Thin Lizzy and in various other cameos.
“My heart goes out to all of his close friends and family.”
Classic Rock‘s Geoff Barton adds:
“I first saw a young Gary play with Thin Lizzy at Bracknell Sports Centre in the early 1970s. He had just been drafted in to replace Eric Bell in Lizzy and his performance was, frankly, astonishing.
“When Gary played The Rocker, the fluidity of his playing and his flashy showmanship pushed Lizzy into a different class. Seriously, it was like seeing Eddie Van Halen for the first time. Gary was that good. It was obvious from that point that he was destined for great things.
“Subsequently, I saw Gary in full-on, hyper-complex, jazz-rock mode with Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum II at London’s old Marquee Club in Wardour Street. It was, of course, radically different to Gary’s work with Lizzy – but equally as incredible.
“Then a few years later with the Gary Moore Band at Hammy Odeon – here he was the complete guitar hero, playing on an elevated Kiss-style platform and everything.
“Rock… blues… jazz… what a mind-bogglingly versatile player.
“I have to say that, much as I enjoyed Gary’s set at High Voltage in 2010, he did seem overweight and somewhat out of sorts; it was uncomfortable to watch at times.
“But I will always have fond memories of that Lizzy show in Bracknell. I feel privileged to have seen such a phenomenal talent at such an early stage of his career. Rock In Peace, Gary.”
Glenn Hughes comments:
“I’m devastated to hear of Gary’s passing. A truly great British rock and blues hero. I shared many wonderful musical and personal experiences with him.
“He was a ferocious player, and had no fear of his instrument. I’m glad that Gary and I got to mend our relationship. Rest In Peace.”
UPDATE: Planet Rock will be airing an one-hour special in tribute to Moore from 6pm GMT this evening (February 7). This is a repeat of an interview done with him in 2006, in the series My Planet Rocks.