Gary Moore Dies Aged 58

Former Skid Row and Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore has sadly died aged 58.

Moore was born and raised in Belfast and started playing guitar at an early age, learning his trade aged 8 on a battered old acoustic. His interest in rock and roll came first through hearing Elvis Presley, and then via The Beatles. Seeing the likes of Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in his hometown in the mid-60s opened up to him the rich world of The Blues.

Peter Green was an early blues hero of Moore's, and he took the young guitarist under his wing. Gary would later pay back the debt of gratitude with the album, Blues For Greeny - a tribute record for his former mentor.

In 1969 Moore joined the group Skid Row with Noel Bridgeman and Brendan "Brush" Shiels, producing two studio albums Skid (1970) and 34 Hours (1971) before he embarked on his long and illustrious solo career in 1973.

It was also around this time that Gary first started to work with his good friend Phil Lynott - filling in on guitar during several stints with Thin Lizzy and then later with Phil on their own respective solo records.

By the time that Gary's solo career really took off in 1979 with his second solo album, he was a well respected and much sought after guitarist.

During the 80s his star was very much in the ascendence, with several critically and commercially successful solo records which helped bring the blues back to the mainstream. He also bagged his biggest hit single in 1979, reaching the top ten in the UK charts with the classic 'Parisienne Walkways.'

Between 1979 and 1990 Gary produced a string of classic rock records, such as Back On The Streets, Run For Cover and Wild Frontier but the blues was most definitely calling, and in 1990 he produced arguably his finest record - Still Got The Blues.

The record was a masterclass in blues guitar playing, and it confirmed his place amongst the greatest guitar players of all time.

Hints of Gary's playing can be heard in the work of artists as varied as Rhandy Rhoads, Adrian Smith, Kirk Hammett and Jake E Lee - all of whom have at some point named Moore as an influence.

Gary continued to tour extensively, playing live shows right up until his untimely death. He released his last studio album, Bad For You Baby in 2008.

Tributes to Gary have already started pouring in, with former Thin Lizzy bandmates Scott Gorham saying that it had been a pleasure to share a stage with him.

"Playing with Gary during the Black Rose era was a great experience, he was a great player and a great guy," he said. "I will miss him."

Fellow Lizzy bandmate Brian Downey said "I am in total shock. He will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I just can't believe he is gone."

We want to pay tribute to one of rock & blues' greatest ever guitarists, one of our former DJs (and his amazing Bluespower series), and a true gent in the world of rock.

RIP Gary Moore, 1952 - 2011


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