Gary Moore Playing for the Last Time on the Guitarist Magazine Studio
Robert William Gary Moore (4 April 1952 – 6 February 2011) was a Northern Irish guitarist and singer-songwriter. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Moore had a "restless career trajectory—taking in blues, rock, heavy metal, jazz-fusion and other styles over four and a half decades".He is often described as a virtuoso guitarist.
Born and raised in Belfast, Moore played in the line-ups of several local bands during his teenage years, before moving to Dublin, Ireland, after having been asked to join the Irish band Skid Row before the departure of lead singer Phil Lynott. Moore later played with Lynott in Thin Lizzy and joined the British jazz-rock band Colosseum II. He also had a successful solo career with eleven UK Top 40 single releases, which included the top ten songs "Parisienne Walkways" and "Out in the Fields" (a collaboration with Lynott), and peaked in popularity with his best-selling album Still Got the Blues in 1990.
Moore shared the stage with blues and rock musicians including B.B. King, Albert King, John Mayall, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Albert Collins, George Harrison and Greg Lake.
Moore was associated with many guitar brands over his career, but the guitar he was most associated with was the Gibson Les Paul. The guitar was originally owned by Peter Green. Green sold the guitar to his younger friend Moore in 1974 for the price that Moore got from selling a Gibson SG, his main guitar at that time. Moore used the guitar extensively over the next three decades, playing this instrument on hits such as "Parisienne Walkways". The guitar is now owned by Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett who purchased the guitar a number of years after Moore had sold it for $2 Million U.S. dollars.
Another guitar Moore was associated with was a red 1961 Fender Stratocaster which Moore had purchased in 1981. The guitar was almost sold to Greg Lake who had rejected it because it was not pristine. The Red Strat is also known as the Pink Strat and was extensively used by Moore on Corridors of Power along with many other recording sessions. The Red Strat was used at many live performances, most notably at the Fender 50th Anniversary show held at Wembley Arena, North London in 2004 when Moore performed Jimi Hendrix's song "Red House". The neck pickup was rewound by pickup maker Seymour Duncan in 1998. Fender Guitars launched a custom shop tribute replica of the Red Strat in 2016, which was undertaken by Fender master builder John Cruz.
Gary Moore died of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 58 during the early hours of 6 February 2011. At the time he was on holiday with his girlfriend Petra Nioduschewski at the Kempinski Hotel in Estepona, Spain. His death was confirmed by Thin Lizzy's manager Adam Parsons.