I was sad to see that Gary Moore passed away last week on holiday in Spain, from the various press accounts it looks like he’d suffered a heart attack in his sleep after one brandy too many. he was 58 years old.
In the past I’ve been quite negative about Gary on this blog, which has mainly reflected my frustration with some of his quotes in the press for example on the release of a blues album in 2007 Gary declared that older musicians should just not be playing hard rock music etc (try telling that to Rush, AC/DC, Kiss, Whitesnake etc etc). This blog also thinks he made a pickle out of selling the Peter Green Les Paul, which seemed to be an incredibly naive decision (Gary got very angry about the buyer Phil Winfield of Maverick Music trying to commercially exploit one of the most famous electric guitars on earth, this blog suggested at the time that floating the guitar to private investors would have enabled Gary to keep the guitar and yet still make money from it, why none of Gary’s people didn’t think of that is quite beyond me, I thought Rock N Roll managers were supposed to manage after all).
But his brief 2 times in Thin Lizzy aside the Gary Moore I grew up with is the solo artist from the 1980′s albums Victim Of The Future, Run For Cover and Wild Frontier. Here was a singer songwriter in the Hard Rock idiom who had guitar chops to die for. I saw him live twice in the 80′s and each time it was a 90 minute lesson in tone, dynamics and phrasing. he was fucking loud and yet the playing still had intimacy. It is this Gary Moore that I will mourn. I liked Still Got The Blues, but to me why bother, Clapton has never publicly aknowledged Moores playing neither when he was alive or posthumously. So why pay tribute to such an insecure man in the first place.
But the real sadness for me is that Gary’s death is just the beginning of the end. Gary is a second generation blues player, one of the guys who picked up the guitar after hearing The Beatles,Stones,Cream, Clapton and Hendrix, thats a pretty exclusive club of some of the greatest players of the last 40 years. Dave Gilmour,Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, George Lynch, Toni Iommi, John Sykes, Michael Schenker, Neal Schon…. All men in their late 50′s or early 60′s now. Once they have passed on, there will be little in the way of successors. All we will have outside of the Metal World in mainstream culture is careerist indie bands with haircuts and skinny jeans and TV Pop talent show winners, with no one to look up to or be inspired by will be left, the guitar will finally slip into the role of fashion accessory rather than musical instrument and the kids will certainly not be allright.