Gary Moore died early yesterday morning whilst on holiday in Spain at the age of 58. Gary Moore was one of my first guitar heroes*, I first came across him in about 1995 or 1996 on a programme where he was talking a little about Queen (Magic Years, for those of you who are interested). This is before the internet really took off and so you had to learn about guitarist through word of mouth, and so I sought out some of his work. The first Gary Moore CD I purchased was 'Blues Alive' which was a good introduction to his live blues work. Some research told me that he had at various points been involved in Thin Lizzy, and that he was more than just a blues artist. Then we get into a period as a teenager where you are doing other things, experiencing other experiences and new music and you perhaps stray from your influences. Indeed from 1999 until about 2002/3 I left music behind entirely. When I came back to it the web had developed more and I learned more about Gary, about the Les Paul he acquired from Peter Green, and about his solo career. I've played a couple of his songs live down the years, perhaps most notably 'Walking By Myself', and I have heard them played in the strangest of places. I was at a holiday park in Mablethorpe in late 2009 when the house bands (fairly average) female lead singer left the stage playing party songs and the guitarist launched into a full on version of 'Still Got The Blues'. I don't think anyone else in the room knew the song or even cared, but it really meant something to me. His life, and talent is something that should be celebrated and I hope that with the passing of time he is not forgotten.
If I was physically up to it I would be making my way to either a jam session in Brierley Hill tomorrow, or begging my friend Richard to let me have a slot at his gig on Saturday night to pay tribute. When I'm well I will pay tribute to Gary Moore.
*The other guitarists that I was influenced by? Brian May, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Richie Sambora and Edward Van Halen.