Empty Hearts: A Tribute To Gary Moore
Band Photo: Thin Lizzy (?)
Nowadays, the term "Guitar Hero" has become synonymous with a rhythm based video game, but prior to this, the term was used as a tag of respect to those who breathed, ate and lived for their instrument, and displayed a skill and passion for the six stringed axe that elevated them to the status of kings to their listeners. These guitar heroes created music that resonated within the very souls of their fans and bore riffs that would become as memorable to rockers as their child's first word or their wedding day. Regardless of how the term is thrown around now, Gary Moore is, was and forever shall be, a true guitar hero.
Gary Moore was born in the Northern Irish capital of Belfast on April 4th 1952 and begun his foray into music at the age of eight, using an old acoustic guitar. He showed dedication to the guitar even in his youth, when at the age of fourteen, he learned how to play his first "proper" guitar right handed, despite being a southpaw. His influences were similar to many young musicians of the time; The Beatles, Elvis Presley, but his approach to his instrument was changed forever when he witnessed a Jimi Hendrix concert. After attending the show, his style morphed into the blues rock style for which he would become most well known.
At the age of sixteen, Moore moved to Dublin to join the band Skid Row, which also featured future Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott. With Skid Row, Moore recorded two studio albums, "Skid" and "34 Hours," before setting out on his own and releasing his debut studio album, "Grinding Stone" in 1973. The album is not seen by some as a Gary Moore album, as it is attributed to "The Gary Moore Band" but nevertheless brought the young guitarist to the attention of many contemporaries. The following year, Moore reunited with Lynott to record the song, "Still Loving You" for the Thin Lizzy album, "Night Life." This would not be his only tenure with the band however, as he also worked with the group on their album, "Black Rose: A Rock Legend," regarded by many fans to be one of the best Thin Lizzy albums in their catalogue. He also appeared with the band in the music videos for the songs, "Do Anything You Want To" and "Waiting For An Alibi."
In 1979, the same year Thin Lizzy released, "Black Rose," Moore once again began to compose solo material, culminating in the album, "Back On The Streets," which fetured Phil Lynott appearing on and co-writing several tracks and an album cover depicting Moore leaving the infamous Wormwood Scrubs Prison in West London. The album featured the song, "Parisiene Walkways," one of his best known compisitions and following the record's release, Moore continued to release solo albums regularly, experimenting in many forms of music including blues, rock, jazz, heavy metal and country music. He still found the time to contribute to other artists work though, including an appearance on the Charity single "Let It Be," which was billed as Ferry Aid and raised money for the survivors of the MS Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, which was considered one of the worst maritime catastrophes since the Titanic sunk.
With a discography spanning twenty studio albums and numerous live and compilation records and a life rooted in music for more than five decades, Gary Moore will always be remembered as one of the true devotees to music. His style has influenced countless guitar players worldwide, including Zakk Wylde, Joe Bonamassa, Randy Rhoads, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard and Tygers Of Pan Tang guitarist John Sykes, who himself would become a large part of Thin Lizzy history. It's a testament to not only Gary Moore the guitarist, but Gary Moore tha man, that in the short time that his death was announced, tributes, memories and praise have poured out from fans and fellow musicians alike, none of whom seem to have a bad word to say about him.
He left us too soon, and we've Still Got The Blues.
Gary Moore - "Over The Hills And Far Away"
Gary Moore - "Wild Frontier"
Gary Moore & Phil Lynott - "Out In The Fields"
Gary Moore - "Hurricane"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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