Monday, February 07, 2011

Tribute to Gary Moore - A Great Guitarist, Musician and Songwriter (1952-2011)

The sudden death of Gary Moore on 6 February 2011 will shock and hurt his family, friends and fans worldwide for a long time. Gary was a musician, songwriter, and guitar player who truly deserves the accolade of "rock and blues great". He was one of the "few" guitar players in the world who combined a beautiful guitar tone with creative, melodic licks, beautiful vibratos, and lightening fast leads where each note of the melody could still be heard.

When I first saw Gary with Skid Row at the Ulster Hall, Belfast in the late 1960s I was surprised he was only seventeen. His virtuosity and gift were on clear display. It left many aspiring guitar players in the audience wondering if they should forget about trying to play the instrument. Of course, his guitar playing skills evolved through the years to a level few musicians attain.

The following video shows Gary at his finest: playing fluid guitar with genuine emotion, alternating between slow, melodic licks and lightening-fast runs. This 'live' version of "Parisienne Walkways" speaks for itself. A tenderness and brooding sorrow hangs over the song. The guitar sound and phrasing are beyond imitation. Many guitarists endeavour to copy Gary's unique style and sadly fail.

Gary played two nights at the Ulster Hall in 1984. The balcony area was closed to fans to house extra filming and lighting equipment for recording purposes. Segments of each show - including Gary's Dublin gig - were included on the Emerald Isles - Live in Ireland 1984 Video/DVD. I attended the first show in Belfast with my wife who was three months pregnant with twins.

During "Shapes Of Things" the floor of the Ulster Hall began to vibrate with such energy my wife felt nauseous. However, after some fresh air, a glass of water, we were kindly shown to seats in the balcony beside Gary's relatives who we were introduced to and talked with. It made the concert extra special. Gary was in top form, as were his band. When I heard Phil Lynott joined Gary on stage at the second gig in Belfast I felt disappointed to miss such an event.

Looking back I'm glad my wife and I attended the first night. The music went off like a flashbulb and Gary's variety of tone colours and playing made you gaze in wonder. While the music was loud, the overall sound made you feel warm, invigorated and confirmed you were in the presence of a guitar genius delivering limitless inspired guitar licks, riffs and melodies.

Gary will remain a guitar legend who belongs in the rock & blues hall of fame. May he rest in peace.


how to play a guitar said...

Gary Moore is a great guitarists. His music and the youngsters he influenced with his stroke is his greatest legacy.

Brenda said...

His style is unique and his techniques will remain a legend for all subsequent musicians. I would pay so much to hear him in these live music venues.