Gary Moore died on February 6, 2011 – he was 58. Until recently I’ve heard his name but not his music. Sadly, it was Moore’s death and the subsequent magazine articles outlining his amazing career that has sparked my interest in his music.
I admit that I feel a bit like a vulture as I write this now. I wish I would have discovered Moore’s greatness under different circumstances. From Gary Moore’s perspective, it is undeniably tragic that his legacy will be reinvigorated posthumously. To be mourned, missed, and deified by millions seems to be the final stage in a great artist’s life cycle and it is sad that the artist himself isn’t there to witness the crowning glory of a tremendous career. Such is the tragedy.
Gary Moore’s heyday was in the 1970’s when he toured with Skid Row, Thin Lizzy, Coliseum II and as a solo artist. Featuring blazingly fast chops, Gary Moore’s aggressive approach forecasted the shred craze to come in the 80’s.
Although Moore’s career took him through blues, rock, metal, fusion and back to blues again, most guitar journalists cite “Still Got the Blues” from the 1990 album of the same name as one of his finest moments. As I watch this video, I marvel at Moore’s speed especially considering that he played a lot of the licks with his index and middle fingers, using the ring finger sparingly and reserving his pinky finger for chords only. A textbook would say that’s bad technique and I’d have to agree. Great musicians tend to transcend conventional wisdom.
Sadly, I’m a late-comer to the Gary Moore show and I’ll enjoy his music because he’s gone. That fills me with a somber guilt. To quote a Beatles tune, all I can say to Gary Moore is “You say goodbye and I say hello.”
For more information about me and the guitar lessons that I give in and around Baltimore, visit www.ewguitar.com.