Band: Thin Lizzy, Skid Row
Gary Moore died aged fifty-eight of a heart attack on 6th February 2011. At the time, he was on holiday with his girlfriend at the Kempinski Hotel in Estepona, Spain. After a quiet dinner, they went for a walk on the beach before going up to their room. His girlfriend raised the alarm at 4:00 am, and tried to give him a heart massage. His death was confirmed by Thin Lizzy's manager, Adam Parsons.
According to newspaper reports, Gary Moore's fatal heart attack was brought on by a massive amount of alcohol he had consumed the evening of his death. He had 380 mg of alcohol per decilitre (100 millilitres) of blood (0.38%) in his system, which meant he was five times the legal drink driving limit. Blood alcohol content from 0.40% to 0.50% is considered to be lethal.
Gary Moore was buried at St Margaret's Churchyard, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England, in a private ceremony, with only his family and close friends in attendance.
Gary's eldest son Jack, alongside his uncle, Cliff Moore, performed the traditional song "Danny Boy" at Gary's funeral. This was reported in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper as a flawless tribute at which some mourners in the church wept openly.
During a relationship in the late 60´s while Gary was with Skid Row, his eldest daughter, Saoirse was born. Gary was married from 1985 to 1993 and had two sons, Jack and Gus.
Since 1997, Gary was living with his partner, an artist named Jo, and their daughter Lily. In 2003, Gary had bought a five-bedroom detached Edwardian house in Hove, just west of Brighton, Sussex,U.K. to be near his sons.
Gary Moore grew up on Castleview Road opposite Stormont Parliament Buildings, off the Upper Newtownards Road in east Belfast, as one of five children. Gary left the city as a teenager, because of troubles in his family – his parents parted a year later – just as The Troubles were starting in Northern Ireland.
Gary Moore picked up a battered acoustic guitar at the age of ten. He started performing at a young age, making his live debut in a school band, during the intermission of one of his father's promoted shows. He got his first quality guitar (a Fender Telecaster) at the age of fourteen, and learned to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way, despite being left-handed.
In 1968, after performing with a number of Belfast-based bands, Gary Moore, at the age of sixteen, was "headhunted" as the replacement guitarist in the Dublin-based band Skid Row and he moved to Dublin. Gary Moore's greatest influence in the early days was English guitarist Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac who was a mentor to Gary Moore when performing in Dublin.
Other early musical influences were artists such as Albert King, Elvis Presley, The Shadows, Buddy Guy and The Beatles. Later, having seen Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in his home town of Belfast, his own style was developing into a blues-rock sound that would be the dominant form of his career in music.
After joining the group Skid Row with Noel Bridgeman and Brendan "Brush" Shiels, in mid 1968, cutting a number of singles and an album, released in 1970, Skid Row then went on to play shows across Europe and the USA, opening for a number of high-profile bands. It was with this group that Gary Moore earned a reputation in the music industry, and his association with Phil Lynott began. Gary Moore left Skid row in December 1971.
In 1970, Gary Moore moved to England and remained there, apart from two short periods in the United States. In 1973, under the name "The Gary Moore Band", he released his first solo album, Grinding Stone. "Grinding Stone" was issued in North America on Neil Kempfer-Stocker's fledgling record label imprint Cosmos.
In 1974 he re-joined Phil Lynott, when he first joined Thin Lizzy after the departure of founding member Eric Bell.
From 1975 to August 1978, he was a member of Colosseum II. With that band, he also collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the composer's Variations album in 1978.
In 1977, Gary Moore re-joined Thin Lizzy, first as a temporary replacement for Brian Robertson, and on a permanent basis a year later.
Between late 1977 and early 1978 while moving from Colosseum II and a future return to the ranks of Thin Lizzy, Gary Gary Moore recorded the album Back on the Streets, featuring the hit single "Parisienne Walkways" which reached the Top Ten in the UK Singles Chart in April 1979. While Back on the Streets was climbing the charts, Gary Moore had joined Thin Lizzy on a more permanent basis. Recording the album Black Rose: A Rock Legend, which reached number two in the UK album chart. Gary Moore appears in the videos for "Waiting for an Alibi", "With Love" and "Do Anything You Want To".
In July 1979, he left Thin Lizzy permanently to focus on a possible solo career, but went on to form the short lived band G-Force recording an album for Jet Records. A couple of other albums were made at this time, but not released until after Gary had signed to, and found some success with Virgin Records in 1982, and had released the album Corridors of Power.
Prior to the recording of Corridors of Power, Gary had joined Greg Lake to help finish the recording of his first solo record Greg Lake after the demise of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Gary toured with the Greg Lake band and recorded a second Greg Lake solo record, but didn't tour it. A number of hard rock albums were released during the 1980s, with which Gary became disillusioned after the release of After the War , prompting the recording of the album,Still Got the Blues , in 1990.
He experimented with many musical genres, including rock, jazz, blues, country, electric blues, hard rock, and heavy metal.
In 1987, he performed a guitar solo for a cover of the Beatles' "Let It Be", which was released under the group-name of Ferry Aid. The record raised substantial funds for the survivors of the MS Herald of Free Enterprise disaster. In 1990, he played the lead guitar solo on "She's My Baby" from Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.
Released in March 1990, Still Got the Blues, with contributions from Albert King, Albert Collins, and George Harrison, saw Gary Moore returning to the musical form that had inspired him in his early days in Belfast. The album was well received by fans and was certified Gold in the U.S. Peter Green's continued influence on Gary Moore was repaid as a tribute to Green on his 1995 album Blues for Greeny, an album consisting entirely of Green compositions. On this tribute album, Gary Moore played Green's 1959 Les Paul Standard guitar that Green had lent to Gary Moore after leaving Fleetwood Mac. Gary Moore ultimately purchased the guitar, at Green's request, so that "it would have a good home". Gary Moore stayed with the blues format until 1997. He returned to rock, but with a softer, more pop and ballad-oriented sound on Dark Days in Paradise, followed with another change of direction in 1999, when he decided to experiment with modern dance beats on A Different Beat; this left many fans, as well as the music press, confused.
In 2001 with Back to the Blues, Gary Moore returned to his tried and tested blues format: he continued with this style on Power of the Blues , Old New Ballads Blues , Close As You Get, and Bad For You Baby.
In January 2005, Gary Moore joined the One World Project, which recorded a song for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami relief effort and featured a guitar solo by Gary Moore. The song, entitled Grief Never Grows Old, was released in February 2005.
He also took part in a comedy skit entitled "The Easy Guitar Book Sketch" with comedian Rowland Rivron and fellow musicians Mark Knopfler, Lemmy from Motörhead, Mark King from Level 42, and David Gilmour.
Other collaborations included a broad range of artists including Trilok Gurtu, Dr. Strangely Strange, Jimmy Nail, Mo Foster, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Jim Capaldi, B.B. King, Vicki Brown, Cozy Powell, Rod Argent, the Beach Boys, Paul Rodgers, Keith Emerson, Roger Daltrey, and Otis Taylor.
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