Gary Moore The Official Biography: " He had everything"
The Gary Moore Book I have been waiting for.
Amazon deliveries on a Sunday afternoon are the reality of the fast paced, "get it now" world we live in for better or worse.
This Sunday afternoon I was overjoyed at the delivery of the new book by Harry Shapiro : Gary Moore the Official Biography.
The book cover is cool with a picture of a contemplative Gary Moore holding his beloved Peter Green Gibson Les Paul (the full story of how Gary acquires the guitar is dealt with in the book).
The back cover is adorned with quotes from Kirk Hammett of Metallica (incidentally the owner of the famous Green / Moore Les Paul now) and Joe Bonamassa.
The Gary Moore : a Life
Harry Shapiro goes into meticulous detail of Gary's life not only as a guitarist and musician but his early days in Belfast, his personal relationships and friendships.
The account is honest and raw at times but gives us a glimpse into the life of a man we all knew through his music and guitar playing but rarely seen as fans and admirers from afar.
We get a walkthrough Gary's musical journey from his teenage bands in Belfast to Skid Row, Colosseum II to Thin Lizzy, from Rock guitar God to Bluesman and all in in between.
You do get a sense of a man always searching for peace and contentment in his music and life but never seeming to find what he was looking for.
It's sad that a man revered by so many for his guitar playing was often in a dark place of loneliness, seeking love and solace.
There is no doubt the thunderous roar from his amp disguised a deep insecurity.
It is fascinating from a musician's perspective to learn about his practice and rehearsal routines.
He was ultra disciplined with constant practice - a guitar was rarely out of his hand - and a demanding rehearsal schedule for his band members throughout his career.
The Gary Moore with the Music Icons
From Paul McCartney threatening to pull the lead out of Gary's amp to John Bonham paying for hotel rooms, we get a greta snapshot of the music world of the 70's , 80's and 90's.
I loved reading about the Albert King recording sessions.
George Harrison telling Gary to make the guitar gently weep!!!
The Gary Moore and Eric Clapton
Gary Moore and Eric Clapton never shared a stage together for a performance.
Eric Clapton had this to say about Gary:
'He introduced himself to me a long time ago and I got an incredible feeling for the guy that he was a genuine good man and a great player.
And when he died I thought, This was so sad. And ... well, it wasn't ignored, but it wasn't given a great deal of significance, so I just wanted to say thank you by doing this and I wanted his family to know as much as anybody in the public that I cared.
And I thought a good way to do it would be to take it away from his version and show that song itself is strong enough to be adaptable, so I did it in a jazzy, clubby kind of way.'
ERIC CLAPTON ON 'STILL GOT THE BLUES (FOR YOU)', HIS TRIBUTE TO GARY AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, MAY 24, 2011
Gary Moore Death
The book deals with the death of Gary Moore in a matter of fact way.
We hear of the concerns that his band members had about his health and lifestyle leading up to his death.
The book details his trip to Spain and the post mortem.
We as fans lost a guitar legend but Gary was a father, partner and friend and it's really sad to read about this awful experience for all involved.
Kirk Hammett on Gary Moore
"Gary Moore is definitely in my list of top five guitar influences, right up there with Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Michael Schenker. He just blew me away from the first time I heard him."
This is the quote from Kirk Hammett that graces the cover of the book.
As a fan of Metallica, I was delighted to see Kirk Hammett use the Greeny / Moore Les Paul on Whiskey in the Jar at the Metallica concert at Slane, Ireland in 2019.
There was a little moment of magic for me when the guitar stars aligned connecting Thin Lizzy, Slane, Metallica and THAT Les Paul.
Music works it's magic in wonderful ways.
Thin Lizzy with Gary Moore
This is actually Gary Moore performing his solo song Back on the Streets with Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott and Scott Gorham.
Cozy Powell and Don Airey join them on drums and keys.
Gary Moore Still Got the Blues
I have some fun with the outro of the Gary Moore classic in the video below.
I am using the Vintage Lemondrop which is based on the famous Peter Green / Gary Moore Gibson Les Paul.
You can grab a superb customisable backing track of Still Got the Blues HERE