Irish guitar hero Gary Moore found dead in a Spanish hotel room

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 6, 2011

The guitar world is in mourning today as the news of Gary Moore’s death travels around the globe. The Irish musician—best known for his work with Thin Lizzy and his solo career as a hard rocker-turned-bluesman—passed away early this morning in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona, Spain. Cause of death is not known at this time.

“It is with deep sorrow and regret, that we have to announce that Gary Moore passed away while on holiday in Spain last night,” reads a statement on his official website. “Our thoughts are with his children, family and friends at this sad time.”

Moore first joined Thin Lizzy in ’73 after the sudden departure of original guitarist Eric Bell, but only stayed in the lineup for a brief time before the “classic” Lizzy guitar team of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson was formed. Moore returned to the band to play on the 1979 Black Rose: A Rock Legend album, cowriting the beautiful ballad “Sarah” and the epic title track with frontman Phil Lynott, who died 25 years ago as a result of extensive drug and alcohol abuse.

After winning over hard-rock and metal fans in the ’80s with such solo albums as Corridors of PowerVictims of the Future, and Wild Frontier—which was dedicated to Lynott—Moore achieved chart success in 1990 when he wholeheartedly embraced the blues via Still Got the Blues, the title track of which garnered significant airplay and took his emotional guitarwork to a wider audience.

Unlike the big-name guitar heroes of yesteryear, Moore never gained enormous fame or wealth. In fact, it’s been reported that he had to sell the famous “Greeny” Les Paul that he got from guitar legend Peter Green to help make ends meet financially. Ear of Newt also blogged last year that Moore was being sued by American guitar great Ronnie Montrose for ownership of a Les Paul that had been stolen from Montrose back in the ’70s.

I for one will miss Gary Moore very much. I count myself extremely fortunate to have seen him on stage, both with Thin Lizzy at the Pacific Coliseum back in ’78, and then again at the Coliseum in ’84 when he opened for Rush. I also interviewed him on the phone in advance of that Rush date, and he seemed like a wonderful Irish bloke. A few hours before that show Moore did a meet ‘n’ greet at the old Zulu Records location near 4th & Burrard, and I went down to check it out, but for some reason I didn’t get his autograph. It would be nice to have it now, but at least I’ve still got that interview on tape. And all that incredible music.

R.I.P. Mr. Moore. Say hi to Phil for me please.

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