Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gary Moore, 1952 - 2011


I am sure that many of you have heard that Gary Moore passed away in Spain this past weekend while on holiday with his family. He was only 58, which is way too young.

Gary had been a long-time guitar hero for me: I loved the music from his time with Thin Lizzy, and I kept touch with his work throughout his extensive solo career. I even had the joy of owning one of his original-series signature model Gibson Les Paul guitars, which I reviewed on this blog last May.

The mainstream music industry press is doing an efficient job of covering Gary’s biography and speculating about how he died. Unfortunately I never got to see him live or meet him, so I do not have any up-close and personal anecdotes, but I would like to share a Gary Moore memory with you all today.

About 10 years ago I traveled overseas and stayed at a Hilton hotel in Japan for 3 weeks. Every morning I would go down to breakfast when the hotel restaurant opened at 7:00 and was usually the only diner in the place. Apparently having an early breakfast is not terribly popular in Japan.

It took me a few days, but I finally figured out that the barely audible Muzak in the restaurant was playing the same album every morning, and I recognized it Gary Moore’s Wild Frontier album. Not his best work, but it was a pretty big hit for him back in 1987.

I asked my waiter (who spoke perfect English, of course) about their mood music. He said that the sound system had a 6-disk CD changer that constantly cycled through, and Wild Frontier was the 1st CD in the magazine. It turned out that the waiter was a guitarist (with a Les Paul, of course) and this was one of his favorite albums.

Music makes the world a little smaller, I guess. For the rest of my stay we chatted a little about music and guitars each morning, and it made the lonely trip a little brighter for me.

Godspeed, Gary, and thanks for everything.


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