Monday, February 6, 2012

gimme moore

It’s been almost exactly a year now since Gary Moore was found dead in a hotel room in Spain. The news made me quite sad as he was not only a gifted guitarist but also seemed like a very sweet guy. I never got much into his solo work, not because it’s bad necessarily, more because I simply didn’t get around to checking it out. Maybe some day I will. But he really brought a new and fresh energy to Thin Lizzy after Robbo left the group. Black Rose, released at the doorstep of the 80s, suffers from the creeping atmospheric murkiness typical of the way records sounded at the time. But Moore’s lightning fast playing cuts through the heavy fog like a knife through buttah. Speed guitar is usually not my thing when it’s done as a dick swinging end in itself, but Moore is tasteful and imaginative in his playing and gets an incredible tone out of his Les Paul. His sound has such an incredible bite to it, hard enough to chip a tooth on, yet also intricate and tuneful. They should sell the Gary Moore guitar sound in powdered form. Just add water, drink it down, and presto, you’re able to shred out jaw dropping guitar solos. If only it were that easy. …I remember seeing the ‘Liz perform on The Midnight Special when I was a kid. I had a small black-and-white t.v. in my room, and as the band broke into Waiting for an Alibi with a huge set of dice towering behind them as a stage prop, I was absolutely rapt, on my way to becoming hooked for life. The song struck that perfect balance between being dark and sinister but also irresistibly catchy. It’s also just flat-out ballsy sounding. For me at that age, the dark, catchy, ballsy thing was utterly addictive, offering a kind of rebelliousness by proxy. Hearing the song now fills me with joy, but it’s bittersweet because the perfection of Gary Moore’s playing serves as a reminder that the man left us too soon...

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