Personalities | Gary Moore | Skid Row to Solo | Guitar Heroes

Blues and hard-rock guitarist Gary Moore was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1952. He began playing the acoustic guitar at the age of eight, acquiring his first electric model at 14. Moore learned to play right-handed, despite being naturally left-handed.

In 1969, he joined Skid Row, an Irish blues-rock group that featured Phil Lynott on vocals. When the latter was sacked, Moore took over as singer of the slimmed-down power trio.

Skid Row supported Fleetwood Mac, then featuring Peter Green, who was a massive influence on the young guitarist. With Green’s help, the band signed a contract with CBS, releasing two albums that were very influential on Irish rock, before Moore left in 1971. His debut album Grinding Stone (1973) was credited to The Gary Moore Band, but his initial solo career was short-lived, as he was reunited with Phil Lynott, replacing Eric Bell as Thin Lizzy’s lead guitarist for a short spell. Moore returned to the band briefly in both 1976 and 1978. In between, he was a member of Colosseum II, the second version of the British jazz-fusion band that featured a heavier sound than its original incarnation, largely because of Moore’s guitar work.

With a little help from Lynott on vocals, Moore’s solo career resumed in 1979, when his distinctive bluesy, wailing guitar graced the singles chart on ‘Parisienne Walkways’. The pair charted again with the heavier ‘Out In The Fields’ in 1985. The 1980s saw him concentrating on rock, but he returned to his first love on Still Got The Blues (1990). After some puzzling experiments with dance beats, he went back to basics once more on Back To The Blues (2001), following which he released Close As You Get (2007) and his final album, Bad For You Baby (2008). Moore died in his sleep from a heart attack in February 2011.

Of the many guitars that he used in his lengthy career, Moore was probably most attached to the Gibson Les Paul that he bought from his mentor Peter Green when the latter quit the music business. His fondness for Gibson guitars was recognized by the company when he became one of the first artists to have a signature model. Moore also played the Fender Stratocaster and guitars by Charvel, Paul Reed Smith and Ibanez.

Essential Recordings

The Gary Moore Band: Grinding Stone

Thin Lizzy: Black Rose: A Rock Legend

Solo: Wild Frontier

Solo: Still Got The Blues

Personalities | Scotty Moore | Leading the Field | Guitar Heroes


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.