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r246c's room for GARY MOORE.

Gary Moore(ゲイリームーア)の大ファンです。

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中途半端な状態ではありますが、掲載しました記事にコメント等ありましたら、お気兼ねなく書き込み下さい。また、記載した情報に間違え等ある場合がありますので、購入等の際はご自分でご確認の上、自己責任でお願い致します。記載ミス等ご指摘頂ければ幸いです。それでは、宜しくお願い致します(^^)/ r246c. (Since 2011/3/1)

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Gary Moore: the story of Still Got The Blues

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1990's Still Got The Blues album was an abrupt and risky game-changer that reignited the tradition of blistering British blues guitar
This article first appeared in The Blues #7, June 2013.

Spring 1989. Gary Moore was touring across Europe promoting his latest album After The War, his fifth rock album for Virgin since Corridors Of Power in 1982. Sales and profile were growing with each album, culminating in Wild Frontier, which spawned the hit single Out In The Fields with Phil Lynott – Top 5 in the UK in 1985 and higher still across Europe. But the new album hadn’t done so well and Gary was tiring of the 1980s rock treadmill; the emphasis on soulless fret-melting guitar, big hair and looking serious in daft pop videos. He realised, too, that he was repeating himself as a songwriter. He needed to take some risks if he was to move on – but which way to turn?

Sitting in the tune-up room loosening up before a gig in Germany with his long-time bass player Bob Daisley (ex-Rainbow and Ozzy Osbourne), the answer came. “We were messing about playing bits and pieces of blues,” says Daisley. “Stuff from the Bluesbreakers’ Beano album. And then it came to me. I said to Gary, ‘Why don’t we do a blues album?’”

Flashback to Belfast 1966; Gary Moore, then still only 14, had been making a name for himself as a guitar prodigy on the Belfast beat scene. Starting around the age of 10 with a jumbo acoustic almost as big as himself, he progressed so far over the next four years that he was the proud owner of a white Telecaster – one of the very few available in the city and bought on hire purchase by his dad for 180 guineas (an eye-watering £2,800 at 2013 prices).

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Gary Moore onstage in the mid-80s (Photo: Getty)

He’d been playing pop covers since his first band The Beat Boys, but then in July 1966, the Beano album came out; “I remember going round to a friend’s house one Sunday afternoon. I’ll never forget it because it was such a big thing for me. He had the album and a lot of people were talking about it. It was the first time anyone had heard a Les Paul going through a Marshall amp. My friend put on the opening track, All Your Love, and it changed my life in a second, it was an unbelievable epiphany. It was only a little stereo, but the guitar was screaming out of the speakers. I’d never heard a guitar sound so big and so passionate, and so full of energy and emotion.”

Moore borrowed the album and never gave it back. That very same copy with the name ‘G. McFarlane’ written in the top left-hand corner now resides in Belfast’s Oh Yeah community centre, alongside a display of stage clothes and a black Les Paul.

It wasn’t that long after hearing the album that Moore ran away from home, travelling to Dublin with The Method as a stand-in for the guitarist who had hurt his hand in a car accident and then joining Skid Row, featuring a tall, skinny black kid called Phil Lynott on vocals. If hearing Eric Clapton was an epiphany, the next step in Moore’s blues journey became a lifelong obsession.

Moore first clapped eyes on Peter Green in 1967, when Fleetwood Mac played the Club Rado in Belfast. Like most fans, he stood there, arms folded, waiting to hear from the guitarist who had the job of replacing Eric Clapton. Moore said later, “From the opening licks of All Your Love it was obvious that here was someone very special. As for his guitar sound, I’d never heard anything like it in my life. It seemed that the whole room was resonating, such was the depth of his tone.”

That guitar, a 1959 Les Paul Standard, would become as much a part of the Gary Moore story as it was embedded in the legend of Peter Green.

Moore didn’t meet Green until January 1970, when Skid Row supported Fleetwood Mac at Dublin’s National Stadium. “After we’d played our set, a local DJ, Pat Egan, who was compering the show, came up to me and said Peter wanted to say hello. Peter told me that he liked my playing and invited me back to his hotel after the show. I had another gig to play about 50 miles away, but he wanted me to go back and we sat up playing and talking until the early hours. After that we became friends and he persuaded his manager Clifford Davis to sign Skid Row.”

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Thin Lizzy in 1974: Brian Downey, Phil Lynott and Gary Moore (Photo: Getty)

Skid Row moved to London, where Moore and Green stayed in touch. By then, Green’s life was unravelling; he left Fleetwood Mac, began to offload money and possessions and started down an awful slope into mental illness and obscurity. Moore recalled a particular night at The Marquee: “Peter asked me if I wanted to borrow his guitar. All through the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac he had played that particular guitar… and so I jumped at the chance.

A few days later he called and asked me if I wanted it. I told him there was no way I could afford it, but he said if I sold my main guitar (a Gibson SG), then whatever I got for it, I could give it to him and then it would be like swapping guitars. It’s the best guitar I have ever played…it has a magic all its own and a sound that I have never heard from any other guitar.”

Moore spent the mid to late 70s alternating between the hard rock of Thin Lizzy and the prog rock complexities of Colosseum II. He met up with Green again during the recording of his solo album Back On The Streets, the source of his first pop success, Parisienne Walkways. Gary told Guitarist magazine in 2003, “He was downstairs in the bar and I said, ‘Come up. I want to play you this track’. We’d done this slow version of Don’t Believe A Word which was very much in the Fleetwood Mac style. The Les Paul was leaning against a chair in the studio and he came in, walked across and brushed it with his hand. That’s why it’s given me another 20 years of magic ever since. He put some of the old magic back into it for me.”


What is so special about that guitar is a matter of dispute. There are many stories of how it came to have that soulful, far away, out-of-phase signature sound. Inevitably the truth is probably a mash-up of explanations – the main ones being a botched repair at Selmer’s, where Peter had bought the guitar second hand feeling he should have the same guitar as Eric, and a possible factory fault unique to this guitar. But there is no such thing as a magical guitar; there are only magical guitarists.

One thing’s for sure, Gary Moore was a worthy recipient of the most famous Les Paul on the planet. He used it on Still Got The Blues and the subsequent tour – and dedicated the album to Peter Green.

But in 1989, exactly what form this blues album would take – or even if it would happen at all – was very much up in the air. When Bob Daisley said “why don’t we do a blues album?” – he meant Gary’s touring band of the moment, with keyboard player Neil Carter and drummer Chris Slade. But Carter wasn’t really into playing blues and, shortly after the tour ended, Chris Slade joined AC/DC. And Moore had other ideas.

The prospect of doing a blues album was raised with the record company by Moore’s manager Steve Barnett. According to John Wooler, part of Virgin Records A&R team, a very early thought was to make a Fleetwood Mac concept album using Blue Horizon producer Mike Vernon and trying to get some of the original band to play. But Moore soon ditched that plan and turned his mind to building a team of musicians under his own name. Graham Lilley, Gary’s then guitar technician, recalls conversations about including another guitarist in the line-up, with Snowy White’s name being mentioned.

Inside Virgin, the conversation initially focused on this being a side project – in other words, not an album that would count as part of Gary’s contracted commitments.

Briefly floated, too, was the notion that this could be released on the Point Blank label. John Wooler, who had good connections with a number of American blues artists on the Alligator label, was laying plans to have a blues subsidiary of Virgin. Nothing was going to happen, however, until Virgin could hear what Moore was planning.
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