Gary Moore

Gary Moore (April 4, 1952 — Feb. 6, 2011) was an Irish blues-rock/hard-rock/jazz-rock guitarist with a musical career that spanned more than 40 years. He first emerged as a member of the Limerick rock combo Granny’s Trip, which issued the album Honest Injun on Deram in 1969. This was followed by two albums with blues-rockers Skid Row circa 1970/71.

In 1973, Moore issued his first album, Grinding Stone, on CBS. That same year, he began his association with superstar rockers Thin Lizzy, playing on the band’s 1974 album Night Life and serving intermittently as their touring guitarist for the remainder of the decade. During 1976 and 1977, his lightning licks graced three albums by jazz-rock supergroup Colosseum II.

In 1978, Moore released his second solo album Back On the Streets, displaying the balance of frenzied rockers and blues-tinged ballads that he would become known for in the following decade. In 1980, he recorded one album with LA-situated hard-rockers G-Force. Starting with the 1982 release Corridors of Power, he became a full-time solo artist, ultimately achieving wider fame with 1985’s Run for Cover.

He was born Robert William Gary Moore on April 4, 1952, in Belfast. At age 10, he received his first guitar from his father, a concert promoter at Queen’s Hall ballroom in Holywood. Despite being left-handed, Moore mastered the instrument with his right hand. Just shy of 13, he formed The Beat Boys, a local Beatles cover band. He passed through a sequence of rival Belfast beat groups (Platform Three, The Method) before leaving home and heading to Dublin in 1968.

Upon his arrival in Dublin, Moore joined local blues-rockers Skid Row. After firing original frontman Phil Lynott, the band released a self-titled album on CBS in 1970 that was promptly withdrawn, retooled, and re-released as Skid later that same year.

Concurrently, Moore played guitar on eight songs on Honest Injun, the singular album by fellow blues-rockers Granny’s Intentions, which also featured Skid Row drummer Noel Bridgeman. Also in 1970, Moore played on four songs on the album Heavy Petting, the sophomore effort by folksters Dr. Strangely Strange.

In 1971, Skid Row released 34 Hours, named after the length of the recording sessions. Later that year, the band recorded and shelved a third proper album just prior to Moore’s departure. He was later replaced by Eric Bell, the former guitarist of Thin Lizzy, which Lynott formed after his dismissal from Skid Row.

In 1973, Moore made an un-credited appearance on the track “Down On Me” from the album Wait Till They Change the Backdrop by singer/songwriter Jonathan Kelly. That same year, Moore teamed with bassist John Curtis, drummer Pearse Kelly, and keyboardist Vic Martin in the Gary Moore Band, which released the album Grinding Stone on CBS. It features three songs per side, starting with the lengthy title-track (9:38). Side two is largely consumed by the 17-minute “Spirit.”

Musical guests on Grinding Stone include keyboardist Jan Schelhaas (Camel, Caravan, National Head Band) and bassist Frank Boylan (Mellow Candle). The cover was designed by Michael Farrell, who also did artwork on albums by Jigsaw (Aurora Borealis), Argent (Nexus), Streetwalkers (Downtown Flyers), Nucleus (Snakehips Etcetera), Jethro Tull (Too Old to Rock N’ Roll: Too Young to Die), and the debut album by Bandit.

Solo discography:

  • Grinding Stone (1973)
  • Back on the Streets (1978)
  • G-Force (1980)
  • Dirty Fingers (1981)
  • Corridors of Power (1982)
  • Victims of the Future (1983)
  • Run for Cover (1985)
  • Wild Frontier (1987)
  • After the War (1989)
  • Still Got the Blues (1990)
  • After Hours (1992)
  • Blues for Greeny (1995)
  • Dark Days in Paradise (1997)
  • A Different Beat (1999)
  • Back to the Blues (2001)
  • Scars (2002)
  • Power of the Blues (2004)
  • Old New Ballads Blues (2006)
  • Close as You Get (2007)
  • Bad for You Baby (2008)


  • Discogs: Gary Moore

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