Britain’s The Sun has reported that guitarist Gary Moore died on holiday choking on his vomit after knocking back champagne and brandy. The 58-year-old ex-Thin Lizzy star was discovered just before 4am by his girlfriend, unconscious in their Spanish hotel room. Medics found him lying lifeless on his back wearing just his underpants. An ambulance source said: “We believe the deceased had been drinking heavily.” A source at The Kempinski hotel on Spain’s Costa del Sol said: “There were definite signs of alcohol in the room. His girlfriend was very distraught, in floods of tears.”
Moore, rated as one of the finest guitarists of his generation, was best known for his time in Thin Lizzy. He played on their chart hits “Waiting For An Alibi” and “Do Anything You Want To.” He also teamed up with Thin Lizzy frontman and fellow Irishman Phil Lynott for the top ten solo hits “Parisienne Walkways” and “Out In The Fields.” In recent years the Belfast-born guitarist and singer had forged a new career as a blues musician, releasing critically-acclaimed albums and performing with legends BB King and Bob Dylan.
Bob Geldof yesterday described Moore as one of Ireland’s musical legends. He said: “One of the greatest blues players of all time. Van Morrison, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – the glorious trinity of the Irish blues men.” Moore’s shocked former bandmates also paid tribute. Eric Bell, another ex-Lizzy guitarist from Belfast, said: “I can’t believe it. He was so robust, he wasn’t a rock casualty, he was a healthy guy. He was a superb player and a dedicated musician.” The band’s drummer Brian Downey added: “I am in total shock. I’ve known Gary since 1967 and he’s been an amazing friend ever since. He will always be in my thoughts and prayers.” Thin Lizzy’s management said: “Our thoughts go out to Gary’s family at this time. Our memories of Gary and his contribution to Thin Lizzy and music in general will live on forever.”
Moore died hours after checking into the Kempinski Hotel at Estepona with his girlfriend, who is in her 30s, for a six-day holiday. The hotel source said: “They were going to eat at the restaurant but it was closed so they had a sandwich at the bar with a bottle of champagne. They went for a stroll then back to the bar where Gary had brandies. He seemed fine when he left around 11pm.” Moore was in Thin Lizzy in the late ’70s when the band was notorious for alcohol and drug binges. In 1986 Lynott, who had known Moore since they were teenagers, died of pneumonia brought on by his heroin addiction. He was 36.
Former Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake/Blue Murder guitarist John Sykes has posted the following message on his official web site: “Our condolences to the family of Gary Moore — one of the greatest guitar players ever. A very sad loss for the music world. His playing will inspire generations to come. God bless. Love and respect.”
Bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell) has issued the following statement regarding the passing of legendary guitarist Gary Moore: “I was very saddened to hear of the passing of one of the greatest guitarists of all time —Gary Moore. His ‘Still Got The Blues’ album was one of the great albums, certainly one of my favorites. His way of playing cannot be learned — it comes from the soul. R.I.P., Gary.”
Bassist Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep) has released the following statement regarding to the passing of legendary guitarist Gary Moore: “It is with great sadness that I acknowledge Gary Moore in this way. His passing has come as a sad and terrible shock and I have difficulty believing that he’s gone. I have many fond memories of our years together, both in the workplace of music and as friends. I have love and respect for Gary as a musician and as a person; he was one of the greatest. Farewell and rest in peace, Gary, my friend.”
Adam Parsons, who manages Thin Lizzy, told the BBC that Mr Moore had died in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy said it been a pleasure to share a stage with Mr Moore. “Playing with Gary during the Black Rose era was a great experience, he was a great player and a great guy,” he said. “I will miss him.”
Niall Stokes, the editor of the Irish music magazine, Hot Press, described Mr Moore as a “genius”.
Testament’s Alex Skolnick has posted the following message on Twitter regarding the passing of legendary guitarist Gary Moore: “RIP, Gary Moore. Brilliant guitarist, not the most household name but one who didn’t need trends, gimmicks or image, just pure tone and soul.”
Mick Box, lead guitarist for Uriah Heep, has posted the following statement regarding he passing of legendary rock axeman Gary Moore: “On Sunday it was very sad to read that Gary Moore had died. I was most upset, as I have known Gary for many years, and he is a wonderful guitarist and friend. He will be sadly missed, but he leaves us with a wonderful legacy of music, and my heart goes out to his family. Rest in peace, my friend!”
Punk rock icon Henry Rollins told The Hollywood Reporter that legendary guitarist Gary Moore’s death was “a big loss.”
“He was too young to go,” Rollins said. Rollins not only praised Moore’s work “those Lizzy recordings with Moore were as good as it gets”), but also his individual projects. “His solo records were rocking,” Rollins said.