The ultimate unsung hero, Moore made a seismic impact on heavy guitarists, without being a huge star himself. That’s the thesis of this well-researched biography, describing a virtuoso with high standards, a fiery temper, and crippling fear of flying, accounting for his relatively small fan base in America.
Over 360 pages, this tome covers Moore’s stints with Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II, and solo. Lizzy’s 1978-’79 lineup forged the epic album Black Rose, and Moore’s explosive guitar work with Scott Gorham is fully examined. On the ensuing tour, the guitarist clashed with frontman Phil Lynott, who was increasingly addicted to hard drugs. After Gary’s exit, the two men didn’t speak for four years.
Moving to blues-rock in 1990, Moore worked with a combative Albert King in a London studio, as well as easygoing bluesman Albert Collins – whom Gary had never heard of before their sessions. He even sparked a friendship with George Harrison and played George’s Beatles-era guitars. Moore’s sudden death in 2011 is covered, stemming from a sordid turn in his personal life.
In all, The Official Biography lives up to his name, delivering the most comprehensive picture to date of the Irish guitar man’s life and music.
This article originally appeared in VG’s November 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.