I was shocked to hear that Gary Moore has died in Spain. He was apparently staying at the Kempinsky hotel in Estepona on the Costa del Sol when his girlfriend found him at 4am. Gary Moore was only 58 and he was a guitar genius in my view. Guitarists like him don’t come along very often. He was one of a rare bread of guitarists that put his life and soul into playing. You could tell by his facial expressions that he loved playing guitar. Like most great musicians he was like a craftsman who managed to get his instrument to make the most incredible sounds. The tone of Gary Moore’s Gibson Les Paul guitar was just amazing and the envy of many guitarists. Gary was a big fan of Marshall amps and this combination of amp and guitar suited Gary Moore perfectly.
I first came across Gary Moore when he was playing with Phil Lynot and Thin Lizzy and I have admired him ever since. He only spent four months with Thin Lizzy before embarking on a solo career that would take him back to his blues roots.
Anyone who listens to any one of his 20 solo albums can’t fail to be impressed. His music will live on and I can’t think of anyone else who can fill the gap left by his sad demise.
It is very difficult to pick the best of Gary Moore’s music but I love the song Don’t believe a Word from his rocking days, but you can pick any of his blues songs to listen to the unmistakable music of Gary Moore.
Trying to name my favourite guitar players of all time is a bit difficult but I thought I would give it a go seeing as the guitar is my favourite musical instrument and I love the sound of the guitar. I play guitar, but I’m not very good. But try picking up a guitar and plugging it into an amp and turning up the volume and strumming a few simple chords and you suddenly feel like a rock god. I think it was slash who said that turning his Marshall amp up high and strumming a simple E chord on his Gibson Les Paul suddenly makes him feel powerful and a different person. Anyway, where should I start…well my favourite guitar player of the moment is Joe Satriani.
Number One – Joe Satriani
Why is Joe my number One – well simply because he is technically gifted and he creates great songs as well. Playing fast does not make a great guitar player. It’s all about playing the right notes at the right time with feeling. Less is more !
His records have sold over 7 million copies worldwide. In fact, his Surfing With the Alien became the first instrumental guitar album to crack the Top 40 charts. While also scoring on sales for his latest DVD releases with Live in San Francisco hitting the gold mark and the first G3 Live in Concert DVD going platinum.
In addition to his own material, Satriani has recorded and toured with such artists as Mick Jagger, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper and even Spinal Tap. While even before his 1986 debut Not of This Earth, Satriani had become something of a cult legend as the guitar teacher to such future stars as Steve Vai, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Counting Crows’ David Bryson and jazz artist Charlie Hunter. His latest album goes by the wierd name of Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock.
Listen to my favourite track, Revelation on the album.
If you want to get into Joe Satriani I recommend that you buy his anthology album. In my opinion this is one of the best guitar albums ever made. It truly rocks and I guarantee that you will not fail to be impressed ! And its really cheap as well.
Number 2 – Gary Moore
If you ever want to listen to a guitarist who puts his heart and soul into playing guitar then listen to Gary Moore. Gary has had a long career and has been involved in some famous rock bands including Thin Lizzy where he wrote some amazing songs including Black Rose and Don’t Believe a Word.
In 1979, Gary’s solo career began in earnest with the evocative hit single, ‘Parisienne Walkways’before he moved back to his roots with some fantastic blues albums including “Back to the Blues (2001). Gary Moore has become one of the best guitarists that the UK has ever produced. Watch the clip below of Don’t believe a word and I think you will understand why he is in my top ten guitarists list !
Gary Moore has produced many magnificent albums. These are the ones I recommend you buy:
At number 3 – Robin Trower
When I was choosing my top ten of all time guitarists I wanted guitar players who were pioneers in their field. Those guitarists who infleunced todays players and were outstanding for their time, but they didn’t receive the recognition they deserve. Most of these players were learning their trade in the 70′s. One such guitarist is Robin Trower. Some say he sounds like Jimi Hendrix and I would not disagree. Playing a Fender Stratacaster there is no doubt he influenced many of todays great players but sadly he remained fairly unknown apart from by guitar players who knew who the true great influences were. So, I give Robin Trower the recognition he deserves in my own small way ! Listen to this track, which is one of his classics, Day of the Eagle.
4. Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher was an inspiration to many great guitarists, and he has probably received more adulation since his premature death in 1995 of liver disease. Born in 1948 Rory Gallager took up guitar at the age of 12 and soon began public performances. In 1961 he bought his famous Fender Stratocaster. He formed the band “Taste” and then moved onto form his own band playing his own form of rock/blues which was to give him such a massive devoted following. Some of his classic tracks include “Cradle Rock”, “As the crow flies”. Tatoo’d Lady” and “Too much Alcohol”. There were, however many others and he loved playing to live audiences. His best album in my opinion is his “Live Irish Tour” album of 1974. Check it out as you will find some of the best rock/blues guitar music that you will have heard for a long time and he was also a master of “slide guitar”.
Buy these Rory Gallagher CD’s, DVD and books. If you love good guitar playing you will love this brilliant music.
5. Ritchie Blackmore
Ritchie Blackmore may be famous for the most recognised rock guitar riff of all time but to me he is the man who invented rock music. It was one of my first ever albums I bought and they were one of the first rock bands I saw live back in 1973, Deep Purple represent to me the most exiting time in rock music. I was in the old Victoria pub just behind Leeds Town Hall and who should be on the next table to me but the band members of Deep Purple. I got them all to sign their autograghs on a beer mat and since then there were all heroes to me.
Their classic album “Deep Purple in Rock” was and still is one of the most amazing rock music creations of all time and Ritchie Blackmore was the guitarist responsible. You only have to listen to “Child in Time”, “Speed King”, “Flight of the Rat” and “Into the Fire”, they had such raw power and energy that the music will stand the test of time. Even today’s rock musicians must listen to this album and admire it. It represents a turning point in history and must be one of the greatest albums of all time. Every band member was a genius but the guitar playing of Ritchie Blackmore sent a shiver down my spine every time I listened and I must have listened to Deep Purple in Rock literally hundreds of times ! I don’t like to think about what Ritche Blackmore does now…Its not him…but as long as he is happy I don’t mind because he has earnt the right to do whatever he wants!
I managed to find a YouTube video clip of Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar solo in Child in Time. Listen to it, I can only describe it as awsome!