Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

He’s only 17 months dead but already rock guitar hero Gary Moore’s grave is in sorry state

Fans of Gary Moore have complained about the neglected state of his grave in Sussex, England
Fans of Gary Moore have complained about the neglected state of his grave in Sussex, England

It's the final resting place of a guitar legend — but there is little to give this away apart from a small wooden cross and a few mementoes.

Concerns have been expressed about the “sorry state” of Gary Moore’s grave, just 17 months after his death.

The 58-year-old Thin Lizzy star, turned successful solo artist, died from a heart attack while holidaying in Spain last February.

However, fans living close to his final resting place in Saltdean, East Sussex, have raised concerns about the upkeep of the burial plot.

The only indication of the grave’s famous occupant is a small brown cross stating ‘GARY MOORE 1952–2011’ and a few mementoes left by fans.

Irene Campbell, from Peacehaven in East Sussex, said she would like to see a bigger tribute to the music star who influenced a generation and left a legacy that is worth millions.

She said: “When I went to look for Gary Moore’s grave at the parish church, it took me ages to find. Having been to Pere Lachaise in Paris recently and visited Jim Morrison’s grave, I was expecting some sort of original memorial, maybe a guitar in stone. Just as I was giving up I found it tucked away against a back wall with no obvious markings. The little black scarf draped on the cross probably was what caught my eye. The grave was not delineated or looked after — there were lots of fallen leaves not swept up.

“I was really disappointed and thought it looked neglected.”

Saltdean is close to Brighton where Moore had been living at the time of his death. Ms Campbell acknowledged there may be other reasons for the grave’s current state.

“I do know you have to wait for a year before erecting a permanent memorial and therefore, as it is only 17 months since his death, an appropriate memorial may well be being carved out as we speak,” she said.

In a statement issued to the Belfast Telegraph, a spokesman for Moore’s family blamed adverse weather conditions for the delay in erecting a headstone.

A spokesman said: “A headstone is currently being made, as arranged by Gary’s family. It does take some time for the ground, following a burial, to settle and to be able to support a headstone or memorial piece. But with the continuing wet weather, this has added to the time that the ground is taking to settle.”

Stuart Bailie, from Belfast’s Oh Yeah Centre which is currently running an exhibition on Gary Moore said the family had done “a lot” to maintain the guitarist’s legacy.

“The feeling I am getting is that the family care a lot about his memory,” he said. “They have just commissioned a biography and are doing a lot ot keep his memory alive.”

Background

East Belfast guitarist Gary Moore achieved worldwide fame with Thin Lizzy. |Although he released numerous successful solo albums it was for his time in the Irish rock band, fronted by Phil Lynott, that Moore will be best remembered. He joined in 1973, before leaving and rejoining a number of years later. Moore died from a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Spain’s Costa del Sol last February just hours after starting a six-day holiday with a girlfriend. He was found dead in a hotel room in the early hours of the morning.

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