The passing of legendary Celtic rock musician Gary Moore — who was regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of his generation — has been met with disbelief by his friends and fellow musicians.
Tributes to the legendary axeman were continuing to pour in yesterday as people struggled to come to terms with his sudden death.
Moore was just 58, and by all accounts not prone to the excesses that have taken the lives of so many in the music business, including his friend and Thin Lizzy collaborator Phil |Lynott. A heart attack is now suspected of causing his death.
Indeed, his friend Eric Bell, another renowned Ulster gui
tarist, said: “Gary wasn't a rock casualty, he was a healthy guy.”
The 58-year-old’s body was found by his girlfriend in the Kempinski Resort Hotel in Spain's Costa del Sol early on Sunday.
Some media outlets were reporting that he’d been drinking heavily on what would have been the first day of their holiday. News of his death came as a huge shock to his family, friends and the legion of fans he had amassed in a career spanning four decades.
A spokesman for the British Embassy said they were aware of the death and were in touch with authorities.
Born in Belfast in 1952, Moore was a member of Dublin band Skid Row before joining Thin Lizzy in 1973, playing on tracks for their legendary Nightlife album.
He left after four months, but rejoined four years later and played on the hugely successful Black Rose album before going solo once again.
Moore's best known solo hits include Still Got The Blues, The Loner and Parisienne Walkways, the latter featuring a guest lead vocal by late Lizzy frontman Lynott, which became his biggest commercial single. Thin Lizzy had global hits in the 1970s with songs like Whiskey In The Jar, before Moore joined, and The Boys Are Back In Town, before he rejoined. Lynott died in 1986, but with a different line-up the band continues to tour today.
Moore's former bandmates have paid tribute to a “great player and a great guy”.
Thin Lizzy founder Brian Downey said: “He will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I just can't believe he is gone.”
Most comforting for Moore's friends and family has been the outpouring of love and respect from ordinary people.
Moore once said he would like to be remembered as someone who “meant it, no bulls***”.
Even today, nobody who listens to his remarkable playing would ever disagree.