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Thin Lizzy rocker Gary Moore's guitars snapped up for £145,000

More than 30 instruments went under hammer in London

By Cate McCurry

Published 02/07/2016

Moore’s repertoire took in a range of musical styles
Moore’s repertoire took in a range of musical styles

Guitars once played by Northern Irish Thin Lizzy rocker Gary Moore have been snapped up for almost £145,000.

More than 30 instruments once owned by the east Belfast man went under the hammer at Bonhams in central London earlier this week.

The incredible collection of guitars and amps sold for a total of £143,235.

The star is famed for his time with Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II and the original Skid Row.

A popular musician, Moore's talents extended across a breadth of styles, from mainstream hard rock - for which he was most famous - to blues and jazz-rock - genres in which he produced several hit albums.

He was also widely recognised as a singer-songwriter and had a successful solo career.

The 46-piece collection featured a number of incredible instruments, including a 1963 Fender Stratocaster that was a gift from Claude Nobs, the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival. The guitar sold for a huge £18,750.

Moore used the instrument in live gigs, televised concerts and also on the Blues for Jimi DVD that was released in 2007 - the same year he also received a Gibson Les Paul 1959 from a devoted fan that he later used to warm up before gigs.

Among the other great instruments was a 1964 Gibson Firebird 1, which sold for £10,625.

Moore's personal collection of around 100 guitars included electric, acoustic and bass guitars, and a sitar and a banjo.

He had been known to auction off many of his pieces for charity, as well as handing them out to his fans.

Katherine Schofield, Bonhams Head of entertainment memorabilia, said: "At this year's sale we've offered some truly personal lots of entertainment memorabilia, from the private guitar collection of Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore to the heartfelt letters of the actress Audrey Hepburn, and of course, the studio songwriting notebook of Queen's Freddie Mercury.

"Each item offers fans that personal link to their favourite icon. We're delighted the sale has done so well.

On hearing of Moore's death in 2011, former Boomtown Rats frontman and charity campaigner Bob Geldof praised the musician's legacy and said that he was "without question one of the great Irish bluesmen". "His playing was exceptional and beautiful, and we won't see his like again," he added.

The musician, who was born Robert William Gary Moore, grew up on Castleview Road, off the Upper Newtownards Road in east Belfast, before leaving the area just as the Troubles were first taking a violent grip on the province. The father-of-four was so talented that, despite being left-handed, he could play right-handed instruments in the standard way.

Moore moved to the Republic aged 16 and befriended Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, who mentored him when performing.

The guitarist died of a heart attack in his sleep in 2011. His body was discovered in February 2011 in his room at a hotel in Estepona, Marbella.

Belfast Telegraph

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