Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy Guitar Legend, Died From Suspected Heart Attack
February 7, 2011
Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore died from a suspected heart attack, an initial post-mortem examination has found. Forensic experts told a court in Spain’s Costa del Sol that the Ulster rocker died of natural causes, hours after starting a six-day holiday with a girlfriend.
Last night it emerged his funeral is likely to be held in Brighton, where the 58-year-old had been living, rather than his home city of Belfast.
Moore was found dead in a hotel room during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Although he had a successful solo career it was for his time in Thin Lizzy that Moore will be best remembered.
Yesterday, as tributes continued to pour in for the legendary guitarist, former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof hailed him as “one of the greats”. “His playing was exceptional and beautiful. We won’t see his like again,” he said.
Paramedics were called around 4am on Sunday to the five-star Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona after Moore’s girlfriend raised the alarm.
While forensic experts are satisfied he died from natural causes, they requested further tests on tissue samples taken from his body ahead of a final report.
A Spanish police spokesman said last night: “Mr Moore died of natural causes and his death is not in any way suspicious. An investigating magistrate has opened a standard inquiry to determine the exact cause of death.”
It is understood a judge has already given permission for Moore’s brother Glen, who arrived in Spain yesterday, to repatriate his body.
Although he released numerous solo albums, which ranged from blues to hard rock, it was as a member of Thin Lizzy that Moore found fame.
First drafted into the Irish rock group in 1973 after the departure of founding member Eric Bell, Moore later left the band but rejoined in 1977 for Thin Lizzy’s Celtic tour de force Black Rose album. But while Moore left Thin Lizzy on the tour to promote the record, he collaborated with frontman Phil Lynott again on UK hits Parisienne Walkways (1979) and Out In The Fields (1985), which reached No5 in the UK charts. Lynott died in 1986 but the music the two musicians created together still has fans worldwide.
Yesterday Geldof said Moore had been a huge influence on later rock acts, particularly bands such as Guns N’ Roses, adding that he was also a fine blues guitarist. “He is one of the great blues players,” he said. “Axl Rose will say that without Thin Lizzy, you don’t get Guns ‘N’ Roses and that whole idea of rock and roll, and Gary was sort of fundamental in developing that twin-guitar lyrical thing, like on Parisienne Walkways,” Geldof said. “But, really, you didn’t have to cut the skin hard to find just a great, great blues player, and absolutely one of the best.”
Terri Hooley, the founder of Good Vibrations records, described Moore as “a musical genius”. “He’ll always be remembered as a really jovial, fairly nice guy who could play the guitar and entertain thousands and thousands of people,” he said. “I think if people go back and go through his back catalogue, they’ll find a lot of gems there. One day we should have a statue in Belfast for him like they have a statue for Phil Lynott in Dublin.”
Danny Jones from pop group McFly said Moore was one of his musical heroes. “I am gutted that one of my idols Gary Moore has died,” he posted online. “An amazing musician that inspired me hugely. My thoughts are with his family, RIP”.
Rock star Bryan Adams also paid tribute, describing Moore as a “guitarist extraordinaire”.
Sharon Osbourne said she was devastated to hear of Moore’s death, adding he would be sorely missed.
A statement from the official Thin Lizzy Facebook page said: “It is with great sadness we hear of the passing of Gary Moore. “Our thoughts go out to Gary’s family at this time and our memories of Gary and his contribution to Thin Lizzy and music in general will live on forever.”