Former Thin Lizzy bandmates pay tribute after acclaimed Irish rock and blues guitarist passes away while on holiday in Spain

Gary Moore

Acclaimed: Gary Moore

Irish rock and blues guitarist Gary Moore has died while on holiday in Spain. He was 58.

The artist is best known for his stint with Thin Lizzy and a number of solo rock albums in the mid-1980s, along with an album with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce of Cream, plus his acclaimed blues output of recent years.

No details have been released about his death in a luxury hotel on the Costa del Sol. A post-mortem is expected to be carried out in Malaga in the coming days.

Former Lizzy bandmates Brian Downey and Scott Gorham have spoken of their sadness at his death.

Downey says: “I’m in total shock – I’ve known Gary since 1967 and he’s been an amazing friend ever since. It was a pleasure to play with him again in 2006. He’ll always be in my thoughts and prayers.”

Gorham adds: “Playing with Gary during our Black Rose era was a great experience. He was a great player and a great guy. I’ll miss him.”

Niall Stokes of influential Irish publication Hot Press says: “Gary was a genius. Even as a teenager he had something special about him. His contribution to the Irish rock canon was immense. It’s a huge loss.”

Recognised for his scarred face, reputedly from either a knife or glass attack in a Belfast pub, Moore first grabbed headlines after joining Irish outfit Skid Row in the early 1970s.

That led a long acquaintance with Lizzy mainman Phil Lynott. The partnership spawned Moore’s singles Parisienne Walkways and Out in the Fields, while the guitarist appeared on Thin Lizzy’s Black Rose album. The pair had a stormy relationship but retained respect for each others’ artistic abilities.

Moore’s most recent album was 2008′s Bad For You Baby. Since then he’d returned to playing more of his rock songs on tour, notably performing a rock set at last year’s High Voltage festival in London’s Victoria Park.

His final stage appearance was on Friday night, when he performed alongside blues artist Otis Taylor in Connecticut, USA. Taylor and his daughter Cassie appeared on Bad For You Baby. Lizzy are currently touring Europe with their 2011 lineup including former Almighty frontman Ricky Warwick, who’s promised to “blow the roof off Vienna tonight for Gary and Philo.”

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