RIP Gary Moore, 1952-2011

This blog is usually devoted to philosophy (especially philosophy of religion, ethics and political philosophy), theology and biblical studies, and my thoughts on social issues. But it’s my blog, and in theory I can say whatever I like. Like right now.

I was absolutely gutted this morning to find out that one of my favourite musicians and songwriters, Gary Moore died this weekend. I didn’t expect that. Born in Belfast in 1952, Gary played in Skid Row at just sixteen years old, then Thin Lizzy, going on to have a career as one of the most underrated musicians in the contemporary scene. He was fifty-eight years old and still performing at the top of his game – way too young to die. He collaborated with some of the greats in blues guitar: Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, B B King and others, but his own playing was unmatched in his genre. There’s nobody to fill these shoes.

I feel like I’ve lost a friend.

Rest in peace

(In fairness, I should have also marked the passing of Ronnie James Dio last year, but did not.)

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24 thoughts on “RIP Gary Moore, 1952-2011

  1. Great post. He truly was one of the great guitarist’s of all time, and like your good self Glenn, I too was gutted this morning to hear of his passing. I even got out my Gary Moore albums for a bit of a private wake.

  2. Clapton. You have got to be freakin kidding me. A very well paid pub musician by comparison. Knopfler really has something – but the rock licks, no not like Gary. And including Gilmore just confuses me.

  3. Your lack of faith in the great one is disturbing my young Peoples. Gary Moore always stated that he considered Clapton to be one of greats that he looked up to.

    Gilmour’s melodic lead work is some of the best you’ll hear (and in fact it is very reminiscent of Moore’s style), for some great examples check out: ‘Comfortably Numb’ and ‘Coming back to Life’.

  4. I guess the test is here: Let Gilmour or Clapton attempt to fill in for Gary in numbers like “The Blues is alright,” “Oh Pretty Woman” or “Out in the Fields.”

    Fifty bucks says they would crumble.

  5. Fifty bucks says Clapton would own those tracks (Gilmour might struggle a little bit, I’ll admit that, but only cause he’s a different genre player).

    Here’s my prediction – Gary Moore will be the Johnny Cash of modern guitar based rock, who will be given the recognition and fame he truly deserved only after a future generation has rediscovered him (and we’re all sitting around in our rocking chairs talking about how we ‘had all his albums back in our day’).

  6. I think you’re mistaken. He was pretty good, but not fantastic.. there are a gazillion guys better..

    Sad to hear of his passing though, Thin Lizzy was one of my all time fav bands.. I’ve got a great doco on them I watched a few days ago.

    (no offense intended.. I’d be gutted if someone said freddie mercury wasnt fantastic :P)

  7. Geoff, there are faster and more knowledgeable guitarists. But that’s not really the same as being special and good in a way that those others aren’t. His was a creative flair and style that vast numbers of technically gifted guitar players just don’t have.

  8. I’m also a progressive/metal fan of yesteryear and had a lot of respect for Moore.

    However, using the term ‘rest in peace’ for someone who, as far as I can tell, was not a professing follower of Christ, is dangerous. It is appointed for men once to die and after this face the judgement. Why aren’t Christians more guarded in what trips off their tongues at these times?

    In my country, we have a liberal Church of Scotland that seems to bury every Tom, Dick and Harry as if they were saints all their lives, regardless of whether they spent their lives using Christ’s name as a curse and never darkened the door of a church! It repulses an evangelical Christian and is a constant loss of opportunity to remind people that our God is a consuming fire!

    Or is our God too small?

  9. Wow. Are we not allowed to offer a positive gesture or goodwill thought toward another, regardless of their status before God? Would you not wish a terminally ill cancer patient well even if they were not a Christian? How do you sleep at night with such contempt?

    It’s not dangerous to wish someone well, even if it is futile after their passing. What we think about a dead person’s status before God isn’t relevant anyway. That decision has already been made.

  10. DAG2, Considering Glenn’s physicalist views, he can only mean ‘rest in peace’ as a colloquial expression. Isn’t that right Glenn?

    Nathan, it is one thing to wish well for someone, but not at the risk of compromising one’s theology or indulging some extra-biblical fantasy.

  11. Actually, as a physicalist I suppose that I, unlike the dualist, can actually affirm the biblical statement that the wicked are (now) at rest. (It’s in Ecclesiastes)

  12. Colin, I didn’t realize that you knew the eternal destiny of Moore’s soul.

    I think the best question you raised here is: ‘Is our God too small?’, because I can’t help but wonder if you think that He is too small to save a man in the final days or moments of his life if that man should open himself to the truth with genuine contrition for his previous wrongdoings.

  13. Nathan;

    “Wow. Are we not allowed to offer a positive gesture or goodwill thought toward another, regardless of their status before God?”

    I don’t accept your premise that giving the impression that the person is ‘resting’ helps the unbeliever spiritually. It doesn’t help the dead person. And it won’t ultimately help the bereaved unbelieving family member. It would be better to leave it be. I have seen enough cases where a bereaved person later becomes a Christian and then slowly reflects in the coming years that their loved one will not be with them in heaven. It is a slow but necessary process towards accepting that marriage etc are relationships for this world and that we are no longer given in marriage in the next world. Our marriage there will be with Christ.

    Of course, the ending of physical suffering is a form of rest. We can reflect on how that will comfort those who have seen the person suffer.

    In the Scottish evangelical tradition, the focus moves immediately to care for the family that is left. We don’t even pray at the internment, as that could be misconstrued as praying for the dead, a Roman Catholic practice.

    “Would you not wish a terminally ill cancer patient well even if they were not a Christian? How do you sleep at night with such contempt?”

    Primarily, I hope that they will come to faith (I assume you mean a scenario that the person is still alive). And you are misrepresenting me by saying I have contempt. I never said any such thing.

    “It’s not dangerous to wish someone well, even if it is futile after their passing. What we think about a dead person’s status before God isn’t relevant anyway. That decision has already been made”.

    The above statement sounds to me like a complete abandoning of any meaningful discussion on life, death, heaven, hell, sin, Christ, justice, forgiveness. You even admit that wishing well of the person is futile.

    Hey, I just thought of some lyrics for you. From Gary Moore’s song ‘Wishing Well’;

    You’ve always got somethin’ to hide.
    Somethin’ you just can’t tell.
    And the only time that you’re satisfied,
    Is with your feet in the wishing well.
    In the wishing well.

    Everybody’s got a dream.
    And they take it to the wishing well.
    Everybody’s got a dream.
    Wishing well.

    ….hey….isn’t that about you?

  14. DAG2, take your misguided aggression elsewhere please. Nathan never said that “giving the impression that the person is ‘resting’ helps the unbeliever spiritually.” You made that up.

    What’s more, the Bible says the dead are resting. Don’t take it up with anyone here. Go to God with your rebuttal. I’m sure he’ll be impressed. This comment thread is not for theological debate. Some of us actually do mourn at the passing of people we like.

  15. I played with Gary back in the ’80s he was one of the greats. Out in the fields my favorite, and Leyd Clones great song with Ozzy singing. I find it insulting that that no talent horrible (I hate to call him a guitarist) Slash commented on Gary’s passing. He couldn’t carry his Axe let alone comment. Gary was up there with the likes of Michael Schenker, Jan Akkerman, Blackmore, and Gary’s idol Jeff Beck.for those of us who listen for the talent, Gary will be missed. We will all “still got the blues” for quite a while. Now he will be jamming with Hebdrix.

  16. I just read some of the other comments on here and 4 you bozos out there who made comments about there being faster guitar players and more technical guitar players, I guarantee you that none of them have unique individual style like Gary. Most guitar players just sound like every other rock guitarist out there. Gary had a very unique noticeable style just like Ritchie Blackmore, just like Jimi Hendrix, just like Jimmy Paige, has his own style and on and on. Now if you wanna talk about technical ability and speed there is no guitarist in the world who comes anywhere near john mclaughlin so everybody else after him this secondary on down, or how about pat metheny or al di meola but those guys are jazz guys in a whole different class of musicianship – But for a combination of a hard rock and then blues guitarist is unique yeah this one style he blows away most everybody else in the same genre.

  17. What’s more, the Bible says the dead are resting.

    Glenn, I respect your statement that sometimes we mourn the passing of those we love, believers or not. I am not trolling, but I really have done a cursory ‘net search and can’t find the verse(s) in Ecclesiastes you are referring to. Can you offer more specifics?

  18. In Job 3:13ff, Job is talking about what it would be like if he had died as a baby:

    I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
    14 with kings and counselors of the earth
    who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
    15 or with princes who had gold,
    who filled their houses with silver.
    16 Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,
    as infants who never see the light?
    17 There the wicked cease from troubling,
    and there the weary are at rest.
    18 There the prisoners are at ease together;
    they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
    19 The small and the great are there,
    and the slave is free from his master.

  19. OK, let’s leave this. I apologise for my heated exhange. And I do take what Glenn says about the concept of resting. I did already say that the ending of physical suffering is a form of rest and that we can reflect on how that will comfort those who have seen the person suffer.
    Keep up the good work.

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