I spoke about Gazza during Led Zeppelin week and it dawned on me that his absence from SeveForTheDeaf was a gap in the fence. Gary Moore is a pretty important figure in my listening history. Be it via his work in Thin Lizzy or from his solo output. Gary Moore did a lot to help me and other headbangers of my vintage join the dots between the Blues and Heavy Rock with his album Still Got The Blues and his reinvention of himself as a big band frontin’ Delta Blues Man.
I’m taking the piss a bit. Gary was always that big hearted Irish Axeman to the end. An incredible guitar player who made his name in 60’s blues rockers Skid Row (not that one) before backing Phil Lynott again in the 70’s as one of Thin Lizzy. Lizzy didn’t exactly have a solid line up during their Vagabonds, Nightlife, Fighting years. I learned all this after the fact I’m afraid. Turning up to work on the market stalls to earn my pocket money back then in a Skid Row T-Shirt got me a few recommendations. “If you like Skid Row and Thin Lizzy try listening to Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore”. “Oh and If you like The Green Manalishi by Judas Priest do you wanna hear the original?” That sort of thing. I didn’t even try and explain that my Skid Row and Moore’s were clearly not the same band. I took copies of Irish Tour ’74 and Run For Cover back to my turntable on a week long lend and I liked what I heard.
Wild Frontier and After The War followed. Moore had a solid songbook. He had stuff like Over The Hills And Far Away, Parisienne Walkways and Out In The Fields in his arsenal. Phil stood by him appearing on many a Gary Moore hit. What really spoke to the quality of the guy was who else he got to play on his albums. Umpteen members of Whitesnake, Craig and Bobby from Rainbow, Chris from AC/DC, Glenn from Deep Purple, Eric from Kiss and Cozy freakin’ Powell all played on Moore’s heavy rock records. Then the step change of Still Got The Blues in 1990 really made waves in the rock and roll pubs and clubs. Gary sidestepped his heavy metal connections completely and went all in on the blues. It’s a terrific album. The guests on here include Albert King, A real live Beatle and Albert Collins. It sired several genuine hit singles. I bought them all in one format or another. Still Got The Blues, Walking By Myself and this one. Featuring Albert Collins (who I’d never heard of at that stage). Gary Moore left a door ajar for Heavy Metal Kids to dig on a bunch of late night boogie and feel the quality of a good sippin’ sat at a table in Ronnie Scott’s. This made more sense to me than the virtuosity of Malmsteen, Vai or Satch.
That’s how it worked for me. While the codpieces and teased hair of the big bands was about to be mercilessly blown into irrelevance by the coming decade, The blues, the soul, the musicianship of stuff like Gary Moore, The Black Crowes & The Ju Ju Hounds would help us find our way. Too Tired is a brilliant example of a good natured guitar duel. An opportunity for players to bounce off each over, walk a riff around town and see who wants to give it a pat. Everyone on the record is having a good time. And it shows.