In The Style Of Gary Moore

By Miguel Ángel Ariza

Sooner or later in this article we are going to end up talking about the most famous 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard of all time, which we have already talked about at length in Guitars Exchange, so let's say that right away so we can talk about some other guitars first. Gary Moore was fortunate to be recognized by Peter Green as his successor and following a time when Greeny acted as a kind of mentor to the Irishman he bequeathed his guitar – like the heir of Isildur. We do not want to dwell on this anymore because talking about this guitar is like talking about the sacred scriptures, as everything has been said about this wooden deity. There are even books that have it as a protagonist... and this does not surprise us because the tone and the sounds that it produces sends chills up our spine just by remembering them.  

So that guitar ended up in the hands and in the very fast fingers of our protagonist of today, Gary Moore. But Peter Green's attention did not come throught it, of course, but he did it by playing what seems to be an old and very modified Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, which we can see him playing during the years in the band that he started to put on the map, Skid Row.


Needless to say, we will ignore many guitars that he has used over the years, as there have been hundreds, but we are going to try to follow more or less the progression that he himself has followed over the years. So we turn now to the first Fender Stratocaster that he used heavily, a SuperStrat that employed two DiMarzio humbuckers and served as a prelude to the Charvel Custom, San Dimas and Leopard that he would use in the 80s in bands like G -Force.


From the 80s onwards he returned to the classic sound of the simple pick ups with a ‘61 Fender Stratocaster in Fiesta Red that would accompany him from that time until his early death in the Malaga town of Estepona (of which we have already spoken here recently because it was also the city that saw another great guitarist pass, Alvin Lee).

At the end of the 80s a new 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘came to life’ and this guitar ended up becoming a fixture both in recordings and on the tours that followed those albums. It is the main protagonist, together with the Marshall Guv'nor pedal, of his acclaimed album
Still Got the Blues, although the honor of opening that record is a 1968 Fender Telecaster that he used since that time to almost always play the slide in open tunings.


Through his hands passed pointed guitars, MIDI guitars, guitars from different manufacturers around the world and also classical models maybe far from what might be expected from a person who was so fond of saturated and powerful sounds, such as a Gibson ES-5 that he had for a short period of time or one of his Gibson ES-335, a model that we have seen him use many more times and that sometimes left on the bench some of his 'burst'.


Finally we could add that Gibson put on the market the Gibson Les Paul Standard Gary Moore Signature, based on his 59’s but with Burstbucker pickups.

There is not much more. We have not been able to talk about his amplifiers and we have only mentioned one of the effects he used... but what we have told you is that Peter Green saw his successor and gave him his guitar. That, for the person who writes these lines, is more epic than the Lady of the Lake emerging from the waters and delivering Excalibur to Arthur - so the rest of the text and all the other data are completely secondary.