Northern Ireland

Geldof pays tribute to Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore

Former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof has joined colleagues, fans, and music critics, to pay tribute to renowned rock guitarist Gary Moore who died in a hotel room while on holiday in Spain.

Moore, 58, originally from Belfast, was a former member of the legendary Irish group Thin Lizzy.

Thin Lizzy manager Adam Parsons told the BBC he was found early on Sunday.

Bob Geldof said Moore was "without question, one of the great Irish bluesmen".

"His playing was exceptional and beautiful. We won't see his like again," he said.

Moore later gained acclaim for his solo work and was a former member of the Irish group Skid Row.

The Northern Ireland guitarist was only 16 when he moved from Belfast to Dublin in 1969, to join Skid Row, which featured Phil Lynott as lead vocalist.

He was later brought into Thin Lizzy by frontman Lynott to replace the departing Eric Bell, another guitarist from Northern Ireland.

Lynott died in 1986 but a new line-up of Thin Lizzy continues to tour.

Mr Bell told the BBC on Sunday he was still "in shock" at Moore's death in the Costa del Sol.

"I still can't believe it," he said.

"He was so robust, he wasn't a rock casualty, he was a healthy guy.

Parisienne Walkways

"He was a superb player and a dedicated musician."

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy said it been a pleasure to share a stage with Moore.

"Playing with Gary during the Black Rose era was a great experience, he was a great player and a great guy," he said.

"I will miss him."

Niall Stokes, the editor of the Irish music magazine, Hot Press, described Moore as a "genius".

A message on Moore's official website says: "It is with deep sorrow and regret, that we have to announce that Gary Moore passed away while on holiday in Spain last night.

"Our thoughts are with his children, family and friends at this sad time."

Stuart Baillie, who wrote the authorised biography of Thin Lizzy, called Mr Moore "a prodigy".

"He was out working as a semi-pro musician from the age of about 13," he said.

"The fact that he played with George Harrison and Bob Dylan and The Traveling Wilburys shows the kind of esteem he was held in by his peers.

"He didn't get carried away with himself. He didn't seem to over-indulge and the fact that he's passed away at the age of 58 is a shock."

The lead guitarist received critical acclaim for his work on the 1974 Thin Lizzy album, Nightlife, but would never be constrained by the music group format.

A year earlier, he had released his first solo album Grinding Stone and his virtuoso playing was to make him a recognised artist in his own right.

Although returning to Thin Lizzy briefly in the late 1970s, his solo work continued to garner interest and he also enjoyed UK chart success with Lynott, via singles Parisienne Walkways and Out In The Fields.

Throughout his career, Moore was to embrace a range of genres including blues, metal and hard rock.

He performed on stage with a range of major artists and released 20 studio albums.

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