Growing up pre-YouTube and farewell Gary Moore

Growing up in a regional area as a teenage musician and music fan in the late 80s and early 90s, in retrospect seems to have tainted my full appreciation of the Youtube phenomenon, I do like being able to watch just about anything on Youtube but it does seem too easy.  

Like any persons of a similiar demographic; middle 30s, middle class, increasingly (both worryingly and comfortingly) middle music taste, I grew up post being able to see some of my 60s, 70s and 80s music heroes in concert in their heyday and pre being able to summon in seconds as a teenager seminal concert performances on Youtube, DVD, Blue-ray and the like. I had not really thought about it until recently when some of these musical giants started passing and I seemed to be going to Youtube to ‘remember’ them.

Although this definitely happened to any diehard music fan of my relative age, the thrill of ‘discovering’ some musical gem, even if it was something that had been around for years, and then telling your mates about it was actually pretty damn cool. Whether it was ‘discovered’ through some late-night Rage viewing or leafing through guitar magazines(not Smash Hits) at the local newsagent, it was shared off a 6th generation dubbed TDK or Maxwell(if you didn’t want shell out the extra for quality tape) cassette in a Walkman(though not many people had a Sony, probably more likely a Sanyo) that was probably running slow from being low on batteries. In later teenage years it was shared on a shiny CD on a pieced together stereo under someone’s house or in a car stereo that had had countless ruined tapes pulled out of it. However it was shared it was always with a good group of friends bonded together by the fact we actually thought not many people knew or cared about whatever we were listening too, except everybody else who read Guitarist or Hot Metal and stayed up late watching clip after clip on channel two. Nowadays I guess its shared by a link on a Facebook page which isn’t a bad thing just a sign ‘o the times.

I probably first heard of Gary Moore when Still Got the Blues came out in I think 1990. This track got a lot of play on Rage and those days we always had a videotape in ready to press record if something good came on. Though not his best blues work, for me as a 14yo it was a good introduction to the man’s music, later in life I wouldbe awed by his with BB King. I remember once after one of his clips came on they played a Sydney concert of Irish band Thin Lizzy(who I had heard Metallica talk about in interviews). Now this was my kind of band, a lead singer who was a bass player and blistering twin lead guitars one of whom was none other than Gary Moore. Next week it was straight down to the Music Shop(there was only one and it was a good one – thanks Stefan!) to find some Thin Lizzy. Then at some point we were learning The Boys are Back in Town in the band and I was listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy and anything else that Moore had played on. Now I know Gary Moore was only in Thin Lizzy for some of its time but he seemed to ‘own’ a lot of the harmony guitar riffage which along with Phil Lynott’s working class lyrics and flat picked bass lines was in my opinion ‘the sound’ of Thin Lizzy. We could also at least say as not very cool but in-the-know teenage music geeks that we had heard the original Skid Row, Moore’s first band from the late 60s.

So rest in peace Mr Moore and somewhere soon there will be a very eagerly anticipated musical reunion of Gary Moore and Phil Lynott(who sadly passed away in 1986). I will now i guess ironically share a link of one of my favourite Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore moments Waiting for an Alibi recorded in 1978 outside the Sydney Opera House, the same concert I saw on Rage(with similarly bad sound quality).It clearly shows Moore’s frenetic but artistic guitar work and celebrates him as one of the finest but underated rock and blues guitarists of all time. He’s on the left, Scott Gorham(whos also pretty damn good) is on the right. At points such as 2:10 and 4:00 their effortless and consistent twin lead guitars are phrased perfectly together over Phil’s driving bass.This always seemed in direct contrast (and maybe competition) with the lead guitar, rhythm guitar formula created by Buddy Holly and championed by bands such as AC>DC.  Peace out! and I might now go and find some other Gary Moore Youtube moments.


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