Monday, 7 February 2011

GARY MOORE, RIP 1952-2011

Here's Gary in his own words

The thing about playing the blues is that there’s nothing like experience. That’s my attitude. You tend to get better at it the more you learn it. The more you take away is a big part of it, too. On the “Still Got The Blues” album, I did “Pretty Woman” with Albert King. When he was leaving the studio, he turned to me and said, “You know what? Play every other lick.” It was the best thing anyone had ever said to me, like, don’t play every lick, play every other lick. It’s the simplest thing in the world, and when you think about it, it’s absolutely right. I think a lot of guitar players, in every genre, are afraid to leave space. I think this is the first album where I’ve really conquered that thing.

I’ve been doing it onstage for quite a while, but I never really got it on record before. Listen to “Trouble At Home” and “I Had A Dream”. I’ve learned not to be afraid to leave spaces. We as guitar players, and you know this as well as anyone, guitar players are scared to leave a hole, afraid they’ll fall down it or something. [Laughing] They think of leaving a space but don’t leave one long enough. When you get into the habit of leaving a big space, what happens is that you’ll eventually become comfortable, and it becomes second nature for you to do that. You’ll become a much better player for it. If you’ve got an expressive style, and can express your emotions through your guitar, and if you’ve got great tone … For example, the people out there listening to you play, especially live, they won’t be able to wait for your next note. It creates a lot of tension for the audience. I remember going to see people like Peter Green in the old days and getting that feeling, “Oh man, I can’t wait to hear that guitar.” Or just one more note, because it sounds so beautiful when he plays it. That’s a very important aspect of it. It’s all down to the feel thing. If you’ve got a feel for the blues, that’s a big part of it. But you’ve got to leave that space.

In the studio I used that Fender Vibroverb. I used a mid-sixties Vox AC30 on “Thirty Days” and the opening track, “If the Devil Made Whisky”. I used an Orange Tiny Terror. It’s a 15-watt, and it looks like a little toy. I haven’t even got the wood around it. It’s in a white metal casing with a handle, and it comes in a gig bag. It switches from 15 watts down to seven. You just whack it up. I used it with a little Marshall 2/12 hand wired cabinet on “Eyesight to the Blind”. I used my DSL Marshall 100, or 50, depending on the select, on “Have You Heard”, “Checkin’ Up On My Baby”, and stuff like that.

So, I basically used the Fender Vibroverb, the Vox AC30, and the Marshall DSL, which are my live amps, the 2000 series. I’ve actually got the very first one, the prototype, given to me before they were in the shops or anything. I’ve been using that amp for ten years now. It’s my live amp, and I haven’t really changed from that. They’ve got new ones out now, but I still prefer the DSL. Though I’ve got a few, I’ve got to get some more before they stop making them. They’re such a great amp. They’ve got a good normal channel, a lead channel as well, which I rarely use, to be honest. I kind of use the normal channel and a pedal for the gain. It has a good spring reverb in it, so when I want to go into that slow minor blues, I just whack the reverb up and it’s all there. It’s a very versatile amp. It’s very reliable, big tone. It’s a phenomenal amplifier. I use a 100-watt one of those onstage with four Celestion Vintage 30s, one top and one bottom. I started onstage using a 59 reissue, which is the old 4-input Marshall, the standard one. I’ve got it next to the other one onstage now. I switch between them. I never use both amps at once or anything like that.

I didn’t use any pedals whatsoever in the studio for this one, just guitar and amp. I kind of made that rule before I went in. I just wanted to see what I could do with the guitar and the amp. Onstage, I use T-Rex pedals. At the moment I’m using a T-Rex Moller Overdrive, Mudhoney Overdrive, and the blue one (T-Rex Alberta). I also use the Room-Mate Reverb and the Replica Delay. So I use, like, five of their pedals. They’re very nice pedals. They sound real big and very warm. They’re made in Denmark actually. The Moller Overdrive has two foot switches on it, a boost and a distortion. You can use them separately or together. The clean boost is great and the distortion is great. If you whack them both in together you get almost into a Hendrix sort of territory.

The guitars are my 59 Les Paul, a 60s 335, and a 68 Telecaster. That’s pretty much it really. I use my signature Les Paul onstage as well. I use mostly Les Pauls live.

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