Gary Moore's Guitars and Gear

📅 Published :
🧑🏼 Author : Dan Kopilovic

Summary of Gary Moore’s Gear

What guitar did Gary Moore play?

Gary Moore played Gibson Les Paul guitars. A guitar most often associated with him is the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Greeny”. Now a famous guitar, once owned by Peter Green of the Fleetwood Mac, and now in the possession of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. Another one worth singling out is the Les Paul Standard nicknamed “Stripe”. This guitar he used on his most popular track, “Still Got the Blues”.

1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Greeny” – a guitar that Gary Moore used extensively over the years, and the one he’s most often associated with. Right photo – Peter Green of Flatwood Mac playing that same guitar before it got into Gary’s hands.

Aside from the Les Pauls, one of Gary’s main axes was his trusty 1961 Fender Stratocaster finished in fiesta red. He used this one in 2005 at the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar concert.

Aside from these, Gary used a variety of different guitars over the years, including Charvel San Dimas, Gibson Melody Maker, Gibson Firebird, and the famous SynthAxe.

Gary Moore’s Amp setup

Gary used Marshall amps for the most time throughout his career. He used various models, from the 1959 Super Leads to Model 2204sMarshall JTM45 Reissues, and Marshall 1959 HWs. Between, he’d use a VOX AC30 (Colosseum II era), various Fender combos, and Soldanos.

What Effects did Gary Moore use?

Gary Moore used the Marshall Guv’nor guitar effect on “Still Got the Blues”, and Ibanez Tube Screamer (TS-9 and TS-10) extensively throughout his career. Gary is also known for using rack effects units. He used a Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo for tape echo in the 90s, and the Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay.

At one point in his career, Gary also had a ton of different Boss pedal effects on his pedalboard, including a DS-1 Distortion, an OC-2 Octave, a BF-2 Flanger, and others.

Marshall Guv’nor Mk.1 overdrive that Gary Moore used to record
Marshall Guv’nor Mk.1 overdrive that Gary Moore used to record “Still Got the Blues”. Right photo – a screenshot of Gary Moore’s pedalboard from around early 80s, when he used a bunch of different Boss pedals.

Gary Moore’s strings and picks choice

Gary Moore used Dean Markley’s guitar strings, either a .010-.052, or a .009-.048 set.

For picks, his early choice at least was to go for extra heavy-thickness celluloid picks. The closest to those sold today are probably the Dunlop 483P05XHs.

List of Guitars, Amps, Effects, and Accessories used by Gary Moore

Gary Moore's Electric Guitars

  • 1959 "Peter Green" Gibson Les Paul Standard

    Gary Moore/Peter Green 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard

    This is one of the most famed electric guitars in rock and roll history. Prior to Gary Moore, the guitar was owned by Peter Green (Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac), who was one of the players responsible for popularizing the Les Paul guitar model.

    This guitar, coupled with Eric Clapton’s Les Paul “Beano Burst”, Jimmy Page’s “Number One” Les Paul, and a few others, is probably why the late 1950s Gibson Les Paul is nowadays seen by many as the “Holy Grail” of guitars.

    Peter Green purchased this guitar for £110 at the Selmer’s in Charing Cross Road likely sometime in 1965. At that time, Peter was already a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, as he recalls using his old Harmony Meteor for the band’s audition.

  • 1950s Gibson Les Paul Modified

    Gary Moore’s 1950s Gibson Les Paul Modified

    This guitar was presumably used by Gary during his time playing with Skid Row, until around 1971. It can be seen on a video recorded during the band’s performance on the German TV music show Beat Club.

    Beat-Club, March 27 1971, Gary Moore with Skid Row
    Beat-Club, March 27, 1971, Gary Moore with Skid Row

    The guitar pretty much disappeared after mid-1972. If you happen to know what happened to it after and with whom it ended up, be sure to leave a comment below.

  • Gibson Melody Maker (DiMarzio)

    Gary Moore’s Gibson Melody Maker (DiMarzio)

    Gary was seen using this guitar with Thin Lizzy. More specifically, he used it during the band’s Sydney Opera House concert in October 1978, on songs Are You Ready and Baby Drives Me Crazy (the last two of the set).

    THIN LIZZY, Sydney Opera House, Oct 1978.

    Originally, this guitar would have a single-coil pickup, but it looks like Gary replaced it with a white DiMarzio humbucker on his Melody Maker. Perhaps he like how the guitar felt, but thought that the original pickup was too weak.

    As far as what happened to the guitar, he probably sold it since it was not seen in his later years.

  • Fender Stratocaster (Custom made, DiMarzios)

    Gary Moore’s Fender Stratocaster (Custom made, Natural, DiMarzios)

    Gary was first seen using this guitar on December 20th, 1978 at the Stardust Night Club Dublin, during a gig with The Greedy Bastards (a band consisting of the whole Thin Lizzy lineup and two Sex Pistols members – Paul Cook and Steve Jones) [20-12-1978 STARDUST, Artane]. The Strat was subsequently used by Gary during the Thin Lizzy gig on Top of the Pops and during the 1979 Black Rose Tour.

    Gary Moore with Thin Lizzy, playing a custom-mage Fender Stratocaster guitar. Photographed at Hammersmith 23rd April 1979
    Gary Moore with Thin Lizzy, Hammersmith 23rd April 1979. Photo by Alan Perry (

    At first, the guitar was a complete mystery, but fortunately one of our readers (thanks Wilma) found one of Gary’s old interviews with Beat Instrumental magazine. In it, Gary mentioned a Stratocaster that was in the process of rebuilding, and he talked about what he’s gonna do with it. Please note that even though the interview was published in January 1979, it was likely conducted a couple of months prior.

  • 1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior

    Gary Moore’s 1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior

    Gary was first seen using this guitar during the Thin Lizzy 1979 Black Rose Tour. According to Gary, the guitar used to belong to Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. [Gary Moore at No.73, 1987]

    Snapshot from Gary Moore at No.73, 1987, YouTube

    Unfortunately at this time, not much is known about the guitar. Gary likely got it between mid and late 1978, when he shared a stage a number of times with Steve and The Greedy Bastards. If you happen to know more, be sure to leave a comment below.

  • Charvel/Jackson Custom (Red)

    Gary Moore’s 1980 Charvel/Jackson Custom-made

    After leaving Thin Lizzy during the band’s US tour in 1979, Gary traveled to Los Angeles in an attempt to make a solo rock presence and ended up recruiting a couple of people and forming a band called G-Force. At the same time, he went to the Charvel guitar shop on a recommendation from a friend and ended up ordering a couple of guitars from Grover Jackson himself.

    Grover delivered the first guitar to Gary during one of the rehearsals prior to the recording of the album, upon which Gary immediately changed the strings to a heavier set that he was used to, and played with the guitar for the first time. His Charvel featured a metallic red/pink finish on a Strat-shaped body, rosewood fretboard, two humbuckers, and a Kahler 2300 series tremolo.

    I made him a couple of guitars and they were rehearsing to do the G-Force record in Frank Zappa’s old rehearsal studio. […] I go in with a guitar and they’re there – full-blown rehearsal and 200-watt marshall stacks and Gary’s cranking away.

    He stops the rehearsal and he’s like, “Is that the guitar?”, I went “Yeah!” – it was a red metal flake guitar.

    Grover Jackson Interview NAMM 2010, The Music Zoo

    Although this is pure speculation as there are no photos from the studio sessions, it is highly possible that Gary used this guitar during the recording of the G-Force album. He didn’t seem to use it live pretty much at all, but it was seen on photos taken of his guitar collection sometime in the 80s.

  • Charvel Custom “Leopard”

    Gary Moore’s 1980s Charvel Custom “Leopard”

    Seen around 1980 on a few photoshoots and in the video for the G-Force song, “Hot Gossip”. Based on the logo on the headstock, the guitar seems to have been made by Charvel and was likely among the first few that Gary ever received from Grover Jackson.

    G-Force – Hot Gossip

    Not a lot to be said about this guitar, unfortunately, except for a few things that are obvious from the photos available. It was finished in custom paint featuring a leopard pattern, it featured two humbuckers (probably a pair of DiMarzios), a maple neck, and a transparent plastic pickguard.

  • 1961 Fender Stratocaster

    Gary Moore’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster

    Gary started using this Strat in 1981 while recording with Greg Lake. According to Gary’s guitar tech Graham Lilly, the guitar was initially meant for Greg, but it ended up with Gary.

    […] A chap turned up to the studio, with a couple of guitars. Gary was there and he was sold one first. It was an ES-5. Gary also tried the Strat and even just acoustically was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s incredible. But the deal was that it was there just for Greg to have a look at. So Greg turns up, […] Gary said he had his fingers crossed thinking, ‘Please don’t buy it. Please don’t buy it.’ After a bit of deliberation, Greg passed on it, because it was maybe just a little bit too beaten up for his tastes. So Gary was like: ‘Right, that’s mine.’ That was it: the deal was done.

    The Red STRAT, Guitarist, 16 Dec 2016

    Gary’s Stratocaster was made in 1961, a period that produced some of the most sought-after guitars nowadays. It was finished in either a fiesta-red or salmon-pink color, but due to aging/yellowing and the inconsistencies in early Fender finishes, it’s really hard to tell for sure (not that it matters that much anyway).

  • 1956 Gibson ES-5

    Gary Moore’s 1956 Gibson ES-5

    Gary got this guitar in 1981 while recording with Greg Lake. The story of how he acquired it varies, but the guitar originated from a guy who came to the studio where Gary and Greg were rehearsing. The same guy sold Gary his 1961 Fender Stratocaster.

    A chap turned up at the rehearsals, or to the studio, with a couple of guitars. Gary was there and he was sold one first. It was an ES-5, which Gary either bought straight off or bought from Greg when Greg didn’t want it.

    The Red STRAT, Guitarist, 16 Dec 2016

    The guitar is most likely an early to mid-50s pre-Switchmaster model featuring a blonde finish and three P90 pickups. Most notably, it can be seen on the cover of the 1987 album Wild Frontier.

    Apparently, sometime in early 2000, Gary decided to sell the guitar. The auction was organized in London, but there doesn’t seem to be any information online regarding whether the guitar was sold at that point or not.

  • Ibanez Roadstar RS1000

    Gary Moore’s Ibanez Roadstar RS1000

    Around 1983/84 Gary endorsed and occasionally used Ibanez guitars and equipment. He was most often photographed with a cherry sunburst RS1000 model. In most cases, the photos from photoshoots, but there is at least one that shows Gary actually playing the guitar on stage – which means that he did indeed use the guitars.

    The sunburst Ibanez RS1000 featured an alder body with a birds-eye maple top. The guitar was equipped with two Maxon Super 58 humbucking pickups and a “Hard-Rocker Pro” tremolo bridge. The model itself was produced from around 1981 and at that time it was one of Ibanez’s top-of-the-line guitars.

    Ibanez newspaper ad showing Gary Moore.
    An ad from Ibanez featuring Gary Moore
  • Charvel San Dimas (White, Modified)

    Gary Moore’s 1980s Charvel San Dimas (White, Modified)

    This guitar started out as a standard Charvel San Dimas, probably given to Gary by Grover Jackson probably sometime in 1983. As such, the guitar was used occasionally in 1983/84, but by October 1985, it went through some serious modifications.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Before moving on to the mods, it’s worth noting that the original guitar had a mirror/chrome pickguard, and two humbucker pickups. It was photographed in this state for the cover of Gary’s 1983 album Dirty Fingers.

    Gary Moore – Dirty Fingers (1983)
  • Charvel San Dimas (Red, Modified)

    1980s Charvel San Dimas (Red, Modified)

    Gary received this guitar sometime in the early 1980s together with another white Charvel, both of which were modified later on by his guitar tech Keith Page.

    The red guitar in its original state was a Stratocaster replica with three single-coil pickups with an addition of a Floyd Rose tremolo and a locking nut.

    Bottom row, second from the right side. The guitar right next to it, the white Charvel, was also modified with an EMG pickup at some point.

    Sometime in 1985 Gary’s guitar tech took out the three single pickups and installed a single EMG 81 in the bridge position. The pickguard was of course also replaced to feature a single cutout above the humbucker cavity, while the empty neck pickup cavity was likely used to house a 9V battery for the EMG pickup.

  • Hamer Phantom Prototype

    Gary Moore’s Hamer Phantom Prototype

    Gary was seen with this guitar on a couple of photos taken in the 80s. The first one is the often referenced photo of Gary’s guitar collection, and the second one shows Gary holding the guitar.

    In the second photo, the guitar has a hand-written signature on it, so it could be that this photo was taken moments before Gary gave/sold the guitar to somebody.

    Be that as it may, Gary’s Hamer was apparently a prototype made in 1984, based on the Hamer Phantom. However, for one reason or another, the guitar never made it to production. [The Hamer Special Through the Years by Andrew Large]

  • 1983 Fender Stratocaster '62 Reissue

    Gary Moore’s 1983 Fender Stratocaster ’62 Reissue

    Gary bought this guitar in mid-1984 as a replacement for his old ’61 Stratocaster which was stolen and then recovered some time prior.

    One of the (Stratocasters) is a real old one- like a ’61. I guess it’s pink. It’s my main one that was stolen before I went on tour and it was later returned. I think one of the British Customs people must have stolen it. It went on the Interpol computer, and then the FBI over here was after it, and suddenly it reappeared in Houston. […] In the meantime I bought this white one, which is a brand new version of a ’62, with a rosewood fingerboard. It’s also stock. I just got to like it, so I’ve been using it for most of the shows.

    Original Source Needed

    The Reissue Strat was used for most of the ’84 US tour. Most notably, it can be seen in the docu-style release Emerald Aisles, and on the live album, We Want Moore!.

  • 1984 Hamer Explorer

    Gary Moore’s 1984 Hamer Explorer

    Gary received this guitar directly from Hamer in late 1984. It featured natural finish on a flame maple top, two full-sized humbuckers, and a stoptail bridge. Gary was photographed with the guitar on a couple of occasions, but to our knowledge never in a live or studio setting.

    The guitar is currently owned by John Marks/Rare Star Guitars, and a couple of photos and some of the history of the guitar are available on their website – Gary Moore – Hamer Explorer

  • 1980s Hamer Special

    Gary Moore’s 1980s Hamer Special

    Gary first used this guitar sometime around 1985, and it can be seen during a gig played with Phil Lynott that year on Channel 4’s ECT show.

    Gary Moore & Phil Lynott on ECT – 1985

    The guitar was likely made specifically for Gary, although it was mostly based on a mid-80s Hamer Special model. It featured a white finish on a mahogany body, two DiMarzio humbuckers, a 22-fret mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, and a Floyd Rose tremolo bridge.

  • SynthAxe

    Gary Moore’s SynthAxe

    This guitar was most famously used in the Out in the Fields video released in 1985. 

    The SynthAxe is a fretted MIDI controller that uses electronic synthesizers to produce sound. It was created in the mid-80s by Bill Aitken, Mike Dixon, and Tony Sedivy, in a joint venture funded by Richard Branson, but less than 100 units were ever made.

    Gary Moore paying the SynthAxe in Out in the Fields.
  • Ibanez Roadstar II RS 530 BK

    Gary Moore’s Ibanez Roadstar II RS 530 BK

    This Ibanez was most famously used in the music video for the song Out in the Fields with Phil Lynott (1985). The guitar is a RS 530 BK model, and it features a flat top with red body bindings, 24 frets neck, a Pro-Rock’r tremolo bridge, and standard passive Ibanez pickups.

    Gary Moore playing guitar in Out in the Fields music video
    Gary Moore – Out in the Fields

    Please note that Gary also used another similar Ibanez guitar in the same video during the scene with the ocean in the background, which is a Roadstar II RS 525. This guitar appears to be finished in either black or dark blue and it features gold hardware and smooth body edges without binding.

  • Hamer Phantom A5

    Gary Moore’s Hamer Phantom A5

    This guitar was featured in a photo taken of Gary’s guitar collection sometime in the late 80s. It is unknown whether Gary ever performed live with it or used it in the studio (if you happen to know, leave a comment).

    Gary’s Phantom A5 featured a red finish, a triple-coil pickup in the bridge, and a slanted single-coil pickup in the neck position. It was fitted with a Kahler tremolo system.

  • 1980s Fender Stratocaster ’57 Reissue

    Gary Moore’s 1982 Fender Stratocaster ’57 Reissue

    This is one of the guitars that Gary was seen playing in the Out in the Fields video with Phil Lynott (1985). It was also used during the 1997 European tour, and, most notably, it was used on Live At Montreux DVD, 1997, on the track Business As Usual.

    The guitar is a vintage ’57 reissue, featuring a maple neck and either a sonic blue or Daphne blue finish. It was also seen in the photo taken sometime in the mid-80s showing a part of Gary’s guitar collection.

    Gary Moore & Phil Lynott – Out in the Fields

    Going from the info published with the said photo, the guitar was made in 1982 and therefore was one of the earliest ’57 reissues, which were the first-ever reissue models to ever come out of the Fender factory (alongside the ’52 and ’62 models of course).

  • 1959 Gibson Les Paul "Still Got the Blues"

    Gary Moore’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Still Got the Blues”

    This guitar (serial number 9-2227, nicknamed “Stripe”) was bought in 1988 with the help of Gary’s guitar tech Graham Liley. The previous owner was Phil Harris, who on Graham’s request came down to a studio where Gary was rehearsing and offered him two of his guitars – both late 50s Les Paul Standards. Gary ended up with a light-burst worn-out ’59 Les Paul Standard – quite similar to the Greeny, but featuring a lot more accented flamed maple top.

    If there was a Gary Moore Les Paul that was about Gary, – it was that guitar. Stripe remained with him until the very end, which I quite humble that I had the pleasure of selling him that guitar.

    Phil Harris in an interview with Guitar Interactive

    Gary first used this guitar on the After The War album in 1989, and it can be seen in the music video for the title song. It was then used on one of his perhaps best-known pieces – Still Got the Blues, and Oh Pretty Woman – on the 1990 album. Since then it basically became one of his favorite guitars, and he used it on nearly all the records up until his death in 2011.

    The guitar is mostly stock except for the tuners, which were replaced with Grovers, and the original frets were allegedly replaced with bigger ones at some point by Charlie Chandler. All the electronics, including the pickups, are original from the factory.

  • Hamer Vector

    Gary Moore’s 1980s Hamer Vector

    Gary acquired this guitar sometime in the mid-80s. The most notable appearance was during the recording of the music video for Ready For Love in 1989, and on the photos in the booklet from the Empty Rooms (Summer 1985 Version) vinyl.

    Gary Moore playing a blue Hamer Vector Flying V guitar
    Gary Moore – Ready for Love

    The guitar was finished in light blue, and it featured a single humbucker in the bridge position, most likely a DiMarzio. There doesn’t seem to exist a single photo or video of Gary using this guitar live, but if you happen to stumble upon something be sure to leave a comment.

  • Squier Stratocaster (SGTB tour)

    Gary Moore’s Squier Stratocaster (Still Got the Blues tour)

    The information about this guitar was provided by its current owner according to whom it was at some point used by Gary.

    The guitar is Korean-made and based on the serial number (S908261), built sometime between 1988 and 1993. Unfortunately with these guitars, it’s apparently very hard to tell for certain the exact year of production.

    Squier Stratocaster possibly used by Gary during Still Got The Blues tour.

    According to the current owner, Gary used this guitar briefly while waiting for his main Stratocaster to be repaired, installing a couple of custom pickups in it. After he received the old guitar back, he took the custom pickups out and gave the guitar as a present to a lady called Linda, signing it on the back of the body (now protected with a plastic plate as seen in the photos). The Squier changed hands once more before it was bought by its current owner.

  • Fritz Brothers Bluesmaster (Sunburst)

    Gary Moore’s Fritz Brothers Bluesmaster (Sunburst)

    Based on the info posted on the auction of this guitar in 2016, Gary acquired it in late 1991, after trying a similar guitar that was owned by George Harrison.

    Apparently, Gary used Harrison’s guitar to record a song from the 1989 album After The War and then felt he needed his own guitar to perform the song live during the tour. At this time, it is unknown which song it was (if you happen to come across a video of Gary playing this guitar circa 1989/90, be sure to leave a comment).

    Gary placed the order with Fritz Brothers and was sent the guitar on 27th September 1991. His guitar featured a sunburst finish, three EMG pickups, a five-way selector switch, and Sperzel tuners.

    Around 1992/1993, Gary was seen playing a blue Fritz Brothers Bluesmaster, so it seems that the Moore/Fritz collaboration didn’t stop at just this one guitar.

  • Fritz Brothers Super Deluxe (Blue)

    Gary Moore’s Fritz Brothers Super Deluxe (Blue)

    Gary was seen using this guitar during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1992 on the song The Sky is Crying, and in 1993 during the Live Blues concert on the song Too Tired.

    Fritz Brothers Super Deluxe, 1992

    According to the official spec sheet, the guitar featured a light-blue finish on a semi-hollow Telecaster style alder body with a solid spruce top. The neck is maple with ebony fretboard, abalone dot markers, and a stainless steel nut. The pickups in it are EMG SAs, with a 7-way, which allows for some unique pickup configurations.

    It is worth noting that this is probably the second Fritz Brothers guitar that Gary bought, the first one being a sunburst Roy Buchanan Bluesmaster.

  • 1960s Gibson SG Junior (TV Yellow)

    Gary Moore’s 1960s Gibson SG Junior (TV Yellow)

    Gary was seen playing this guitar at the “Blues for Greeny” concert in 1995. He used it to play a cover of the song “Showbiz Blues”, originally recorded by Green in 1969.

    Gary Moore playing a TV Yellow Gibson SG Junior in 1995.
    Gary Moore playing a TV Yellow Gibson SG Junior in 1995.

    The gutiar appears to be a 60s model, probably made after 1963 since there doesn’t seem to be any “Les Paul” branding on the headstock. The main thing worth pointing out is that it was fitted a black and white humbucker, which was installed in place of the original P-90 pickup.

    Back and white (zebra) pickup seen in Gary's SG Junior.
    Back and white (zebra) pickup seen in Gary’s SG Junior.
  • Fender Stratocaster (HSS, Floyd Rose)

    Gary Moore’s 1996 Fender Stratocaster (HSS, Floyd Rose)

    Gary used this guitar during the Dark Days In Paradise tour in 1997 as his main tremolo guitar. It was used on I Have Found My Love in You and Like Angels, among others.

    The guitar is an American-built Stratocaster with an EMG humbucker in the bridge position and a Floyd Rose tremolo installed in place of the standard Fender tremolo. It is finished in black, and it featured a maple neck and a white pickguard.

    Gary Moore with the HSS Stratocaster, Montreux 1997

    Gary’s HSS Stratocaster was sold through auction in 2016 for $30,000.

  • 1960s Gibson ES-355TD-SV

    Gary Moore’s 1960s Gibson ES-355TD-SV

    Gary was first seen using this guitar during the Live At Montreux show recorded in 1997 on the song One Good Reason. He picked it up again two years later at the same place to play a few songs including I Loved Another Woman and Need Your Love So Bad.

    Gary Moore Live At Montreux 1997

    The guitar featured a cherry red finish, an ABR-1 bridge with a stop tailpiece, large block fretboard inlays, split-diamond headstock inlay, and two Gibson humbuckers. It was also equipped with a Varitone switch which is only available on guitars made after 1959 – which gives us a very broad approximation of the guitar’s year of production.

  • 1963 Fender Stratocaster (Natural)

    Gary Moore’s 1963 Fender Stratocaster (Natural)

    Gary used this guitar towards the later part of his career. For instance, it can be seen on the Blues for Jimi: Live in London DVD/BlueRay, filmed in 2007, on the 40th Anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s Monterey concert.

    Blues for Jimi. Source: YouTube

    According to the info posted on the 2016 auction of this guitar, the Stratocaster was given to Gary by Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival. [Bonhams: Gary Moore: A Fender Stratocaster guitar, 1963] Apparently, at that point, it needed some serious work, so Gary re-fretted it, installed a new tremolo block, tuners, and did a completely new set of electronics, including the Kinman AVN pickups.

    The guitar remained with Gary until his death and was eventually sold in 2016 through Bonhams auctions for $24,889.

  • Gibson Signature Les Paul

    Gary Moore’s Gibson Signature Les Paul

    This is the first official Gary Moore signature model issued by Gibson. It was released in 2000 and produced until 2002. Gary himself used it often alongside his vintage Les Pauls.

    Gary Moore Signature Les Paul
    A beautiful example of a Gary Moore Signature Les Paul. Photo credit: WIlma M.

    The guitar was mostly based on a ’59 Standard, although it did feature some very noticeable differences. The body was finished in amber burst and the neck featured the same profile as a ’59, but the guitar had no binding on the body nor on the neck. It was also equipped with a pair of then newly developed BurstBucker pickups, although Gary’s main guitar which was actually a prototype, featured a pair of Tom Holmes pickups instead.

    I use Tom Holmes pickups sometimes. On one of my signature Les Paul models, I’ve played around with different ones. Some new pickups are really good. I mean, if you can’t get a good sound today, I think there’s something really wrong with you!

    Gary Moore Still Got the Blues – Again!

  • Gibson Les Paul Doublecut

    Gary Moore’s 1998 Gibson Les Paul Double cut

    Seen during the Live in Montreux concert in 2001 on the song The Prophet. According to the 2016 auction of the guitar, Gary also used the guitar during the studio recording of the song (Back to the Blues, 2001).

    Gary Moore playing a double cutaway Gibson Les Paul guitar during the Live in Montreux concert in 2001
    Gary Moore – Live in Montreux 2001

    The guitar (serial number 91188401) is essentially a double-cutaway version of the standard Gibson Les Paul guitar with 24 frets and simplified controls (only one control knob for volume and tone each). The bridge pickup could be non-original, in that case likely a DiMarzio, although this is purely just a guess.

  • Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop "Class 5"

    Gary Moore’s Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop “Class 5”

    Gary Moore used this guitar for a couple of songs at the tribute concert for Phil Lynott in Dublin on August 20, 2005 [Gary Moore and Friends: One Night in Dublin – A Tribute to Phil Lynott]. The concert featured guest appearances from three Thin Lizzy guitarists Scott Gorham, Eric Bell, and Brian Robertson as well Brian Downey ex Thin Lizzy drummer.

    Gary Moore – Tribute to Phil Lynott 2005

    The exact model of this Les Paul is somewhat of a mystery, but most of the specs seem to fit the description of a Custom Shop Class 5 model – many of which often feature a highly figured maple top. Gary’s guitar also seems to have been finished in a custom paint – which is either translucent black or blue (hard to tell due to stage lighting).

    This guitar is presently on display at the OhYeah music center in Belfast.

  • Gibson Firebird

    Gary Moore’s Gibson Firebird

    Gary acquired this guitar around 2005 and used it occasionally on stage in the following years. The guitar was completely stock, with two mini-humbuckers and a fixed bridge.

    Gary Moore live, 21 May 2009. Credit:

    As far as the usage in the studio, Gary has said that he used the guitar on the song Preacher Man Blues from the 2008 album, Bad for You Baby.

    That very thin, hard sound is a red Gibson Firebird I picked up in Finland last year. That guitar has a nice twang to it, and it really brings out the twang from the spring reverb.

    Guitar Player’s final interview with Gary Moore

  • Gibson SG Standard

    Gary Moore’s Gibson SG Standard

    In Jack Bruce’s (Cream bassist) 1998 instructional film titled The Cream of Cream Gary appeared as a guest guitarist, and perhaps as a nod to Clapton picked up an unusual instrument for him – a Gibson SG. The film features interviews with Jack and separate segments during which the bend composed of Jack, Moore, and Gary Husband performed some of Cream’s best-known songs.

    Sunshine Of Your Love – G. Moore, J. Bruce. YouTube Snapshot

    Gary’s guitar was most likely a 1961 Gibson SG reissue model, based on how mint the finish looked on the footage. It could also be that this is an original 1960s model with the vibrola removed, as a pair of screw holes seem to be visible from a specific angle.

    If you happen to come across any more info about this guitar, be sure to leave a comment below.

  • Gibson Les Paul ’57 Goldtop Reissue

    Gary Moore’s Gibson Les Paul ’57 Goldtop Reissue

    Used occasionally towards the later part of his career, most notably during the Avo Session in 2008.

    Gary Moore – Avo Session 2008

    The guitar is a reissue model of Gibson’s 1957 Les Paul Goldtop, and it featured a mahogany body with a carved maple top and a glued-in mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. It was equipped with two Custom Buckers (Gibson-made pickups) which were developed to replicate the sound of the original PAFs.


Gary Moore's Acoustic Guitars

  • Takamine PTS-015

    Gary Moore’s Takamine PTS-015

    As far as the acoustics, at least in the early years, Gary pretty much stuck with one brand – Takamine. Everything we know about these guitars comes from a photo taken of his personal guitar collection in 1985 – since Gary was rarely seen playing acoustics live.

    Gary sitting with his three acoustic guitars, circa 1980.

    In the mentioned photo Gary was seen sitting next to a Takamine PTS-015 which is a 6-string model featuring an arched spruce top, rosewood neck, ebony fingerboard, and a palathetic bridge pickup.

  • Takamine 12-String Custom

    Gary Moore’s Takamine 12-String Custom

    This guitar was seen on the 1985 photograph of Gary’s guitar collection. According to the International Musician interview from that same year, Gary used it on Victims of the Future.

    I’ve got some Takamine acoustic guitars which I really like. I use a 12-string on stage in the intro to Victims Of The Future. It’s black, and they only made two of them so Greg Lake had one and I had one.

    Gary Moore- International Musician – Nov 1985

    Gary sitting with his three acoustic guitars, circa 1980.

    As this is a pretty unique guitar and it’s most likely still around, if you happen to come across any photos of Gary or Greg Lake playing it, or someone else for that matter, please be sure to leave a comment below.

  • 1989 Takamine CP132SC

    Gary Moore’s 1989 Takamine CP132SC

    This guitar was sold through Bonham’s auction in June 2016. According to the info provided by the house, Gary used the guitar on Nothing’s The Same from the 1992 After Hours album, and With Love, Remember from 1994 Ballads and Blues.

    The Takemine CP132SC is a nylon string classical model featuring a rosewood back and sides with a solid cedar top. It was built in Japan and was equipped with an Accuracoustic preamp.

    The current owner of the guitar was kind enough to contact us and share a photo of the guitar in its current state.

    Takamine CP132SC
    Takamine CP132SC formerly owned by Gary Moore.
  • Lowden 022 Custom

    Gary Moore’s 1992 Lowden 022 Custom

    This guitar (serial no. 3617) was used by Gary around the Baker Bruce Moore era circa 1993. According to the info posted on the auction page of the guitar, it was used to some extent on the trio’s only album Around the Next Dream. Aside from that, Gary used it on April 27, 1995, on the opening song of the Blues for Greeny concert.

    Gary Moore – Blues For Greeny – Live (1995)

    The guitar features a natural red cedar top, American mahogany back and sides, and an Indian rosewood bridge. It was ordered by Gary from George Lowden, to feature a custom neck profile.


Gary Moore's Amps

  • Marshall 50W Head

    Gary Moore’s Marshall 50W Head

    According to Gary himself, he acquired his first Marshall amp when he was 16 years old. Just to figure out when this might have happened, Gary turned 16 on April 4, 1968, and he joined Skid Row around midway through that year. So likely, the amp was purchased around the same time that he joined.

    I got a 50-watt Marshall when I was 16, when I was in my first band, Skid Row. I didn’t have the speaker cabinet, unfortunately, The guy before me he was a guitarist in a band, and he built this kind of 412 cabinet – like an
    angled cabinet, and put yellow lovely good speakers in it.

    Gary Moore visits Marshall Part 1.

    Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any photographic evidence of Gary actually using a Marshall amp in the 60s. With Skid Row, he was seen using an Orange OR200, and a Hiwatt Custom 100, but no Marshalls. If you happen to come across a photo or a video that suggests that he did use it, be sure to leave a comment below.

    In the early 1970s, he was however seen playing a Marshall JTM45 throught a Hiwatt cabinet (remember, he said that he didn’t have a Marshall cab), so it could be that was this same amp, although this is purely just a possibility.

  • Hiwatt Custom 100

    Gary Moore’s Hiwatt Custom 100

    Gary used Hiwat 100W Custom amp while playing with Skid Row, circa 1970/1971. He played the amp through a pair of Wem 4×12” cabinets.

    Embed from Getty Images

  • Orange Matamp OR200

    Gary Moore’s Orange Matamp OR200

    Seen on the 1971 footage of Skid Row performing on the German TV program, Beat-Club. At that time, Gary played a customized Gibson Les Paul.

    Gary Moore playing a modifier Les Paul through an Orange OR200 amp. Beat-Club, March 27, 1971.
  • 1974 VOX AC-30

    Gary Moore’s 1974 VOX AC-30

    The following info was provided by the amp’s current owner.

    This hand-wired VOX AC30 amplifier, manufactured around 1974, was used by Gary Moore when he was in Colosseum II. According to Gary himself, the amp had gone missing in 1977 while touring.

    Later that year it finds its way to Robin Millar, a man who later is to become one of the most successful record producers ever, selling more than 150 million albums. In the mid and late 70’s he worked a lot at Morgan Studios in Brussels, Belgium, a sister company to the more known Morgan studios in London (Morgan studios also owned the company that Gary was signed to during the late ’70s, according to Chris Tsangarides – the producer of Back on the streets. In 1984 Robin Millar bought Studios 1 and 2 of Morgan studios in North West London, renaming it Power Plant Studios.)

  • Gallien-Krueger 250RL Amp

    Gary Moore’s Gallien-Krueger 250RL Amp

    Allegedly used at the start of the Run for the Cover tour circa 1985. The amp was used very briefly together with some Marshalls, at least according to the auction page of this amp.

    It seems that after that, Gary moved onto a smaller Gallien-Krueger Series II 250ML combo amps, which he ran through Marshall cabinets.

    Gary’s 250RL. Photo credit:
  • Gallien-Krueger Series II 250ML

    Gary Moore’s Gallien-Krueger Series II 250ML Combo Amp

    This amp was first mentioned by Gary in an interview he did with International Musician in November 1985.

    They look like little practice amplifiers, but they are actually a lot more elaborate. They have their own stereo chorus built in, two channels, a very dirty one and a very clean one, and a compressor which is very nice on the clean channel. They are 50 watts per channel which is a lot bigger than they look — so I run them through Marshall cabinets and it really brings them to life. You get all the bass end coming out, because obviously with their own little dinky speakers you lose that.

    Gary Moore (IM Nov 85)

    According to the info posted on the auction page of one of these amps, Gary owned three 250MLs. He was photographed with one of them in 1990, but he likely didn’t use them to the extent described in the quote above at that point.

  • 1971 Marshall Model 2022 20W

    Gary Moore’s 1971 Marshall Model 2022 20W

    Gary acquired this amp sometime around 1986. According to Cosmo Verrico, Gary had used it extensively throughout his career, most notably on Blues For Greeny and Wild Frontier, although it’s unknown to which extent exactly.

    The first album that the amp was used on was the 1987 release Wild Frontier, it is impossible to say which tracks the amp was used on as the only person who could know that is Gary himself. Cosmo concludes that in Gary’s own words, he used this amp and cabinet on every studio album from 1987 up to his death.


    Regardless of the quote above, it’s far more likely that the amp was simply there for Gary to use, and he didn’t necessarily always go for it on every single album.

    The amp was sold in 2016 though Bonhams, among number of Gary’s possessions, and apparently it ended up with Tune Your Sound – an European based guitar boutique (see link in the quote above for more info).

  • Marshall JTM45 2245

    Gary Moore’s Marshall JTM45 2245 Reissue

    Allegedly, Gary acquired an early version of the JTM45 reissue amp, which at that time in 1989 was still in state of development. He used the amp first on his 1990 album Still Got the Blues.

    One of the guys from Metallica goes up to [producer] Bob Rock and says, ‘This is the sound I want,’ and plays him ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ from “Still Got The Blues”. Then they proceed to go through all these pre-amps and processors to achieve it. I felt I should write and say, ‘That’s not how to do it. You’ve got the money now guys, go out and buy a ’59 Les Paul, a Guv’nor pedal and a JTM45!

    Various Sources Online – original needed

    Regarding this being an early pre-production model, all the info related to this comes from second hand sources it seems. In case you stumble upon something coming directly from Marshall or Gary, please do post it in the comments below.

    Also, according to sources, Gary owned two of these JTM45 reissues, and both of the completely stock.

  • Soldano SLO100

    Gary Moore’s Soldano SLO100 Amp

    Gary was seen using Soldano SLO100 amps in the early 90s during the Still Got the Blues and After Hours tours. Apparently, he only used the clean channel on the amps and used either a Guv’nor or a TS10 to add the punch to it.

    Marshall Guv’nor Pedal ( Mk 1), Ibanez TS10 Tube Screamer Pedal, Gary tended to only use the “clean” channel on the SLO100 with the crunch switch in, rather than switch channels on the amp. Any further ‘crunch/boost/distortion” would be added by one of the above pedals.

    Various sources online, originally posted on Gary’s website

    Based on photos, it seems that Gary stopped using the Soldano amps altogether around 1993/94.


Gary Moore's Effects

  • Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo

    Gary Moore’s Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo

    Used first around early 80s, and at least up until 1987, and the Wild Frontier tour.

    I use the Roland SRE 555 as my standard onstage tape echo all the time at quite a low level, so you’ll only really hear it when I stop playing. It’s just for adding depth.

    Gary Moore – International Musician – Nov 1985

    It’s important to note that Gary used only the echo on the SRE-555 and got his chorus from different units, a Boss CE-3 (prior to 1984) and a Roland Dimension D.

    I don’t like the sound of the one in the 555 very much, so I just modified the chorus preset on the other unit, and gave it moore depth and a bit more range. It suits me better. It’s a slow chorus-a bit moore subtle.In general,I don’t like how the choruses mess with the pitch. That’s why I like the Roland Dimension D, for example.It gives you constant pitch, but it also gives you the chorus at the same time. (the interview is no longer available)

  • Boss CE-3 Chorus

    Gary Moore’s Boss CE-3 Chorus

    In the early, to mid-80s Gary started using a number of Boss pedals, including a Boss CE-3 Chorus. He used this pedal as his main chorus effect since he didn’t like the chorus on his Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo.

    The chorus I only have because the chorus on my Chorus/Echo isn’t very satisfactory to me, it’s not kind of intense enough, so I use the pedal in place of that — the only thing I use on the Chorus/Echo is the repeat effect itself, and sometimes the reverb.

    Gary Moore (MU January 1983)

    Gary stopped using the pedal around 1984 and moved onto a Roland Dimension D, which is a rack unit.

    Gary demonstrating his Boss CE-3 Chorus pedal.
  • Boss OC-2 Octave

    Gary Moore’s Boss OC-2 Octave

    Used around early 80s, alongside some other Boss pedals, like the CE-3 Chorus and the BF-2 Flanger. By 1984, the pedals were gone, and only the Boss DS-1 Distortion remained.

    I’m using less of the little Boss pedals then I did last year – in fact the only one I use is the overdriver/distortion.

    Gary Moore – So You Say (12T May 84)

    Gary demonstrating the OC-2 Octave pedal.
  • Boss DM-2 Delay

    Gary Moore’s Boss DM-2 Delay

    Seen in the early 80s interview that Gary did with Rock School (if you happen to know exact date when this was filmed, please post it in the comments).

    Likely, the pedal was replaced in 1984 with the Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay.

    Gary Moore’s Boss DM-2 (left) and Boss OC-2 Octaver (right)
  • Boss BF-2 Flanger

    Gary Moore’s Boss BF-2 Flanger

    One of the pedals that was part of Gary’s pedalboard in the early 1980s. The flanger wasn’t used much at all, according to Gary, maybe once per gig, and it eventually was removed from the chain. Beginning with 1984, Gary got his flange effect from a Roland SDE-3000 rack unit.

    I think I use the flanger once all night, and the chorus about twice. If you use them all the time you may as well not have any, it sounds like shit, and also you disguise everything you do — which is probably a good thing in some cases.

    Gary Moore – Music UK – Jan 1983

    Gary playing through his BF-2 Flanger
  • Boss DS-1

    Gary Moore’s Boss DS-1 Distortion

    Used from the early days on his Stratocaster guitars. According to Gary, the pedal gave Strats the exact amount of “kick” that he wanted.

    I use a Boss Distortion (DS-1) on the Stratocaster. I found it’s a really good unit for my particular guitar because it complements the sound. Having gone through just about all the other distortion units available, this is the one that doesn’t make your guitar sound thin. It doesn’t take away the natural sound. It just gives the Strat a real kick up the ass. In fact, I have it on most of the time. I don’t use it on the Les Paul, though.

    Originally posted on Gary Moore’s website, seems to be gone now

  • Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay

    Gary Moore’s Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay

    Gary started using this unit around 1984. Prior to this, he relied on having a large number of effect pedals, and he felt he needed to downsize.

    I’m now using the Roland SDE3000 digital delay which is programmable. The interesting thing about that is I don’t have to touch it. I can do the whole thing from footswitches. I still use my 555 tape echo, but I can get a four second delay on the SDE, so we do a few tricks with that.

    Gary Moore – So You Say (12t May 84)

    The article linked above is a great read if you wanna pick Gary’s mind regarding his thoughts on simplifying his effect chain. He argues that the more effects you put between your guitar and the amp, the more you lose that authentic sound.

    The SDE 3000 digital programmable delay has eight programmes, and I have a switch which goes from one to eight. I have to be careful and look at the unit while I’m playing so that I can see which programme I’m on, but they’re all different lengths and they have choruses and flanges set up in them so it’s a very versatile unit.

    Gary Moore (IM Nov 85)

  • Marshall Guv’nor (Mk.1)

    Gary Moore’s Marshall Guv’nor (Mk 1) Overdrive

    According to Gary, this pedal was a key component in creating the Still Got the Blues sound.

    One of the guys from Metallica goes up to [producer] Bob Rock and says, ‘This is the sound I want,’ and plays him ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ from “Still Got The Blues”. Then they proceed to go through all these pre-amps and processors to achieve it. I felt I should write and say, ‘That’s not how to do it. You’ve got the money now guys, go out and buy a ’59 Les Paul, a Guv’nor pedal and a JTM45!

    Various Sources Online – original needed

    Gary used the Mark 1 model, which was introduced by Marshall in 1988, and discontinued in 1991. This first run was manufactured in the UK, while the later models mostly came out of Korea.

    Aside from the SGTB album, Moore used the pedal on Power of the Blues, released in 2004 (possibly others as well).


Gary Moore's Strings

  • Dean Markley Electric Guitar Strings

    Gary Moore’s Dean Markley Electric Guitar Strings

    Gary seemed to have used Dean Markley guitar strings most often. Based on his own statement, he used either a .010 set (Dean Markley 2504B – this set is heavier on top than a standard set) or a .009 set (Dean Markley 2508).

    I string my guitars with Dean Markleys—sometimes .010-.052, and sometimes a .009-.048 set. Honestly, I only hear the difference in gauge on the bottom strings, not the top.

    Gary Moore, October 1, 2007, Guitar Player Magazine

    As a note, on the song Still Got the Blues (Still Got the Blues, 1991), Gary used a Dean Markley LTHB Electric set, gauges 10, 13, 17, 30w,
    42w, 52w.


Gary Moore's Accessories

  • Ibanez Extra Heavy Celluloid Pick

    Gary Moore’s Ibanez Extra Heavy Celluloid Picks

    Gary used custom branded Ibanez picks during the 1984 Irish tour. Based on the photos, these were extra heavy thickness, in the standard 351 shapes.

    Ibanez branded guitar pick used by Gary Moore.
    Gary Moore’s original Ibanez picks. Thanks John for the photos.
    Ibanez branded guitar pick used by Gary Moore.
    Gary Moore’s original Ibanez picks. Thanks John for the photos.

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