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.
The amp’s story
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.)
In the late 70s, Millar was a new wave and jazz guitarist. He used this amp to play guitar on classics like Plastic Bertrand’s “Ca Plane pour Moi” and the Gibson Brothers’ ”Cuba”. Robin wrote his name in the Roman numeral on the back of the amp. He also confirms lending the amp to his brother-in-law, ex Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who played it on the road with Jack Bruce. It also featured on a lot of early 80s tracks. Then its whereabouts are unknown for a few years.
In the late 80’s it was bought by Dan Priest, the owner of Parkgate recording studio in Catsfield, East Sussex. (Dan Priest was also the engineer on the Greg Lake album ”Manoeuvres”, featuring Gary Moore.)
In its many years at Parkgate, the amp was used by such greats as Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, The Cure, Duran Duran, The Stereophonics, and countless others.
It was one day 1993-1994 when Gary Moore himself walked into the studio to observe the facilities for a prospective recording session that he spotted his old amp. The priest then explained that he had purchased the amp from a reputable dealer and had paid a lot of money for it. Gary was quite relaxed about this and at no time did he ask for the amp back or that he wanted anything for it. He just said that these things happen and left it at that. Parkgate Studio was closed in 2008 and was converted into residential dwellings.
In its time in residence at Parkgate, the amplifier was maintained by Dave Barnett of Barnett Davies Amplification.
The amp is composed of fully original parts and is as it was on leaving the VOX factory other than servicing done by Gary’s guitar technician, who fitted a ‘dummy load’ to the amplifier, a common safety modification.
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