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.

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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)

The Mods

As previously noted, the guitar was modified sometime prior to October 1985. This included removing both pickups and installing an EMG active pickup in the bridge position, and likely adding the battery needed to power it in the neck pickup cavity. The chrome pickguard was replaced with a custom-cut white one, and the original 21 fret neck was replaced with a 22-fret one with a headstock painted in white.

It’s a Charvel. Well, actually it’s made up of all different pieces of other Charvels I had before! It’s a Strat shaped body that used to have a chrome scratchplate on it and two pickups. Keith Page, my guitar roadie, chopped it up, put a new scratchplate, and an EMG pickup on it. The pickup is a single EMG humbucker; they’re very good and don’t make too much noise. It’s still got the Floyd Rose tremolo on it; and we put the neck on last week. That was off a different Charvel.

Gary Moore – Guitarist magazine, November 1985
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This guitar started being used extensively in 1985 and Run for the Cover tour. By 1986 Gary acquired another Charvel San Dimas in red, modified in the exact same way as this guitar. Both continued to be used in 1987 during the Wild Frontier Tour, and up until around 1990.

Sometime before 1989, the neck on this white Charvel was replaced with a Jackson replacement neck with a rosewood fretboard. After 1990, both the white and the red San Dimas guitars seem to have gone out of rotation.

It’s unknown whether after 1990 guitars remained with Gary or he sold/gave them away. In any case, they were no longer seen.


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