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Lizzy guitarist died of a heart attack

FORMER Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore died from a suspected heart attack, an initial post-mortem examination has found.

Forensic experts have told a court in Spain's Costa del Sol that the 58-year-old died of natural causes, hours after starting a six-day holiday with a girlfriend.

But they have ordered further tests on tissue samples taken from the Belfast man's body ahead of a final report.

However, a judge has already said to have given permission for Mr Moore's brother Glen, who arrived in Spain yesterday, to repatriate his body.

The Irish Independent has learned that the Ulster-born musician's funeral is likely to be held in Brighton, where he had been living, rather than his home town of Belfast.

Mr Moore's body will remain at a forensic medicine institute in Malaga ahead of repatriation.

A Spanish police spokesman last night: "Mr Moore died of natural causes and his death is not in any way suspicious. An investigating magistrate has opened a standard inquiry to determine the exact cause of death."

Paramedics were called around 4am on Sunday to the five-star Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona after Mr Moore's girlfriend, who has not been named, raised the alarm.

Checking into the hotel earlier, the couple had eaten a hamburger and a sandwich before drinking champagne and brandy in the hotel bar.

His friend, guitarist and Lizzy founding member Eric Bell, who Moore replaced, said: "Gary wasn't a rock casualty, he was a healthy guy."

Although Moore released numerous solo albums, which ranged from blues to hard rock, it was as a member of Thin Lizzy that he found fame.

First drafted into the Irish rock group in 1973, he later left the band, but re-joined again in 1977 for Thin Lizzy's tour de force 'Black Rose' album.

But while he left Thin Lizzy on the tour to promote the record, he collaborated with Phil Lynott again on UK hits 'Parisienne Walkways' (1979) and 'Out In The Fields' (1985).


Moore's former bandmates have paid tribute to a "great player and a great guy".

Founding member of Lizzy, Brian Downey, said: "He will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I just can't believe he is gone."

Bob Geldof praised the late guitarist whose work had been a "huge influence" on later rock acts, particularly bands such as Guns 'N' Roses.

"Axl Rose will say that without Thin Lizzy, you don't get Guns 'N' Roses and that whole idea of rock and roll and Gary was sort of fundamental in developing that twin-guitar, lyrical thing like on 'Parisienne Walkways'," Geldof said.

Most comforting for Moore's friends and family has been the outpouring of love and respect from ordinary people.

On internet sites, Twitter and even on football forums, fans have come together to honour an unpretentious, talented man.

Lynott's mother, Philomena Lynott, was too upset yesterday to talk about Moore's death. However, she did give permission for this newspaper to use the rarely seen black and white picture of her son and Gary Moore, which accompanies this piece.

Taken in London in 1979, it is part of a new exhibition, which will run from March 4 to April 3 in the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, Dublin.

Irish Independent