The Metal Guitarist Who Paid Over $1 Million For Gary Moore’s Guitar
In the late 1960s, Gary Moore started his music career after being influenced by Peter Green and Eric Clapton. At that time, he joined Skid Row and released two albums with them. After leaving the band, Moore joined and worked with Thin Lizzy. In the 1970s, the music icon embarked on a solo career and achieved phenomenal success with his signature song ‘Parisienne Walkways.’
During the 1980s, Moore decided to shift towards hard rock and heavy metal. He then achieved international success but returned to his roots with his most successful album ‘Still Got The Blues.’ Following that, Moore continued making new musical efforts and occasionally collaborated with other musicians. Sadly, the musician died on February 6, 2011, after a heart attack while he was on holiday.
Gary Moore was known as a virtuoso and has been cited as a great influence by various guitar players. Throughout his music career, the talented musician was associated with his 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar, which was sold to him by Peter Green for £100. As it seems, there was a metal guitarist who willingly paid a significant amount for Moore’s ‘Greeny’ later on. Let’s learn who that guitarist was.
Metallica Guitarist Kirk Hammett Purchased Gary Moore’s ‘Greeny’ For Around $1 Million
Moore used his 1959 Gibson Les Paul for much of his career, including in the recording of his most-known song ‘Parisienne Walkways.’ Unfortunately, he had to sell his guitar in 2006 for reportedly somewhere between $750,000 and $1.2 million due to financial struggles. Phil Winfield at Maverick Music bought it, but they later put up the Les Paul for sale on the company’s website for $2 million.
After a few more owners, the ‘Greeny’ made its way to Kirk Hammett in 2014. The Metallica guitarist was the one who purchased the 1959 Gibson Les Paul, which is known for its unique tone due to its reversed neck pickup. According to what he told Rolling Stone in a previous interview, Moore has been among Hammett’s top five guitar influences.
In the interview, the Metallica icon even admitted that the opening lick of the guitar solo of ‘Master Of Puppets’ is a variation of a lick Moore played lots of times. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Kirk sincerely looked up to Gary Moore, and he should even be credited for inspiring the amazing riffs Kirk in ‘The Unforgiven.’
Kirk Hammett told Rolling Stone the following:
“Gary Moore is definitely on my list of top five guitar influences, right up with Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Michael Schenker. His influence is strong to the point that the opening lick of the guitar solo of ‘Master of Puppets’ is a variation of a lick that Gary Moore played a lot.
I remember the first time hearing his blues album and just getting totally blown away – not only by the playing but by the sound of it too, his tone. And I remember being so inspired that I wrote a couple of riffs just based on his sound and his feel. And those riffs ended up in ‘The Unforgiven’ on ‘The Black Album.'”
In another interview with Guitar World, Kirk Hammett recalled the time he bought Moore’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul. He said that he noticed it was Greeny after seeing the guitar at a store because he saw the pickup screws were inverted. Hammett then played the guitar and was astonished by its sound. However, he didn’t purchase the guitar at that time until Jimmy Page told him he should buy it.
In the interview with Guitar World, Kirk Hammett recalled buying ‘Greeny’ as follows:
“Immediately, I knew what it was because I saw the pickup screws inverted. After about 30 seconds of playing, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is not your standard Les Paul…’ and I went to the middle position, because, you know, that’s the revered sound, and I started ripping out, and I thought to myself, ‘Holy shit, this is a total contradiction.’
It sounded like an incredible Les Paul in the bridge position and in the neck position, but when you put it in the middle position it kind of sounded like a Strat through a 100-watt Marshall stack! And then I got it. I got it. I understood completely what Greeny was all about.
The evening of the day I looked at it, I sent a message to Jimmy Page through a friend of mine saying, ‘Jimmy, what do you think of this guitar?’ And Jimmy’s reaction was, ‘I remember that guitar. You should absolutely buy it.’ So I guess I should throw that in for the record that I have Jimmy Page’s approval. When Jimmy says, ‘Yes, you should buy it, Kirk,’ then it doesn’t get much better than that!”
Although he terribly wanted the guitar, Kirk Hammett had heard that it costs $2 million, and he told his friends that he didn’t have that much money to spend on Greeny. Following that, Hammett’s friend said $2 million was its original price 10 or 12 years ago. Even though Hammett didn’t reveal how much he paid for ‘Greeny,’ it seems it was less than $2 million.
Kirk Hammet said about ‘Greeny’s price the following:
“I was like, ‘Hey, hey, hey, hey. Wait a second here. Wait a second. I don’t have $2 million for this guitar.’ And my friend said, ‘Oh, that’s all poppycock. I don’t know where that came from. That was the original price maybe 10 or 12 years ago, but that’s since been adjusted.‘”
Below, you can watch Kirk Hammett playing the guitar ‘Greeny’ at a Metallica performance at Pinnacle Bank Arena on September 6, 2018.