This live performance of "Don't Believe a Word" is probably one of the best clips of Gary Moore playing 'Greeny' you could hope to see. Filmed in the late ‘70s for the BBC TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test an unbeatable line-up of classic rock luminaries includes Moore's Thin Lizzy bandmates, guitarist Scott Gorham and bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott; Deep Purple keys player Don Airey; and Jeff Beck/Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell.
Released in 1978, Back on the Streets was Moore’s first solo album following 1973’s Grinding Stone by The Gary Moore Band, and features the top-ten UK hit co-penned with Lynott, “Parisienne Walkways”. "Don't Believe a Word" (written by Lynott) is the second track from Back on the Streets and also appears on Thin Lizzy’s 1976 long-player Johnny the Fox.
Of equal star appeal in this incredible rendition is one of the most famous electric guitars in the world – the now legendary 'Greeny' Les Paul Standard that once belonged to Fleetwood Mac blues guitar hero Peter Green. In the early ‘70s, Moore and Green became good friends, and after accepting Green’s offer to borrow his ‘Burst, Moore promptly fell in love with it, taking the guitar everywhere he went. Happy that his guitar had found a good home Green later insisted on taking around £100 in exchange.
Suffice to say, Moore soon put 'Greeny' to good use.
The current custodian of 'Greeny' – Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett – is also known to take the guitar everywhere with him. A big fan of both Peter Green and Gary Moore, Hammett says he sees 'Greeny' as “the people’s guitar”. Known to enjoy using the ‘Burst for its intended purpose of being played he says, “This guitar wants to be heard. I’m doing all I can to make sure it’s still being heard by playing it live, recording with it, and having people see it and hear it in real-time… I want to share the magic of this guitar, because it gives so much. It gives more than any other guitar I’ve ever played in my life.”
Last week, Gibson announced they will be collaborating with Hammett on a new line of signature Gibson and Epiphone models. “It’s a really great and exciting time for me to be joining forces with Gibson,” said the guitarist. “I look forward to achieving great things together in the future.”
Rumours abound as to whether or not this will include a Greeny model. Watch this space for more news!
Get the The Old Grey Whistle Test, Volumes 1-3: The Definitive Collection here.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.
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