Known for his fierce, take-no-prisoners virtuosic guitar playing that encompassed every style from jazz-fusion and progressive rock to heavy metal and blues, Irish guitarist Gary Moore set the world afire every time he took the stage or entered a studio. His storied career included stints with Skid Row, Thin Lizzy, Greg Lake, Collosseum II, and of course, solo works such as Corridors Of Power and Victims Of The Future.
Impressed by Moore’s onstage energy and technical prowess during a performance with an early version of the Gary Moore Band, Custom Shop Master Builder John Cruz quickly adopted Moore as his favorite guitarist. Since 1987, when he first joined Fender’s production line, Cruz has dreamed of creating a reproduction of the 1961 Fiesta Red Stratocaster Moore favored in the ’80s, as “the ultimate tribute to the man and his fans.” When he was offered the chance to analyze Moore’s original instrument and create this peerless reproduction, he enthusiastically obliged. He experimented endlessly with the notoriously variable Fiesta Red color, matching the precise shade on Moore’s guitar, and lovingly reproduced every hard-won battle scar on the guitar.
Moore’s instrument was close to “stock,” including the original-spec low-output pickups and traditional 3-way pickup switch. The only modifications were the addition of copper shielding in the cavity and jumbo frets. Cruz’ masterful replica accurately reflects these modifications—even going so far as incorporating a 10”-radius rosewood fingerboard that reflects the original after many years of hard play and multiple re-frets. The pickups are Cruz’ own “Bonetone” design, hand wound by Josefina Campos, and packed full of soulful, authentic Fender tone.
The Custom Shop’s boundless attention to detail even extends to the included accessories. The guitar comes with a custom Cruz-designed Anvil case with Moore’s logo stenciled on it, adding tour-worthy protection for the remarkable instrument and housing the included documentation. It also includes two recreations of Moore’s preferred straps: the studded leather strap he used with the guitar early on and the DiMarzio® strap with white clip locks that was added later in the guitar’s tour of duty.
John Cruz carefully examined the Gary Moore Tribute, meticulously relicing it to reflect every bit of playing wear Gary Moore put on it, including the scratches, dings, buckle rash and hand wear on the body and neck.
The Cruz-designed Bonetone pickups are packed with authentic Fender Stratocaster tone. Highly articulate with punchy dynamics, these low-output, hand wound pickups reproduce every note with pristine, bell-like clarity.
The copper shielding in the control cavity protects the wiring from picking up undesirable stray electrical signals and radio frequencies, “cleaning” up the sound while retaining all the vintage tone that made this Strat great.