UFO Guitarist on his relationship with Gary Moore: “He was very tough on drummers and bass players”

The guitarist also opens up on how working with Moore played a role in his decision to abandon the music industry for over 30 years.

UFO guitarist Neil Carter has discussed his relationship with Gary Moore, touching on how Moore contributed to his 30-year-long disappearance from the music industry, and the harsh attitude Moore had toward the bassists and drummers that he worked with.

Most widely recognised for his contribution to UFO, Neil Carter also gained status as a permanent member of Gary Moore’s solo albums. Working with the guitarist between the period of 1983 and 1989, Carter featured in a substantial range of Moore’s studio albums – including Victims Of The Future and After The War.

Recently speaking with the Rock Interview Series, the musician explained how the two first began working together and how Moore’s unwavering emphasis on the lead guitar often led to the musician having a hostile attitude towards other musicians:

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“It was not intended to be permanent. […] And then through the course of the tour, Gary and I realised that it was going to be a good relationship,” he says.

“It took me a long time to realise this really stupid, stupid thing to say, but Gary was really about the guitar. He was very tough on drummers and bass players. […] I think it’s because anything that unseated him made him feel that the guitar wasn’t able to sit nicely,” Carter admits. “The reason why I ended up doing half the vocals was because [then] he could then play a bit more, and he could concentrate on his guitar playing.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Carter reflects upon his eventual rejection of the music industry; a decision that saw him disappear from the spotlight for over three decades. Here, he claims that while generally becoming “tired” of the lifestyle, working with Moore also contributed to the decision.

“Gary said he was gonna go for a blues album, and […] I thought, ‘Well, he’ll probably bring me in once he’s done it, got it out of the system, we’ll start [again].’, […but] he never came back to playing rock music again until 2010. And I made it very clear, it wasn’t my thing, blues isn’t my type of music.”

He continues, “I could have gone and looked for something else, you know, and I was not unknown at that point. But I just didn’t really want to do it.”

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Reflecting upon his decision to eventually rejoin UFO in 2019, Carter explains how, at the time, Moore’s passing in 2011 only emphasised his opposition to the industry:

“Gary passed away, I said, ‘I’m never doing this again.’ I sold my guitars, we decided to move down to the Canary Islands. And that was it. But you could never say never,” Carter states, looking at his current predicament. “I never thought that I’d be doing what I’m doing now, again. It’s great fun, but I never thought I was gonna do it.”

Neil Carter is currently preparing for UFO’s final line of performances, entitled the Last Orders Farewell Tour. Upcoming tour dates can be found on the band’s website.

Find the full interview on the Rock Interview Series.

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