Influential rock guitarist Scotty Moore, best known for being a pivotal member of Elvis Presley’s band, has died at the age of 84.
Cited as an influence by Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Page, Moore helped shape Elvis’s revolutionary musical style in the 1950s and inspire the next generation of musicians.
Moore died at home in Nashville, Tennessee following a period of ill health.
“We lost one of the finest people I have ever met today,” Matt Ross-Sprang, an engineer at the Sun Studio in Memphis said on Instagram. “The guitarist that changed the world … especially mine; I hope you don’t mind if I keep stealing your licks.”
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, his guitar work appeared on Elvis’s biggest anthems including Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Mystery Train, Blue Suede Shoes and Jailhouse Rock.
Speaking about his adulation for Moore, Keith Richards said: “When I heard Heartbreak Hotel, I knew what I wanted to do in life.
“It was as plain as day. All I wanted to do in the world was to be able to play and sound like that. Everyone else wanted to be Elvis, I wanted to be Scotty.”
Jimmy Page said: “The blues appealed to me, but so did rock. The early rockabilly guitarists like Cliff Gallup and Scotty Moore were just as important to me as the blues guitarists.”
Moore was born in Gadsen, Tennessee in 1931 and began playing the guitar aged eight. He was recruited for Elvis Presley’s band in 1954 alongside bassist Bill Black.
In 2011 Moore was named as the 29th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.