Tuesday, 14 February 2012
#RIP #RTYD Guitarist Joe Moretti who has died at the age of 73
British guitarist Joe Moretti renowned for his work on seminal rock n' roll records 'Brand New Cadillac' by Vince Taylor and 'Shakin' All Over' by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates', has died at the age of 73. Moretti was born in 1938 in Glasgow. He moved to London in 1958 where he quickly became part of the burgeoning rock n' roll scene around the legendary 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho. Before long he was playing back up for singers including Gene Vincent and Vince Eager, as well as a number of other skiffle and rock n' roll acts.
In early 1959 Moretti discovered guitarist-singer Tony Sheridan had quit Vince Taylor's band, The Playboys, and was asked to take his place. Moretti toured with Taylor in the UK and recorded the iconic "Brand New Cadillac" a few months later. The following year Moretti played lead guitar for Johnny Kidd and the Pirates on what would be their UK No.1 single 'Shakin' All Over', as well as on its follow-up 'Restless'.
Moretti continued to tour and record throughout the 60s, and was in demand as a session player along with other legendary British guitarists including Big Jim Sullivan, and future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
He claimed to have played guitar on hits for Jet Harris and Tony Meehan ('Scarlet O'Hara' and 'Applejack') and on Donovan's number one record 'Mellow Yellow'; and it is now accepted that he played guitar on 'It's Not Unusual' by Tom Jones, and Chris Farlowe's Rolling Stones cover, 'Out Of Time'.
Moretti died from lung cancer on 9th February in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he lived.