Vinnie Moore was one of the early shred guitar heroes promoted by the Shrapnel Label in the 1980s. The neo-classical genre was invented (or re-invented, depending on your perspective) by Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Jason Becker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joey Tafolla and many others. At the time, I was not far enough along in my guitar development to cop neo-classical licks from these artists, so I wrote and recorded my version of neo-classical on keyboards, and later grabbed ideas from a Vinnie Moore instructional video in order to be able to play well enough to play my own originals!
Moore began playing at age 12 after receiving a guitar as a Christmas present. As he states, "I started taking lessons for the next year. Then I really started to get obsessed with it." Moore played clubs and bars until Shrapnel executive Mike Varney discovered him via a demo and biography that Moore submitted to the Spotlight column, which Varney wrote each month for Guitar Player, shining a light on up-and-coming players. Following this, Moore recorded his first solo album, Mind's Eye (1986), for Shrapnel Records and featured Tony MacAlpine on keyboards. The album received several awards from guitar magazines and sold over 100,000 copies.
Moore played lead guitar with the heavy metal band Vicious Rumors on their debut album, Soldiers of the Night (1985), then began to play for other bands, including a tour with Alice Cooper. He released two instructional videos (both of which I wore out on VHS). All told, he has released nine solo records, all of which feature his amazing playing in a number of neo-classical, metal and hard rock styles.
In this 15 minute interview sponsore by Kramer (his current endorsee), Moore talks about his early days, influenced by the Beatles' George Harrison, and how much an instrumental album (Jeff Beck's "Wired") ultimately ended up altering the trajectory of his life.