Former Samson frontman Nicky Moore dead at 75

(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns via Getty)

Nicky Moore, the larger than life singer who replaced Bruce Dickinson in the NWOBHM band Samson, has died at the age of 75. Moore, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, was also a member of the hard rock heavyweights Mammoth, along with numerous other acts. He lived out his final years in a nursing home. 

Born in the West Country where his first musical experience was with a choir, Moore’s career in rock bands began in 1969 as a co-founder of Hackensack. Following the demise of Hackensack in 1974 he joined Tiger, whose line-up featured the iconic session muso ‘Big’ Jim Sullivan on guitar.

The call to join Samson came in late 1981. Moore and Dickinson couldn’t have been any more different. Nicky was a big man with an ever bigger voice. His blues-laden delivery propelled Samson in a new, earthier direction with the albums Before The Storm (1982) and Don’t Get Mad, Get Even (84). This era in the band’s history was documented by a live album, Thank You And Goodnight, which featured the FM pair of Merv Goldsworthy (bass) and Pete Jupp (drums), plus future Bad Company guitarist Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell.

Post-Samson, Moore fronted Mammoth, also featuring former Gillan bassist John McCoy. Together their four members weighed in at more than 1,200 lbs (86 stones).

Besides forming a cheekily named band called From Behind with the recently deceased former Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton, working as a solo artist and leading his group The Blues Corporation, Moore also sang with former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth in Electric Sun.

He reunited with Samson from 2000 to 2002. Moore’s erstwhile Samson bandmate, guitarist Paul Samson, died from cancer in ’02, followed five years later by bassist Chris Aylmer.

A post at Moore’s official Facebook page said: “A man that lived a thousand lifetimes in just one has decided he needed a rest.”

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.