February 9, 2012- Joseph Edward “Joe” Moretti was born in Glasgow, Scotland on May 10, 1938. Moretti moved to London in November 1958 with his wife Pina, and instantly became part of the burgeoning rock and roll scene based around the The 2i’s Coffee Bar in Soho.
There he found opportunities backing up singers such as Gene Vincent, Vince Eager, Colin Hicks & The Cabin Boys and other skiffle acts and nascent rock n’ roll outfits. It was in the 2i’s, in early 1959, that Moratti learned that guitarist-singer Tony Sheridan had quit Vince Taylor’s band, The Playboys, and Moratti was asked to take his place.
Moretti toured with Taylor in the UK and cut the iconic “Brand New Cadillac” in the spring of 1959. Shortly after, Moretti left the band to take up with Johnny Duncan’s Bluegrass Boys. The following year, 1960, Moretti was to play guitar on another session after being called into the studio by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ guitarist Alan Caddy to play leads on two songs: UK #1 single “Shakin’ All Over” and its follow-up “Restless”.
Throughout the 1960s Moretti continued to tour and record with artists such as Nero and the Gladiators, Ronnie Jones and The Nightimers and Eddie Calvert. In addition, Moretti was in demand as a session musician and, along with other UK guitarists such as Big Jim Sullivan, future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Vic Flick, often himself having played guitar at a recording date without being credited. Moretti claims to have played guitar on hits for Jet Harris and Tony Meehan (“Scarlet O’Hara” and “Applejack”) and Donovan’s hit record “Mellow Yellow”.
It is now acknowledged that he played guitar on at least two more UK number one records: Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” and Chris Farlowe’s Rolling Stones cover “Out Of Time”.
He lived in South Africa until his death from lung cancer. Joe Moretti was 73 years old when he died on 9 February 2012.
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