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Still alive and dangerous
Ahead of their gig with Guns N'Roses, Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham talks about the band’s plan to record again, their cheeky appropriation of Alice Cooper’s guitarist and why he’s cool with having David Cameron as a fan.
Roisin Dwyer, 23 May 2012
“I keep telling everyone even The Beatles didn’t write 700 songs!” laughs Scott Gorham, relaxing in his London home. Hot Press is chatting to the rock legend in advance of his visit to these shores with Guns N’ Roses. Conversation has turned to the reported 700-plus Thin Lizzy tracks recently uncovered.
“What it is, is there are 70 separate tracks that were found in a multitude of multitrack boxes,” he explains. “A lot of it is outtakes of songs and alternate versions. Then there’s material I had completely forgotten recording. I think that’s what everyone is interested in. At the moment myself and Brian and the record company are sifting through all these songs to see what will go in the box-set, due later this year.”
Since Gorham drafted in Ricky Warwick on vocals in 2009 and alumni Brian Downey and Darren Wharton returned to the fold, Thin Lizzy have been experiencing a Lazarus-style comeback that seems to be unrelenting.
Sold-out shows, a constant stream of reissues and rarities and a revolving cast of star guitarists have meant the band are rarely out of the music press. The recent addition of Damon Johnson as permanent member has brought a welcome stability to proceedings.
“Well, we always knew Vivian Campbell and Richard Fortus had day-jobs,” says Scott. “When we hooked up with Damon, he kept going on about how it would be his absolute dream to play in Thin Lizzy. Right from the first rehearsals we pretty much knew we had found our permanent member. He knows practically the entire catalogue and it’s the exact style of guitar playing that Thin Lizzy needs, especially to gel with myself. We are not a heavy metal guitar band. We deal a lot more with melodic phrases. And that’s what Damon brings. He’s a very hard but melodic player.”
Johnson left Alice Cooper to join the Lizzy camp. As Scott and Alice are good golf buddies we hope there were no hard feelings?
“Everybody’s happy, nobody has fallen out,” chuckles Gorham. “Damon went to Alice and told him and Alice said he knew that it was his dream gig and he didn’t want to stand in the way.”