It’s Thin Lizzy but not as you know it: the boys are back in town – again!
Legendary Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham on changing the name to Black Star Riders, battling drug addiction and why he believes that Phil Lynott would get the band back together if he was still around
In saying that, two years down the line in 1985, I had finally cleaned my act up and I went to see him. He was still a mess. He was talking about ‘you and I, we’ve got to start writing songs together again. We got to think about putting the band back together again.’
Do you think if Lynott had lived, he would have put Thin Lizzy back together again?
Absolutely that would have happened. It would have had to have been a case that he got his shit together again and gotten help for his addictions. Some people think what we do in music is an easy thing, but it is an ass-kicker. You’ve got to have your health together or it is not going to last very long.
Why did you manage to clean your act up and he didn’t?
I desperately wanted it. I needed to get out of that way of life. I was not afraid of asking for help. Whereas Phil was the kind of guy that couldn’t ask for help. To ask for help was a sign of weakness, so I thought that became extremely hard for him. Back then, there wasn’t enough rehabilitation facilities that you could trust. I don’t think he had much faith in that.
When you got Thin Lizzy back together again, did you get any stick from fans who thought it was not the same band without Phil Lynott?
Sure I did. Some of it really hurt because all we wanted to do was keep the name going out there. It felt to me that the recognition of the band and the work we put in started to slip. To be quite honest, it was always supposed to be for just seven shows in Japan. That did not work out because people found out that we had done this. And then we got stick for fans for not visiting them.
“Alright, we’ll do eight shows in Europe next year,” we said. The fans take was that we supported you all these years and you go half way across the fucking world to play the music. You just kind of kept growing from that point, more and more people and more and more promoters were interested. Instead of doing a handful of shows which financially was killing us, we decided to tour and see what happens.
Black Star Riders play The Academy on Saturday, December 14th