Many hard rock and heavy metal fans look back on the career of Thin Lizzy with fond memories. Though the band never quite made it to superstar status like some of their peers, they had a very large and loyal following throughout the 70's and early 80's, and remain to this day one of the most influential bands ever, thanks to the singing, songwriting, and bass skills of the late Phil Lynott, and the twin guitar stylings of Scott Gorham & Brian Robertson. Sea of Tranquility Staff Writer Butch Jones had the opportunity to speak with one of the players of this legendary guitar duo, Scott Gorham, about that classic line-up, the late Phil Lynott, and the release of the Still Dangerous CD, taken from the Tower Theater in 1977.
SoT: During the "classic" line up, what were your favorite songs to
Scott: There's no such thing as "favorite" songs to play. It's why Phil and I stayed together for so long, we really liked playing the whole set. There always seemed to be something in each song that you really loved playing.
SoT: Do you still own those classic Les Paul's used on all of the
Scott: I do still have my "57" Les Paul that I used from Jailbreak and on (it's much too expensive now to take on the road anymore). The Red Les Paul Deluxe that I used on the first couple of albums was stolen a fair few years ago.
SoT: Do you remember the last time that you saw Phil Lynott?
Scott: The last time I saw Phil was three weeks before he died. And at that meet we were talking about writing and getting the band back together again. I hadn't seen him for about 6 months at that point so hanging out and shooting the breeze for a few hours was good for both of us.
SoT: With all of the other guitarists that were in the Lizzy line up with
you, who did you like working with the most?
Scott: Once again, to choose a favorite is nearly impossible because each (other) guitarist brought into the band were brought in for a whole multitude of reasons. But if I had to get nailed down on the subject I guess I would have to say Brian Robertson, mainly because it was he and I who started off together, and also because it was a very creative time period for the band and both of us. But every guitar player that came through Thin Lizzy were extremely accomplished players who brought a lot of their own personalities to the party.
SoT: If you could pick one, what would be your favorite Lizzy album?
Scott: Again, a tough one to answer cause there's a few that stand out. Jailbreak, because it kicked it all off for us. Black Rose, because the song writing and playing and production was so strong.Live and Dangerous, because it actually showed what the band was all about and what we were capable of doing.Bad Reputation, once again because of good production and song writing.Thunder and Lightning, sSome cool songs and playing and having John Sykes energizing the band at a time when we figured it was pretty much the end for us.
SoT: What is your favorite Lizzy riff that you came up with?
Scott: From what people tell me, it's Dancing in the Moonlight.
SoT: What was your favorite tour, and who were some memorable bands that you toured with?
Scott: LOL! Man, there you go again with that "favorite" thing again!! How the Hell do you choose a favorite tour?? I don't even remember most of them. I do remember the Queen tour of the US was epic, and the Rush and Journey and ZZTop and......God knows who else, the list is absolutely enormous and I don't remember actually having a bad time with any of the bands that we hooked up with. I'm sure someone at some point "will" remind me and at that point I probably will go "Oh yeah, those assholes!!" But to be honest, I can't remember having come up against that kind of situation.
SoT: In '83 when Lizzy called it quits, even though the drugs and alcohol made it easy to hang it up, did you have ever hope or want the band to reunite at some point? And do you think you would have if Phil had lived? Thunder & Lightning was such a STRONG way to go out & there was so much renewed interest in the band, that it would have been great take a break or something and get back to it.
Scott: Now that's a very good question. And the answer is...I have no doubt whatsoever that if Phil were alive today both he and I would be out on the road together slamming the Lizzy songs down on stages all over the world. It was one of the subjects he and I talked about on the last day that we saw each other, writing new material and getting the band back together.
SoT: Are you still living in England?
SoT: Any plans to tour the US in '09?
Scott:There are plans. But I think they are for later in the year.
SoT: Any chance of Brian Downey doing any shows again?
Scott: Brian seems quite content with playing the blues with Gary Moore at the moment. Brian Downey was always a huge fan of the blues, so for right now I think he's sitting in the exact spot that makes him feel the most comfortable. Damn he's a good drummer!!
SoT: Why after all these years is the Tower Theater show finally going to be an "official" release after it being a famous bootleg?
Scott: Well, the bootleg is just that...a shit sounding bootleg. It's unmixed with no audience mikes on. It was the first show of the tour, and a nervy one if I remember correctly. "Sill Dangerous" is the 2nd night we did at the Tower Theater which was never aired. And I think I'm right in saying that TL was one of the very few bands that the King Bisquit show let have 2 nights recorded, almost all bands only got the one night. It's got a great mix done my my pal Glyn Johns, who actually brought out the sound of Thin Lizzy the way I always imagined and remembered it sounding like. It's the first album where "I" can sit back and listen to a Thin Lizzy set and feel and hear what everyone else in the audience was getting. Pretty cool experience for me.
SoT: I know that some of this show was used on the amazing Live & Dangerous record- how much of this new CD was actually used on it on that one?
Scott: Ah no, a track from a "Toronto" show was used for Live and Dangerous not Philidelphia. And you just know there's gonna be some internet geek out there somewhere that's gonna want to argue with me on that one. Ain't rock and roll grand?
(Click here to read our reviews of Still Dangerous)