Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders guitarist Scott Gorham has seen some things in the world of rock and metal. Being in Thin Lizzy since 1974 will do that. He’s been around the block more than most rock stars. So that’s why his conversation with Classic Rock was so enlightening. He went over some pretty crucial things to the history of Thin Lizzy. He had some great things to say about Phil Lynott and not so great things to say about Gary Moore and Jimmy Bain (Rainbow and Dio bassist). Let’s dig in.
What He Had To Say About Gary Moore
Gary Moore is one of the most influential guitarists of all-time. I love his playing style and the music he’s made. But there are some characteristics of his personality that aren’t so great. Gorham makes particular mention about how hard he was to work with at certain points.
I got to say Gary. He was convinced at one point he was the best guitar player in the world. Phil and I would look at each other and go, ‘Whoa, OK.’ Gary had a great sense of humor. But he would go off on these tangents, and either myself or Phil would have to talk to him and say, ‘You got to chill out a bit here, buddy.’ He really wanted to be a solo artist, and to share guitar duties was not on his menu at all. He really was good enough to pull it off, so I don’t have any animosity. It’s just the way he did it pissed everybody off: walking out in the middle of an American tour. You just don’t do that. He apologized a couple of times over the years. It was too late by then, though.Scott Gorham to Classic Rock
It’s not surprising that Gary Moore was difficult to work with. He was a perfectionist and he expected greatness. Sometimes people who are geniuses at their craft are hard to work with. At least he since apologized for walking out on the North American tour that Thin Lizzy was on.
Scott Gorham On Phil Lynott And Heroin
Heroin is a messed up drug. It ruins lives everyday. It ended Phil Lynott’s life. So to see that Scott was hooked on it, but eventually got better is a success story of the highest order. Here’s what he had to say about Phil and the drug.
We were pretty much joined at the hip for 10 years. We did everything together. Just messing around on stage, always joking together. He’d always turn around and give me that devilish smile. We were drug buddies, but the fun went out when the heroin came in. For quite a while, we tried to keep it secret. Then it became obvious. There just weren’t enough dead rock stars around yet to make it feel too dangerous to do. Before you know it, you’re spiraling out of control. It was a terrible time.Scott Gorham to Classic Rock
That’s A Nice Sounding Story, But How He Quit Is Insane
Scott’s story of recovery is astounding. Living his life in Thin Lizzy, he was exposed to a lot of different stories and people. One such person who might have saved his life was Jimmy Page.
I was having another argument with my wife, Christine. I’m like, ‘What’s the problem? Nobody knows I’m doing it anyway.’ It was the look she gave me – incredulous. She said, ‘Everybody knows!’ That did it. I realized this brown powder was ruling my life. And that really depressed me. Then Chris found this pioneering treatment by Dr. Margaret Patterson, called the black box. Running an electrical current through you. Same thing that helped Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. I was at a function, and Jimmy Page was there and he dragged me off the sofa and said, ‘So you gonna call Dr. Patterson?’ So I went to see the doctor, and within 10 days, I was off of heroin. Physically I was OK, but it took me maybe two years for the mental side. I didn’t even want to go to a gig. I didn’t trust myself. So I lost myself. Didn’t associate with anybody for two years. I went off to America and started recording with my brother and in-laws to get me back playing guitar somehow.Scott Gorham to Classic Rock
Jimmy Bain Is A Coward
The story that Scott told about Jimmy Bain running away from Phil Lynott’s body is chilling. It just sends a feeling up your spine. If Bain was less of a coward and just faced whatever consequences, we might have Phil Lynott with us today.
Phil’s laying there on the bathroom floor, he’s desperately ill, but nobody calls the ambulance because they’re afraid the police will come and they’ll get busted.Scott Gorham to Classic Rock
He later went on to say that Bain just left and didn’t even call an ambulance before he did. Jimmy Bain left Phil Lynott to die.
(He) sure did. Don’t have really a lot of good things to say about him ever since. And why would I? He was pretty greasy, alright. I know the last time I saw him [before his death in 2016] he had lost a fair few teeth, his face had aged horribly. What the fuck, man? That could’ve been me if I’d stayed on this shit.Scott Gorham to Classic Rock
Scott Gorham Is Still Rocking After All These Years
I’ve seen Scott Gorham with the new version of Thin Lizzy and the Black Star Riders a couple times now. He still kicks just as much ass with that Les Paul as he did years ago. If you haven’t checked out the Black Star Riders, they very much have the spirit and energy of Thin Lizzy with them, but they went on their own path in music. It’s a great band that I recommend fully.
You can check out the new Thin Lizzy boxset here!
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Source: Classic Rock