So says journeyman guitarist Damon Johnson on his addition to Thin Lizzy for the 2011 U.S. tour with Judas Priest. Johnson, who has spent half of the last decade working with Alice Cooper and had recently decided to take a hiatus to focus on his home life and his own music, was floored when he got the call to join Thin Lizzy.
Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, who had himself stepped in for Def Leppard‘s Vivian Campbell, had to step down due to the new GnR tour this winter. Johnson, who calls Thin Lizzy the single most influential band on his singing, songwriting, and guitar playing, got the nod to play alongside Lizzy legends Scott Gorham, Brain Downey and Darren Wharton. Also in the line-up are bassist Marco Mendoza (Blue Murder, Lynch Mob, Ted Nugent) and Ricky Warwick (The Almighty).
This week as Johnson sits at home in Alabama, studiously working on learning every nuance of the Thin Lizzy catalog, he took time to fill Metalholic in on his new gig. We also talked about Alice Cooper and the new Welcome 2 My Nightmare album, his Coop replacement- Orianthi, the legacy of Thin Lizzy, and the specter of 9/11 and where he was on that day 10 years ago.