Sometimes the same legacy that allows a band to pack arenas after multiple decades is the same thing that weighs a band down creatively. Fans, after all, tend to want their classic rock bands frozen in time. In the case of Thin Lizzy, not only are there lofty expectations set by classic albums like Jailbreak and Bad Reputation, but there is also the looming specter of the band’s late, great frontman and bassist Phil Lynott, who died in 1986 and without whom the band has never released a record.
Like most musicians growing up in the 1970s, Damon Johnson fell in love with the music that is now considered “classic rock.” The volume, the stage presence, the dual guitars — it all spoke to a young man growing up in Alabama and dreaming of being onstage with his idols. Years later, that’s exactly what happened: Johnson was selected to join Alice Cooper’s band in 2004 and is now a member of Thin Lizzy, touring the world with musicians who influenced him as a teen.