“Thin Lizzy prepared me for Skynyrd. They said, ‘You need to learn these songs note for note.’ I said, ‘I wouldn’t dream of doing it any other way’”: Damon Johnson on having one of rock’s most enviable resumés – and why Eddie Van Halen gifted him a guitar

Damon Johnson of Thin Lizzy performs on stage supporting Guns N' Roses at O2 Arena on May 31, 2012
(Image credit: Neil Lupin / Redferns / Getty)

Damon Johnson was born to rock. He grew up in Georgia and eventually moved to Alabama, idolizing the likes of Eddie Van Halen and even crafting his own Eddie-like Floyd Rose-equipped super Strat – before returning to his Gibson Les Paul roots.

“I guess I’m boring when it comes to gear – I just need a Les Paul,” Johnson says. “But with my band Brother Cane, I’ll step on a wah pedal every once in a while. I guess I’m officially a traditionalist. I’m very happy with that.”

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.