Founded in 2012 as a "label" for the creative output of some of Thin Lizzy's remaining members, the Black Star Riders have long since developed into an independent band. Out of respect for the late singer and composer Phil Lynott, who died in 1986 as a result of his long consumption of alcohol and drugs, no new albums were released under his old name. Singer Ricky Warwick, the only remaining founding member besides guitarist Scott Gorham, sits in the cloakroom corner and considers whether he should drink to Gorham's 70th birthday. Not an easy decision, since spiritual drinks played an all too inglorious role in his former life.
The 53-year-old, who joined Thin Lizzy in 2009 and had previously made a name for himself with The Almighty in addition to solo albums and short assignments with New Model Army and the Stiff Little Fingers, is the creative head of the group. Bandleader Scott Gorham, however, reserves the final quality control, although he himself contributes rather little to the songwriting. But Gorham is no one who acts like a boss, rather a buddy type, as the author of these lines himself could experience. In an interview the guitarist talks about the development of the Black Star Riders.
eclipsed: Still on tour at 70 - would you have thought that in the 1980s?
Scott Gorham: I would never have thought it possible that I would even turn 70. Phil [Lynott] and I had Lizzy dissolved especially to get off the drugs. As everyone knows, Phil didn't get it. I got stuck with wine, a good compromise when you're on tour, and fortunately not as destructive as cocaine and heroin.
eclipsed: You also got stuck with the Black Star Riders. Four studio albums in seven years.
Gorham: We don't fill big halls and we're not the headliner at big festivals, but it's fun to play live. Above all we can only play a minimum of Lizzy material [usually "Jailbreak", "The Boys Are Back In Town" and "Whiskey In The Jar"] and Black Star Riders songs.
eclipsed: And this without the audience being angry.
Gorham: (laughs) I was just the sidekick guitarist next to all the star guitarists, that's fine. [From 1974 Gorham played with Thin Lizzy alongside guitarists such as Gary Moore, Snowy White, John Sykes and Brian Robertson.] Of course, Lizzy's part of my DNA.