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  INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT GORHAM OF BLACK STAR RIDERS/THIN LIZZY

Tony Conley

tony conley

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scott gorham

"I think we kind of have a point to prove here. We want to get away from the twelve day thing, just to see what we can do given the chance to go in and make a proper album - the way we were used to making albums, right?"
Scott Gorham on recording the next Black Star Riders album in the Fall with Def Leppard's Joe Elliott

At a very young 63-years-old, Scott Gorham still has things to prove. While many of his contemporaries have decided to pack in making records, and doing anything but greatest hits shows on the road, this California native is in for all intents and purposes new band, writing songs for a new album, and touring America under a brand new banner.

Black Star Riders used to be called Thin Lizzy, before they decided not to record new music without founder Phil Lynott. When they decided to become their own entity, veteran Lizzy members Brian Downey and Darren Wharton took their pensions, and the band took their songs to the West Coast of California to record their first long player under the guidance of producer Kevin Shirley.

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While the album, 'All Hell Breaks Loose', turned out great, the band was less than thrilled with Shirley's production line, one song a day tactics. This year, the band is headlining shows for the first time, and they're busy writing what will be their second record, which will be recorded in Dublin, Ireland by longtime friend of the band, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott.

I caught up with Gorham in the banquet hall of a luxury hotel before the band's show in Sacramento, California, and we had a great chat - some of it won't be printed given to its irrelevance (who really wants to know about my skills as a new father, and my talents at changing diapers?), and some can't be printed to avoid embarrassing anyone (sure, we talk some shit, but we're gentlemen, we don't print it).

The point is that Gorham never mails it in - he answered every query with great interest, energy, and charm. Like I said, he still feels he has something to prove, and he left no doubt later that night as his band electrified the audience, and left no one wondering as to who were the Black Star Riders.

It was especially worth noting that I stood almost directly in front of Gorham at the show, and when he made a point with his playing, or something someone in the band did that proved a point he had made earlier, he'd give me a glance that said both, "See?" and "Did you get that - that's what I was talking about?" His hard work, efforts, and his striving to still up his game at 63 are inspiring.

Scott Gorham: "We're just trying our wings out here in America to see how the Black Star Riders name goes down.

"That's why you come out here and do these things. You know, we don't expect huge crowds right now, because people can't associate the Black Star Riders name with anything yet, so you have to get out there, and take some hard knocks, it's a big country. You get as much out of it as you can in this six week period. We're hitting a lot of cities - in five days we jump over to Japan! We have a few shows over there, and from there we'll be hitting the East Coast."

I asked what if any difference he had observed in fan reaction since the change of names from Thin Lizzy to BSR:

Scott Gorham: "The only size is the actual size of the audience! And that's what I'm talking about, you know? As far as the reaction? No. The people who know who we are and where we come from, the whole Thin Lizzy thing - they expect us to play the Thin Lizzy songs.

"Most of the people also have the Black Star Riders album, so they've got the lyrics down, they know what parts of what songs are coming when, and all that, so everybody seems well versed.

"Now, it's just spreading the gospel as far as we can on this trip."

Going back to 'All Hell Breaks Loose', I asked the guitarist if the album would have turned out differently if it had been called a Thin Lizzy record:

Scott Gorham: "Well, maybe a little bit of the outcome of the album, because we initially started to write it thinking we were going to keep on with the name Thin Lizzy, so you're kind of racking your brains trying to keep going down that same trail.

"But amazingly, as soon as we decided that that wasn't the right thing to do, it started to open up a bit. The writing style became a bit different after that, because you could do that, where if we kept the Lizzy name, you'd always be thinking about, 'Well, what are people going to expect to hear from us.' This way, it's like we don't think anybody's going to expect anything after this point."

'All Hell Breaks Loose' was an auspicious debut album - it carried the Lizzy flag, but it also went well beyond the legend and into the territory of one very interesting new hard rock band. Frontman Ricky Warwick, and guitarist Damon Johnson contributed heavily to the album's writing, and I asked Gorham if by not using the Thin Lizzy name, the pressure on them, as well as on himself may not have been lessened:

Scott Gorham: "Oh yeah, obviously!

"I think it took a lot of pressure off all of us, really. The main reason we changed the name was, myself in particular, I was feeling uncomfortable with recording under the name Thin Lizzy without Phil. Everything that was recorded under the name of Thin Lizzy - Phil had always been there, so to do it again without Phil just wasn't sitting right, particularly with me.

"So yeah, I think pressure-wise, it took quite a bit of a load off Ricky, although he loves to sing the Lizzy songs - he just loves doing those."

Following in the footsteps of Phil Lynott is at the very minimum a very daunting task, but Ricky Warwick happens to be one of rock's finest writers, and he certainly made his bones on the band's debut:

Scott Gorham: "Absolutely!

"When you read into Ricky's lyrics, he's just a kick-ass lyricist. What's strange is when I got out there, and I asked Ricky to join the band as the frontman, nobody got that!

"Nobody understood, because where he had come from, and the other bands he had been in. But I had been in the studio with Ricky a couple of years before that, on his first solo album. I was up front and personal with what he was doing, and how he had evolved - what he was writing about, and his writing style. And it so fit with what we were doing with the sort of Lizzy campaign that it was a real easy mix.

"So, I knew before anybody else what kind of guy Ricky Warwick was, and what he could actually do with a song."

Gorham is no stranger to criticism when it comes to managing and maintaining the legacy of one of rock's greatest bands (Why the hell aren't Thin Lizzy in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?). In fact, he had been through it when he had decided to replace John Sykes after the mercurial guitarist resigned his post in 2009. However, he again beat the rock 'n' roll odds, and in lieu of going for the easy, sleazy money, Gorham did as he has always done and he proceeded to fill the band with top shelf talent - one thing that can, and should be said is that there has never been a version of Thin Lizzy that Lynott would have disapproved, and that is all to the guitarist's credit:

Scott Gorham: "Well, when John Sykes left, I knew that a lot of people were saying that the whole thing was getting too Metal, and I had to agree with that - so really, the split there wasn't too wrenching at all. It was just, 'Do I want to keep going with this, or if I don't, where do I go? The third question was, 'How long is this going to take me to put this all back together, to glue all the pieces back together?' Getting the right people involved.

"That, to me, was probably more daunting than anything - how long does it take to get the right people, and where are all these right people? Because I wanted to get it absolutely right this time.

"The funny thing? When I did get this together with Ricky and ultimately, Damon - the percentage of those critical people shrunk down so small that it was almost negligible. Someone would come on the Facebook page, make a complaint, and twenty people would jump on them and shred them a new ass.

"You could actually see the tide turning. People wanted to hear those songs, they did not want to see this thing go away, which was really gratifying for me."

True enough - I first saw Thin Lizzy in 1978, and I have never lost the desire to see the songs performed live - the world didn't want Phil Lynott to go away, and should not be punished by his songs somehow becoming sacrosanct. And the world seems to agree with this point - intact, with the advent of YouTube and Facebook, it would seem that the band's popularity has only grown over time:

Scott Gorham: "Well, to be honest, I was always of the mind that when we broke the band up the first time in 1983, I figured, 'Well, they'll play the albums, or the singles on the radio for X amount of time, they'll write about it in the magazines and papers for X amount of time. Then, in the natural order of things it will disappear, and then every once in a while a disc jockey will pull out an album and blow the dust off of it, and play a couple of tracks, but it never happened that way.

"It's almost like it never went away at all! I was pretty surprised by that - I was amazed by that. So, I have to admit that putting it back together was pretty daunting. You just don't know what reactions are going to be."

I offered my view that it had always been well received because Gorham had always done it right:

Scott Gorham: "The big reason for this is because the people that have always been in the band are name people, who, like yourself, grew up with Thin Lizzy and were huge fans. And now, all of a sudden they're in the band - kind of living the dream that they always had. I find that amazing.

"It's like a criteria for me - if you weren't really a fan, and a great player at the same time, well, I'm going to move on to the next guy. Because I do feel that it is a responsibility to present this thing in the right way, or don't do it at all."

Since reforming the band in 2009, a virtual who's who of hired guns have filled the shoes of Thin Lizzy guitarist, stage right. First it was Vivian Campbell, then Guns 'N' Roses veteran Richard Fortus, and finally a permanent member was found in Damon Johnson of Alice Cooper's band. The thing all these great players share is that when it came to Thin Lizzy, they were all always true to the parts and the hearts of the classic Lizzy catalogue:

Scott Gorham: "Yeah, I think a big part of that is that they grew up with the songs, they played them for probably most of their lives, so when they get to the stage as a member of Thin Lizzy, it just becomes natural for them. It's kind of in their blood, which is really cool! It sure makes my job a hell of a lot easier, hahaha!

"Even the question of how do you figure out who's going to take what solo? That part of being in this things was probably the easiest.

"When you write the song, the song kind of dictates who's going to take the solos, right? And, I don't think there has ever been a version of Thin Lizzy where people were fighting over a solo bit. There's plenty to go around - it's why it's so cool to be in this band, it's such a guitar based thing. It's just not a big deal."

The band is going back into the recording studio in October to lay down their second long player - this time around they are going with Joe Elliott as their producer, after recording their debut with renowned boardsman Kevin Shirley. I asked about the experience of recording with Shirley, and why they decided to make a change this go around:

Scott Gorham: "Recording with Kevin was good!

"Kevin is a great record producer - the only thing that kind of threw me for a loop was to do it all in twelve days. I wasn't expecting that. I had never done an album like that before. It was fun, it was different, but we won't do one like that again.

"This time, Joe Elliott from Def Leppard, and their engineer (longtime Leppard sound guru, Rohan McHugh). They came to us - they knew we were doing a second album, and they pitched for the job. I've known Joe now for over 35 years, we're great friends. So, it'll be kind of like taking this little family/community thing over to Dublin - to make the bitchingest album we possibly can."

Elliott had previously worked with Gorham on the Thin Lizzy re-mix, remastering project - I asked about that experience:

Scott Gorham: "That was fun!

"If it hadn't been for Joe, I would have gone a lot crazier! Let's do this, let's put on more overdubs, this is what I always wanted to do - and Joe's going, 'No, no, no, let's keep it more to the original'. Because my idea was to experiment with the songs, just to see what would happen if we went fucking nuts on the whole thing. Maybe not completely nuts, but to throw a lot of things on it - you know, back then it was pretty basic production, what we had originally. I just wanted to ramp it up a bit. In the end, I like what we came out with.

"It was a lot more solid, we got a few more parts into the songs that weren't there the first time around. The production is a lot better."

One question I had to ask, simply because I had never heard the story told,, was the genesis of the arrangement of one of rock's greatest anthems, 'The Boys Are Back In Town'. Scott answered this graciously, almost as if he hadn't been asked about it a thousand times previously:

Scott Gorham: "It really started out to be about a guy coming home from the war. The original working title was 'G.I. Joe', which is kind of a crap title, right?

"But it wasn't long after that that Phil came up with the basic chord structure. He'd say, 'We need some sort of guitar part here.'We'd go, 'Guitar bit, what does that even mean?' Well, that became (Gorham sings the famous guitar figure).

"Brian Downey then put his drum groove down, and it became more this kind of shuffle deal. Robertson came up with a really basic two note guitar part, then I came in and said, 'Why don't we make it a more rolling thing (sings the final part).

"It was just one of those songs - it wasn't written instantly, it just sort of evolved. In the end, I said, 'Let's just keep stepping it up, until it reaches a crescendo sort of thing'.

"Phil had a total re-think of the lyrics at some point. He didn't want it to be an anti-war song, or about a guy coming home from the war. Now, it was about just a gang of guys going out on a Saturday night, fucking chicks, getting drunk, fighting, the whole deal. He turned it into more of a party song.

"I'll tell ya, I had one guy in Germany - he had based his whole interview on this one song, 'The Boys Are Back In Town'.

"He said, 'I know exactly what Phil was thinking on this song - this was an IRA song.' I went, 'No, no, no, this has nothing to do with the IRA, it's just a party song, you know, Saturday night'. After that, he had nothing - he was going to base the whole interview on how he had cracked the code, hahaha!"

Going back to the topic of Ireland, I asked what he expects out of going to Dublin to record the new album:

Scott Gorham: "This time around, instead of twelve days, we'll probably spend around three and a half weeks in the studio.

"Also, we'll be going into rehearsals for 7-10 days, working out guitar parts, harmonies, the drum parts. I felt bad for Jimmy DeGrasso on the last one because there's a couple of songs he was hearing for the first time in the studio, so he's trying to work out his drum breaks with no memory of the song - he's working it out on the spot.

"A lot of people think of Jimmy DeGrasso as Megadeth - and I did, too!

"Jimmy is the one guy in the band who I didn't hand pick myself. All the other guys picked him. When Brian Downey said he didn't want to go out and do a new project, everybody else said, 'You've gotta get Jimmy DeGrasso'. So, there's no way I could say fuck that, and besides, I didn't even know the guy.

"But because I trusted these guys so much now, this guy Jimmy DeGrasso, he's in the band, right? And the first time that I heard him, and that he could do all the Lizzy songs, and how he played them.... Once again - Jimmy was a huge fan of Thin Lizzy, and he keeps trying to get us to do these really deep cuts off the Lizzy albums. Jimmy - I love ya, buddy, but we can't go that deep because nobody's heard these songs!

"But that just goes to show you how into it Jimmy DeGrasso is. He can play all the swing beats, the shuffles, and all that stuff - and when it's time to get really hard, like on 'Bad Reputation', the fucking guy just lets it rip. He's amazing - a really great drummer!

"So when we were doing the record, Joe Bonamassa was going in next after us, and he was doing his record in four days! It's like, what the fuck? I guess a guy like Joe can do that. I guess he's got everything so worked out in his head. The guy is a fucking great player, I love that guy."

Another relative newcomer to the band is guitarist Damon Johnson. The tale of how he came to the band and what he's contributed is a sterling example of what everyone in the band brings to this gig:

Scott Gorham: "When Damon got in the band, and it felt like a permanent thing, that's when I started taking it seriously, 'Yeah, we should really record a new album, because there's so many great writers in the band at this point, and what a shame it would be to not do a new record at this point'.

"The idea of doing an album hard been bantered around for a few years now, right? And it really was a fan driven, press driven thing - every interview I did it was always in the three top questions. 'When are you going to write new material and record a new album?'

"I'd always just go, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're working on it, we've got new songs,' and we really didn't. I was just trying to keep the question at bay. I was still having a problem with doing that as Thin Lizzy.

"So yeah, it was when Damon got in the band that we became serious about doing a new album.

"We were doing a few shows with Alice Cooper, we had Alice out on the golf course, and Damon came out with him. He was so shy, I don't think he said ten words to me, but I remember at a couple of shows I had mentioned that Richard (Fortus), he's got a day job (as a guitarist for Guns 'N'Roses), and he's going to have to be going back to that, and we're going to be looking for another guitar player. I said, 'If you could throw me out a couple of suggestions,' and of course, Damon's going, 'What the fuck, I'm right here!'

"He didn't say that, but you could see that he was thinking that - 'How do I say, I'm the next guy?'"

"So, I think he talked it over with his wife, and she told him, 'You know you want to do this, you gotta go do this.' So, he threw his name into the hat, big time - I'm going, 'Well, this is fucking great!'

"I actually tried to talk him out of it. I said, 'Damon, you're sitting here with this kick-ass job - you're playing guitar with Cooper, and the guy does 300 fucking shows a year, you're making a great living, why would you want to give that up?'

"'Because I always wanted to be in Thin Lizzy.' Well, I got no answer for that. You understand what I was trying to do for him, right? I don't want to be responsible for screwing up his life. I said, 'Tell ya what - talk to your wife about it, and get back to management tomorrow and let us know what you want to do. One hour later, it's like, 'I'm in.'"

Since reforming Thin Lizzy in 2009, Gorham has had the fortune/misfortune of having had three great guitarists move through the band - first there was Vivian Campbell, followed by Richard Fortus, both of whom had regular gigs that would eventually force their returns and end their tenure in Lizzy. Damon Johnson quit his day gig to take the job, and ended the rotating doors, and he's another great foil for Gorham, who in addition to writing some of the most memorable guitar parts and songs in rock history is also one of the finest practitioners of the art of rhythm guitar playing:

Scott Gorham: "Man, I love playing rhythm guitar! I love laying it down behind somebody, and then having them lay it down behind me.

"It's gotta be there - with any band, it's gotta be there. You've got to hold up the other guy, you've got to hold up your end while he's doing the top end thing. You've got to keep it full the whole time."

Holding it all together is a long and treasured tradition in Thin Lizzy, going back to the underrated bass playing of the late Phil Lynott:

Scott Gorham: "Oh, absolutely! He used to tell everybody he was crap.

"But I know for a fact how hard he worked at it. He would meticulously pick out the notes he was going to play on any particular song. He would work that out like you wouldn't believe. Yeah, he may not have been like a Billy Sheehan, or a Marco Mendoza, there was no bass soloing going on, but man - when he laid it down, he fucking laid it down.

"He had a big, deep tone, we used to call him the King of the One Noters. Every once in a while, he'd stop playing to work on getting the crowd going, and the whole bottom would fall out. 'Phil, don't stop fucking playing!'"

Getting back to the recording of a new Black Star Riders record, at a time when many of Gorham's contemporaries have thrown in the towel on new recordings - many are now saying it doesn't make sense to make records:

Scott Gorham: "You know, I've been saying that for a long time!

"But this thing was going to happen, right? With everybody wanting free music - all you're doing is pulling money out of your own pocket to make these albums, and you're never going to get paid back for it.

"Yeah, you can go on the road, and make your money that way, but unless your king of 'up there,' you're not going to be making your money back because everything isa so expensive on the road. So I can see why there are guys out there going, 'Uncle! I give up, this is bullshit.'

"I think we kind of have a point to prove here. We want to get away from the twelve day thing, just to see what we can do given the chance to go in and make a proper album - the way we were used to making albums, right?

"Ricky has lyrics for days - he always does, on any given subject. He's kind of a phenom that way. You'll write a riff, and he'll go, 'I've got a lyric for that!' Really? Already? He's great that way.

"Damon's always got something cooking back there, and I've got a fair few things that I've been working on for the last few months. Riffs, chord patterns, and all of that - so yeah, we'll be ready by the time we get in there."

I thought we'd wrap things up by talking about guitarists and guitar gear, so I asked Scott to extemporize on some of the legendary guitarists he partnered with in the earlier iterations of Thin Lizzy, starting with Gary Moore:

Scott Gorham: "Gary was an amazing player! Kickin'!

"But, there was appoint where you realized that he didn't want to be in anybody's band. He found that too constricting, he wanted to be The Lone Ranger. Not to say that he was a selfish guy, but you just knew that was going to happen.

"He was good enough to pull that off - he had different ideas of how things should go, and sound. He wanted to sing. Whenever there was a background thing, he'd be the first one up to the microphone. So, there were a lot of things that Gary wanted that he wasn't going to get out of Thin Lizzy.

"I think that's the main reason he left - well, it is a reason why he quit! I think the other reason was that Phil and I were doing so many fucking drugs that he couldn't take it, haha!"

Without question, the guitarist who served in the band for their greatest successes, and is perhaps a member of what must be called the classic Lizzy lineup was Brian Robertson:

Scott Gorham: "Robbo. I've always loved Robbo.

"He is his own worst enemy. He always will be until the day he dies, he will be his own worst enemy. But he was the guy who made me realize that I had to step up my fucking game here - if I'm going to last at all, I had to step it up.

"When I met Robbo, he was 18 years old, and he was a fucking great guitar player at that point. I had so many laughs with Robbo in the first three years. When you're crying, your face hurts, and your stomach is killing you because you're laughing so hard. And, we played some kick ass gigs together - where you walk out and go, 'Fuck man, that was amazing!

"I was always trying to keep Brian in the band, and Phil was always trying to kick him out. I was always the mediator. The last example was on 'Bad Reputation'. It was Phil, and I, and Brian Downey - Robbo was out of the band, Phil had said, 'Fuck it, we don't need another guitar player, we'll just do the thing ourselves.'

"But, I knew in the back of my head, 'Sure, we can do this album, but we've got to go out on the road, and this is a two guitar band. We've got 4, or 5 other albums that we've got to play onstage, and there's a shitload of harmonies. 'Phil, this is a two guitar band.' Phil, 'Yeah, we'll get someone else in....'

"But, you know, I was always a big believer in the magic circle - once you broke the magic circle, the whole thing was broken, right?

"Finally, I talked Phil into it - I said, 'Listen, there are two tracks here with no lead guitar,' I'd done that on purpose. I had done all the harmonies, did all the rest of the stuff, but purposefully left two tracks open. I said, 'Phil, these are perfect for Brian - he's going to kick ass on these, we'll get him over here, and he'll take it from there.' Phil said, 'Alright, but it's your fucking fault if it doesn't work!'

"So we few Brian over, and I took him off to the side, and said, 'Brian, just keep your fucking mouth shut, and don't say anything to anybody.' He just grumbled, hahaha!

"And he did it. With each track, I think the most he took was two takes. Stormed back into the control room, and just sat there. And that didn't last long.

"He did something else and fucked it up all over again. He got in a fight in a club. Some guy smashed a bottle on his hand, and that was it - 'You're done.'

"You know, we're going out on this world tour, and you go and do that - 'Fuck you, you're out of here forever.' And that's when Gary came in as a permanent guy, and we went on to do the 'Black Rose' album. But like I said, I was always trying to keep the guy in the band!"

Finally, I asked about the last co-guitarist in the Phil Lynott era, and later the band's frontman, John Sykes. I mention to Gorham that I've talked to at least two of Sykes past band mates in the last year who have told me that they've worked on tracks with Sykes in recent times, but they don't have much faith that the tracks will ever see the light of day (a great shame, as Sykes is almost missed on the hard rock guitar scene as much as Blackmore):

Scott Gorham: "Well, I don't know what goes through John's head - I didn't really know him very well. "When we were in Lizzy, it didn't last very long. I know it sounds kind of weird, but it was only one European tour, and a trip to Japan - I don't even think we got to America with John, did we?

"Everybody was too fucked up at that point, we already knew the band was breaking up - that was the farewell tour. I'm not sure if John even knew that - he must have, though. So, I was in too much pain, and too fucked up in my own world, and so was Phil. I was glad to have him in there at that point to prop my ass up. It was good to have that kind of guy with all that talent over there - 'Go ahead, take all the load you want - do whatever you want, I'm good with that."

Scott had mentioned being in pain, so I asked about his back condition, and his use of Gibson's Axxess Les Pauls:

Scott Gorham: "I finally found out that it's a thing I was born with - the first four vertebrae, I don't have any pads between them!

"Gibson did a really great thing, they chambered my guitars for me so that they are a lot lighter, and it's funny - I was just talking with Billy Gibbons about this, and he said, 'Yeah, I got the same thing, bad back, so they chamber mine, too!

"However, there's one guy who still likes them like cement sacks, and I really admire him, but I could not believe how heavy all of his guitars were, and that's Zakk Wylde! They're like lead guitars. Zakk will not make his life easy, but he plays the shit out of them!"

Almost a big a change to Gorham's musical surroundings is the presence of Engl Amplifiers where for many decades Marshalls had sat:

Scott Gorham: "We were playing some shows with Deep Purple a few years back, and my guitar tech got seriously ill, and we were in a panic to get a guy over to my side, and this little Italian guy came highly recommended - so, there we were at Wembley Arena, it's completely sold out, we're doing soundcheck, and I have four Marshall heads - all customized, but somehow the guy fucked up the voltage on everything, and bam! All four heads go down, right in order.

"Now, the guy who does Steve Morse's guitars is named Michael Berger, and he's the Engl rep! For three weeks he's been trying to get me to try these Engl Amps. I kept saying, 'No, I've been with Marshall for 35 years, right?

"So here's his chance - he sees all my amps are fried, and he goes, 'Shall I?' And I go, 'Yeah.'

"Hahaha, we've got 45 minutes before we go on, so he plugs me in, goes, tweak, tweak, tweak, and I hit a chord and went, 'Shit!' It was instant. So, I played a few lead things, some harmonies, and it worked out. The little Italian guy says, 'Hey, I got your amps back up,' and I said, 'Nah, I'll try these tonight.'

"For me, that was a really brave thing to be playing in front of 14,000 people with a new rig, but I liked the sound, and I liked what it was giving me instantly. I became an Engl guy right on the spot. And Michael Berger knew it, he knew this was going to happen!"

Scott and I chatted for another fifteen minutes, but it was all about point and shoot cameras (he was taken by my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 that I use to record interviews, a fab piece of gear), the plights of my recent introduction to fatherhood, and a funny story about a band who hired a guitarist, only to find that the new hire had to be taught the songs by their replacement, who had to be flown in to do so at considerable cost. In short what I could talk about isn't interesting, and what is interesting is something that should remain private.

Like I said way back at the top somewhere, Gorham never mails it in - I mentioned this interview to a pal who has been writing about the guitar business almost for as long as I've been reading about it, and my friend implied that Gorham's charm was less than sincere, and to take all he said with a grain of salt.

I found almost the opposite to be true - sure, Scott's done this a million times before, and he probability didn't lose any sleep due to excitement over our chat, but he was the consummate professional, he was charming and engaging, and he handled our talk much like he did the gig later that night.

He approached it like he still had something to prove, and as a fan of the man for close to forty years, I'm damned glad I wasn't too jaded to see that he's proving it - the man is a certified legend, and he's far from through.


10.6.14





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majesty MAJESTY ANNOUNCE 'GENERATION STEEL' NEW ALBUM AND EUROPEAN TOUR
"We are more than proud of the new record and can't wait to also present these songs live on stage..."

kiss GENE SIMMONS OF KISS SAYS POOR PEOPLE OWE HIM AND WE SHOULD ALL BE NICE TO RICH PEOPLE
"I don't remember the last poor person who gave me a job..."

induction MARTIN BECK'S INDUCTION REVEAL COVER FOR UPCOMING SINGLE
The single. 'Far Beyond The Horizon' is out on February 16th and features some special guests...

cadillac three THE CADILLAC THREE ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE DATES AND GRAMMY NOMINATION
"The UK has become like a second home to us over the past year or so, and we can't wait to come back! We've been working hard on new music for y'all..."

bonafide BONAFIDE ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN AND UK TOUR FOR FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015
With their new studio album 'Denim Devils', the Swedes are set for a spring and summer on the road...

toseland THREE MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM TOSELAND
A new EP, A UK tour and a world record attempt - Toseland is starting 2015 with a bang...

attila ATTILA PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'HATE ME'
In this hilarious and unforgettable video clip, Attila trade their microphones and instruments for handcuffs, nightsticks, and cop uniforms...

if all else fails ROCK STARS DEDICATE GET WELL SOON VIDEO TO MONTROSE MUSICIAN
A host of British and American Metal stars combine to wish their comrade Lewis Paton a speedy recovery...

black sabbath BREAKING NEWS: GEEZER BUTLER OF BLACK SABBATH ARRESTED IN AMERICA AFTER BAR BRAWL
He has since been released "after detox and citation," the Inyo County Sheriff's Department said in a press release...

download festival ANOTHER BATCH OF BANDS ADDED TO DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL BILL INCLUDING THUNDER AND EVIL SCARECROW
This year's Download Festival line-up is shaping up nicely with another 24 new acts added to the bill...

steak number eight STEAK NUMBER EIGHT TO EMBARK ON EUROPEAN TOUR WITH PRONG AND HARK
Belgium's post/sludge Metal act Steak Number Eight have announced the dates of their 2015 European tour...

beth hart BETH HART TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'BETTER THAN HOME' ON 13TH APRIL 2015
Some artists choose to sing the blues and some artists find that they have to live them as well...

asomvel ASOMVEL ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR MARCH 2015
With the new line-up powering the band to bigger heights, Asomvel are heading out on tour...

dr living dead DR. LIVING DEAD! LAUNCH BRAND NEW VIDEO
'TEAMxDEADx' is an example of the quality Thrash Metal displayed on the upcoming third album...

mabel greers toyshop MABEL GREER'S TOYSHOP RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOOTAGE FOR 'ELECTRIC FUNERAL'
The band which grew into Yes have reunited and will release a new album in March...

paradise lost PARADISE LOST ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE AND RELEASE DATE
"We have written a very dark, yet melodic album, but this time many songs definitely have a death Metal edge, which is something we haven't done for a long long time ..."

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ADD MORE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
We're really looking forward to the new Ensiferum album, 'One Man Army', here at MetalTalk...

airbourne AIRBOURNE SIGN WITH SPINEFARM RECORDS
"We're pumped up to have signed on the dotted line to the world's toughest and truest hard rock label..."

vader VADER BRING BLITZ! OVER EUROPE TOUR TO THE UK AND IRELAND IN MARCH
"We come together with our dudes from Hate. We can't wait to bring Hellfire to you soon..."

thy art is murder THY ART IS MURDER ANNOUNCE UK SHOWS SUPPORTING EMMURE
Tickets are on sale now for what promises to be the heaviest tour of the year...

horror holocaust CROSSOVER DEATH SUPERGROUP DENIAL FIEND RE-ISSUE 'HORROR HOLOCAUST' ON VINYL AND IN EUROPE FOR THE FIRST TIME
Ten tales of blood curdling horror that are anvil heavy thrashing death...

wacken EUROPE AND DREAM THEATER ANNOUNCED FOR WACKEN
The sold out legendary German festival announces more details of the mouth-watering bill...

camden rocks CAMDEN ROCKS 2015 ANNOUNCE THE FIRST ACTS
The bands include Trail of Dead, Funeral For a Friend, Heavens Basement, The Dictators, Black Spiders and more...

all that remains ALL THAT REMAINS LAUNCH #thisprobablywontendwell PICTURE COMPETITION
This unique competition marks the release of new studio album 'The Order Of Things' out on Feb 23rd...

blues pills BLUES PILLS ANNOUNCE SPECIAL & LIMITED LIVE ALBUM
"It felt like all the puzzle pieces came together up until one moment, this experience at Freak Valley festival..."

giants of rock EXCLUSIVE: MINEHEAD GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL STAGE TIMES ANNOUNCED
Following on from last year's highly successful inaugural event, this year boasts a diverse range of classic rock acts...

titanfest TITANFEST ANNOUNCED FOR MAY IN LONDON - FIRST BANDS REVEALED
Titanfest now sees some of the most respected and time-hardened Metal musicians working side by side with the next generation of the emerging UK Metal scene...

joe lynn turner JOE LYNN TURNER ANNOUNCES UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND DATES THIS SPRING
Legendary rock and roll singer Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow and Deep Purple fame is pleased to confirm details of his intimate acoustic 'An Evening With...' tour...

wildfire festival EXCLUSIVE: WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES FIFTY BAND LINE-UP
Wildfire is known for bringing the best in Scottish talent to Wiston Lodge, and there is one name everyone at Wildfire HQ agreed should be on the bill...

kiss KISS GET ANIMATED IN COLLABORATION WITH J-POP IDOLS MOMOIRO CLOVER Z!
Just when you thought the Metal world had gone insane enough with Babymetal...

joe lynn turner JOE LYNN TURNER TO PLAY UK FESTIVAL DATES AT... 80s REWIND FESTS!
With shoulder pads at the ready, Joe Lynn Turner has been announced to perform at Rewind Scotland and again a month later at Rewind Festival South...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO FIFTH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL EVENTS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will include a public memorial service, a celebrity bowling tournament and the inaugural Ride For Ronnie motorcycle ride and BBQ...

von hertzen brothers VON HERTZEN BROTHERS TO RELEASE SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM, NEW DAY RISING, ON MARCH 23RD
"I've never been prouder of anything we've done. Together we raised the bar to a whole new level..."

amorettes THE AMORETTES LINE UP EXCLUSIVE NORTHERN IRELAND SHOW
See The Amorettes at the Diamond Rock Club in February, before they go on tour opening for Black Star Riders and Europe...

walkway WALKWAY RELEASE SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR 'STREETWISE'
The single is the first release from their second studio album. Walkway will support Status Quo in June 2015...

motley crue MOTLEY CRUE REVEAL DATE OF FINAL SHOW AND FINAL TOUR LAST LEG DETAILS: NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO OUT NOW
Motley Crue are also in the process of putting together the ultimate collector's album package...

art of anarchy PRESENTING ART OF ANARCHY FEATURING SCOTT WEILAND, BUMBLEFOOT, JOHN MOYER OF DISTURBED AND JON AND VINCE VOTTA
Poised to become one of the biggest new bands of 2015, Art Of Anarchy is redefining the rock supergroup...

jettblack JETTBLACK RETURN WITH A BRAND NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
Jettblack get serious in 2015, kicking things off with a headline tour and new single in February...

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS FANS PERFORM PUBLIC SEX ACT LIVE ON STAGE
"This was something definitely different to see at a punk concert..."

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW'S MISSING TRACK FINALLY RELEASED! A MESSAGE FROM DR HELL!
Evil Scarecrow have just released a new, old version of 'Robototron', which they feel is the definitive version of their most popular track...

eddie and the hot rods BREAKING NEWS: ORIGINAL EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS LINE-UP REFORM FOR 40th ANNIVERSARY
This will be the first time all original members have played a full show together for over thirty years...

carthagods CARTHAGODS TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDING TIM "RIPPER" OWENS, RON THAL AND MARK JANSEN
"It's been a long time that we look for this occasion to finally satisfy our fans..."

paddy goes to holyhead EXCLUSIVE: PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ANNOUNCE FINAL CONCERT FOR ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
Sadly it's the end of an era as Paddy Goes To Holyhead have announced that they are to play their final gig...

grateful dead BREAKING NEWS: GRATEFUL DEAD TO RE-UNITE FOR 50th ANNIVERSARY FAREWELL CONCERTS
The reunion, billed "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead", will feature the band's surviving members...

nazareth BREAKING NEWS: VOCALIST LINTON OSBOURNE LEAVES NAZARETH
"I am no longer a member of Nazareth. It didn't work out, for me, or for the band..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH LAUNCH NEW SONG 'HOW THE YEARS CONDEMN' ONLINE
"Lyrically it's a departure from the rest of the new album as it's self-reflective... We are not invincible - Nor are we indestructible. There are choices - points of return..."

lordi LORDI ANNOUNCE UK DATES FOR TOUR FORCE ONE
Lordi bring 'Scare Force One' to the UK for ten dates in the Spring...

nightwish NIGHTWISH REVEAL TRACKLIST & FORMATS OF 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL'
The new studio album, released on 30th March, is available in several tasty formats...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN LEADER STEVE HARRIS' MANSION BACK ON THE MARKET AT KNOCKDOWN PRICE
The mansion boasts its own pub called the Horse and Cart as well as an indoor swimming pool...

pete way EXCLUSIVE: ALL PARTIES IN BATTLE BETWEEN FIN MUIR AND PETE WAY OF WAYSTED GIVE A RESPONSE
"I can confirm that this appalling defamation is completely without foundation..."

death angel DEATH ANGEL ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE SHOW AND DATES WITH QUEENSRYCHE AND ARMORED SAINT
Los Angeles Heavy Metal legends Armored Saint will join both acts for a special London show at the Electric Ballroom...

udo dirkschneider U.D.O. TO PLAY ENGLAND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DONKEY'S YEARS
Germany's favourite rock god Udo Dirkschneider has announced three exclusive shows for the UK...

california breed CALIFORNIA BREED HAS GONE THE WAY OF BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION
After a great first album, the departure of a superstar drummer, and very little touring, California Breed is extinct...

kamelot KAMELOT SIGNS TO NAPALM RECORDS; NEW ALBUM AND TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
In support of this highly anticipated release, Kamelot will hit the road for select UK shows, followed by a massive North America Tour...

the gentle storm ARJEN LUCASSEN AND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN'S NEW BAND THE GENTLE STORM REVEAL TOUR DATES AND ALBUM DETAILS
"We'll perform some Ayreon classics together and premiere a couple of songs that will be on our upcoming album..."

jimmy page JIMMY PAGE IN FIGHT WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS OVER HOUSE RENOVATION
The pair are neighbours and have fallen out over Williams' plans to revamp his multi-million pound mansion...

ac dc AC/DC CONFIRMED FOR GRAMMY'S BUT WHO WILL FILL THE DRUM STOOL? HERE'S THE CONTENDERS...
Mark Taylor lays down the betting odds of who exactly will be filling the drum stool on AC/DC's upcoming World Tour...

hard rock hell SAXON ANNOUNCED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9 WITH ROCK GODDESS, PIG IRON AND MORE
Hard Rock Hell, aptly titled 'House of Horrors', are pleased to welcome Heavy Metal Titans Saxon back into their realm...

dark funeral DARK FUNERAL TO RELEASE 7INCH & DIGITAL SINGLE 'NAIL THEM TO THE CROSS' IN FEBRUARY
The single is available as a hand-numbered 7inch limited edition of which 500 copies are on black vinyl and 500 on blue vinyl...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ TO RELEASE BRAND NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM ON MARCH 9th VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
Santa Cruz will also play five UK dates as main support to Amaranthe...

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG TO HEADLINE GARAGE DAYZ RE-VISITED ALL DAYER IN LONDON
A mouth watering bill not only from bands that were a huge influence to bands like Metallica and Megadeth....

truffle TRUFFLE TO PLAY SPECIAL SOUTH COAST GIG WITH SIEGE, TOLEDO STEEL AND KODIAK JACK
Tickets are priced at only $7.50 for a night that promises to be full of faces from the area past and present....

weapon WEAPON (UK) TO PLAY EURO TOUR WARM UP LONDON GIG AT 1980s TICKET PRICE
"To celebrate the past 35 years, introduce our new drummer Darren Lee, warm up for our European dates and more importantly to thank YOU for your support..."

ensiferum ENSIFERUM UNLEASH TWO NEW VIDEOS ON EVE OF LAUNCH ON NEW ALBUM
Today Ensiferum unveils the official new video for 'One Man Army''s title track as well as an in-depth "making of" clip...

autograph AUTOGRAPH RELEASE FIRST NEW SONG IN OVER 25 YEARS
Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential...

hayseed dixie HAYSEED DIXIE REACT TO CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKS WITH NEW VIDEO AND START MASSIVE TOUR THIS WEEK
On the eve of the "Hair Down To My Grass" Tour, Hayseed Dixie release 'We're not Gonna Take It' video in tribute to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE THIS MONTH AND NEW ALBUM IN FEBRUARY
Following on from their hugely successful debut album Skarlett Riot return with the riff-packed, hood laden 'We Are The Brave'...

furyon FURYON CHANGE RELEASE DATE OF SECOND ALBUM
What's to be expected is more explosive guitar riffs and solos in well-crafted song form...

bomber music BOMBER MUSIC ARE OFFERING A NUMBER OF FREE RELEASES
The UK Punk Rock Record Label have a selection of the best underground acts for your listening pleasure...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO STUDIO ALBUM 'WOLFLIGHT' OUT ON 30TH MARCH
The ten tracks take the listener through a journey in space and time looking at the different faces of the endless fight for freedom...

adrian smith IRON MAIDEN'S ADRIAN SMITH ROCKS UP IN CHISWICK WITH DOOGIE WHITE, ANDY BARNETT AND DAVE 'BUCKET' COLWELL
MetalTalk's first Gig Of The Week for 2015 turned up two major surprises as a great night was had by all...

sabaton SABATON ANNOUNCE "SABATON OPEN AIR" WITH POWERWOLF AND CIVIL WAR
Tickets are on sale now for this special event in Germany in July...

pig iron PIG IRON ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE FOR FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM
'Sermons From The Church Of Blues Restitution' will be released worldwide via OYR on 2nd March and will be preceded by a high value four track EP...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE LONDON SHOW FOR 'ECLIPTICA OVER EUROPE TOUR 2015'
"On these shows we'll perform 'Ecliptica' in its entirety as well as assorted hits from our catalog..."

skalmold SKALMOLD UNVEIL NEW SPRING TOUR DATES WITH ELUVEITIE AND WIND ROSE
For those who didn't catch the Viking/Pagan Metallers live on tour, here's another chance...

nathan james NATHAN JAMES OF TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA IS THE NEW LEAD SINGER OF INGLORIOUS
Nathan is now looking forward to moving forward with his own band...

36 crazyfists 36 CRAZYFISTS REVEAL VIDEO FOR 'ALSO AM I'
36 Crazyfists can be seen in the UK in February on their headlining tour...

t rex TYRANNOSAURUS REX ANNOUNCE DELUXE CD & VINYL REISSUES FOR 3 ALBUMS + LIMITED EDITION 7" SINGLES
These new editions will contain substantial previously unreleased material...

tony iommi BLACK SABBATH LEGEND TONY IOMMI TELLS ALL ABOUT HIS CANCER BATTLE
"In the good old days there was cocaine everywhere. This time we had tea and coffee and health drinks..."

cradle of filth CRADLE OF FILTH PROVIDE UPDATE ON THE RECORDING OF THE LATEST ALBUM
Things are shaping up nicely for the new album wiht lots of activity in darkest Suffolk...

def con one DEF CON ONE ANNOUNCE CRUSHING HEADS TOUR
British Metallers Def Con One can be seen across the UK in 2015...

manowar MANOWAR RETURN TO BRAZIL FOR THE MONSTERS OF ROCK FESTIVAL IN SAO PAULO ON APRIL 26, 2015
"We played the Monsters Of Rock Festival in São Paulo in 1998 and I remember that during the sound-check two of my speakers on stage actually caught fire..."

saxon SAXON DRUMMER NIGEL GLOCKLER OUT OF HOSPITAL, UDO'S SON TO STAND IN ON RESCHEDULED UK DATES
A positive start to 2015 for Saxon...

randy bachman RANDY BACHMAN ANNOUNCES 'HEAVY BLUES' ALBUM WITH NEIL YOUNG, JOE BONAMASSA AND PETER FRAMPTON
"Don't do the same thing and say it's a new album... Stop, get out of the box, do something fearless, be fierce, be ferocious, reinvent yourself..."

marilyn manson MARILYN MANSON PREMIERES OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'DEEP SIX'
The first single from Manson's forthcoming album 'The Pale Emperor' was directed by surrealist artist Bart Hess...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE PACKAGE
'Live At Koko, London 2014' is on its way in February 2015, along with plenty more chances to see Uriah Heep live...

absolva ABSOLVA ANNOUNCE FIRST TOUR DATES FOR 2015
"We're very lucky to be able to add my brother Luke Appleton of Iced Earth on second guitar for these tour dates..."

dark funeral DARK FUNERAL UNLEASH NEW SONG & VIDEO 'NAIL THEM TO THE CROSS'
A new dawn rises and Dark Funeral open the gates to a new chapter of furious, intense and merciless Black Metal...

almighty THE ALMIGHTY CLASSIC EARLY ALBUMS TO BE OFFICIALY RE-LAUNCHED COMPLETE WITH EXTENSIVE BONUS CONTENT
The first two Almighty Re-issues will be made available via Spinefarm Records on February 9th 2015...

36 crazyfists 36 CRAZYFISTS ANNOUNCE FEBRUARY 2015 HEADLINE UK TOUR PLUS NEW ALBUM DETAILS REVEALED
This month-long outing aligns with the February 16th release of the group's sixth album, 'Time And Trauma'...

ac dc AC/DC ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN DATES
Tickets for AC/DC at Wembley will go on sale from 9.30am Wednesday 17th December...

eric martin ERIC MARTIN CONFIRMS RESCHEDULED UK TOUR DATES AND ADDS FOUR NEW SHOWS
Eric will play thirteen shows in the UK and Ireland over a two and a half week period to make up for the unfortunate circumstance that caused the cancellation...

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE WARSAW, POLAND AS NEXT DESTINATION ON 2016 WORLD TOUR
Manowar return to Poland after their debut performance there in 2014...

exploited THE EXPLOITED ARE BACK WITH A VENGEANCE
Great news that the punk legends are back and ready to go following singer Wattie Buchan's heart attack...

rainbow RAINBOW RELEASE 'A LIGHT IN THE BLACK' NEW 6 CD/DVD BOXSET
This career box set covers the entire Polydor career of Rainbow, featuring rare and unheard tracks as well as fan favourites and the famed concert at Monsters of Rock in 1980...

metalhead FEATURE FILM 'METALHEAD' STREAMS ONLINE AT VIMEO-ON-DEMAND IN SELECTED COUNTRIES
The award-winning film 'Metalhead' has a classic soundtrack and dark intense performances...

electric wizard ELECTRIC WIZARD ANNOUNCE ROUNDHOUSE LONDON SHOW FOR MAY 2015
Electric Wizard will also appear at the Un Tune Music & Arts festival, Berlin...

alan parsons THE ALAN PARSONS LIVE PROJECT ARE CONFIRMED FOR LONDON 02 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE ON MARCH 18TH
The greatest hits show will be the first UK concert in over ten years for the prog luminaries...

scott stapp CREED'S SCOTT STAPP CLAIMS HE IS ON A MISSION TO ASSASSINATE PRESIDENT OBAMA
A tape of a 911 call from relatives has emerged, detailing another extraordinary happening in the continued downward spiral of Creed's Scott Stapp...

kk downing KK DOWNING LAUNCHES WORLD'S FIRST EVER HEAVY METAL FRAGRANCES
"I think I just woke up one morning and thought of the word 'Metal'..."

hellfest HELLFEST ANNOUNCE ANOTHER WAVE OF BANDS PLUS WEEKEND TICKETS NOW SOLD OUT
The second wave of bands have been confirmed for Hellfest in Clisson, France...

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