By: Gary Graff
It's a new era for Thin Lizzy -- or Black Star Riders, as the group is now being called, at least for the purposes of its new album.
Guitarist Scott Gorham had announced earlier this year that the band would retire the Thin Lizzy name, both in deference to late frontman Phil Lynott and to honor a legal agreement with Lynott's estate. Gorham tells Classic Rock Magazine that Thin Lizzy has existed as a partnership between him, the estate and drummer Brian Downey.
"If the estate had said, 'This is a kick-ass idea' (to record under the Thin Lizzy name), we would have had to rethink. But because they were feeling uncomfortable about it, that put a full stop to it."
The group will start recording the album in January with producer Kevin Shirley for a planned May release.
Downey, meanwhile, will not be part of Black Star Riders because he doesn't want to tour as frequently as the rest of the band; he's been replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso, who's played in Megadeth and White Lion.
But Gorham promised that despite the name change "Lizzy isn't going to die. We have to play Thin Lizzy songs. People will expect it."
One person who approves of the name change is Midge Ure, a latter-day Thin Lizzy member who went to lead the band Ultravox and co-write and produce Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas."
Ure tells us that, "It's probably right not to (use the name). It's great that Scott's still out there doing it and enjoying it, but I think it would be very odd coming out with a new album and calling themselves Thin Lizzy without Phil, you know?"
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