The one and only time Sexy Hubby wrote a guest post on my blog was last year, when I broke my arm after a bike fall. Another guest appearance was more than overdue and his Black Star Riders Meet & Greet VIP experience in London last weekend provided the perfect subject. Over to you, hubby!
As a teenager, I was a massive Thin Lizzy fan. The band had a few guitarists over the years but Scott Gorham was definitely one of my favourites. It is no secret for the readers of Sexy Wifey’s blog that I have a passion for music and for guitars in particular, and I would spend hours in my bedroom trying to figure out Scott’s licks. After Phil Lynott’s death in 1986, Thin Lizzy continued to tour occasionally. In October 2012, it was announced that new material would be released under a different band name, out of respect for Phil Lynott. In December 2012, Black Star Riders was introduced and their debut album All Hell Breaks Lose came out in May 2013.
I bought the album on its release day and was bowled over. So when I heard that Black Star Riders would be touring in the UK and performing at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a venue I had always wanted to go to, I decided to get a ticket. My lovely wife, on being told that there were VIP packages on offer including a meet & greet opportunity with the band, insisted that I should go for it. She then proceeded in organising the whole trip as a birthday present for me. I am really glad I listened to her.
The email I received the week before the event said to be at the stage door at 17:45. I was there a bit earlier and started chatting with fellow fans, who would become my companions for the evening: Jay and Vanessa from Mallorca and ex-exotic dancer Suree from Cleveland. At precisely the given time, Adam, the management representative, opened the door, welcomed us and handed out our tickets.
We reached the upstairs bar and received our merchandise goodies. Adam explained that the acoustic session would start at 18:00. He also said there would be time to talk to the band, take photos and get their autographs. Scott Gorham and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso left the room after the meet & greet and Ricky Warwick, Marco Mendoza and Damon Johnson sat down on their stools. They reached for their instruments and treated us to a few songs. This intimate moment was much appreciated by the limited public and left us wanting more. Lucky then that more, we would get!
The time to leave the bar came and as VIPs, we were let in first and positioned ourselves right in front of the stage. This is when we met the spectacular Whitney and started a conversation with her too. Western Sand, a southern hard rock band from the UK, were the first act, followed by The Dead Daisies. As the members seemed familiar, I looked them up afterwards and understood why: They were part of bands such as INXS and Guns N’ Roses. They are a superb live act and I very much enjoyed their music. I was therefore really pleased to find a copy of their debut CD with the Classic Rock Magazine I bought the following day!
Then Black Star Riders got on stage. The opener was All Hell Breaks Lose, followed by a Thin Lizzy classic, Are You Ready? This gave us the clue straight away that the concert would be a perfect mix between their heritage and their new material. Let me tell you something: These guys are still having a ball on stage and enjoy sharing their energy with their audience. My opinion is that this is an incredibly good line-up, and Damon Johnson is the perfect match to Scott Gorham to carry on the twin guitar sound tradition. The set ended with The Boys Are Back In Town, followed by the encore with Whiskey In The Jar and Rosalie.
Vanessa, Whitney and Jay
With a huge grin on my face, I said goodbye to Suree and Whitney. Vanessa, Jay and I had just decided to have a bite to eat when I heard a phone ring. It was Whitney, who announced that our VIP passes would get us into the after show party if we wanted to join in. Of course we did, so we made our way to the bar once more and enjoyed a few more drinks with the band and their guests. I had the opportunity to chat with Scott a bit longer then and pose for a photo with him. It made the night even more special for me.
And do you know what? Even Phil Lynott was with us all that night… Look at Whitney’s thigh!