Thin Lizzy in 1978,
Brian “The Boys Are Back
in Town” Robertson has
continued to crank out his
singular brand of blues-based
rock, most notably on his latest,
Diamonds and Dirt, a collection of
rockers that feature big tones, bigger riffs,
and sexy solos. Despite his moving on from
Lizzy decades ago, Robertson is still vexed by producer
Tony Visconti’s suggestion that the tracks
on Lizzy’s classic Live and Dangerous weren’t
live at all. Here he sets the record straight, in true
It’s a persistent story in the music business
that there’s not much live playing on Lizzy’s live
record, and yet that’s not your recollection.
It’s not my recollection, it’s not
Brian Downey’s recollection, and
it’s not Scott Gorham’s recollection.
This is down to Mr. Visconti.
Let me get this straight
because this is really starting
to piss me off.
I didn’t mean it to be a
I’m not being hostile
towards you at all. The
only person I’m being
hostile to is Tony Visconti,
who I hold in
great esteem. I just
why he’s come out
and said these
things. He has
said, “It’s 75
the f**k drugs is
he on? I’d like some of them. Think about this
for one second and then you can make your
own mind up. We’re playing live, the drums
are all miked up, all the vocal mikes are open.
We are a very loud band, me being the loudest
out of all of us. So how are you going to replace
my guitar when it’s so loud that it’s going to
bleed all over the bloody drum kit? You can’t!
It’s perfectly impossible. There’s no way, when
Robbo’s using two Marshall 100s cranked up
to ten, that it isn’t going to spill over to the
drum tracks. This is why I don’t understand
this bollocks that’s going on.
Here’s another point. When we were
mixing Live and Dangerous, there was one take
of “Still in Love with You” where my solo was
just unbelievably brilliant. I’m not being a
big head here, but when we heard that take
I went, “That’s the one.” But Phil Lynott had
left his phaser on and it was turned so fast
that the bass was going “wow wow wow.”
So why didn’t Tony Visconti just fix the bass
track? Because he couldn’t overdub the bass.
You know why? Because the bass stacks were
next to the drums and the bass was bleeding
all over the drum mikes and everything!
There’s your answer right there. End of story,
really. I’ll go to court with the guy over it.
Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous
Did you do any overdubs?
I think the only thing we overdubbed was
a couple of little licks on Scott’s guitar—
because he played a lot quieter than I did—
and a couple of backing vocals. I think Phil
put one or two bass lines in and that was it.
That is not 75 percent. Like I said, I don’t
know what drugs the man is on but he’s talking
absolute sh*t. I don’t understand why
a producer of the caliber that Tony Visconti
obviously is would stick by this story. But
hey, I love the guy—he’s a great producer.
I just think he needs to rethink his statements
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