We were either right in the middle of,
or had just finished recording, the Bad Reputation
album. We had an opportunity to
go to America and do six weeks. We were
on a mission to show America what a kickass
live band Thin Lizzy was. We were the
support act and we didn’t care. In our minds
it was like this: “To all the headliners—you
poor sons of bitches. You have to follow
us.” This was going to be our time.
In 1977, I would have been using a Les
Paul Deluxe, with the mini-humbuckers,
which I wouldn’t recommend to anybody.
It was a nice little guitar but it just didn’t
have the honk to it. Brian
Robertson played a Les Paul
Custom with much more
powerful pickups. Amp-wise,
it was a Marshall head going
through two 4x12s, and for
pedals I had a Colorsound
phaser or flanger.
Being a guitar team, we knew we couldn’t
be too far out from each other. It would
just sound too odd. Brian’s sound always
had a lot more treble and sting than mine.
I always felt uncomfortable with that. I
liked having a warmer tone. We would set
the levels on the amps the same, and we
tried to get the same amount of sustain.
We learned each other’s vibrato techniques
and how we would bend the notes—we
concentrated on all of that.
You had to be honest with yourself
when it came to solos. You
had to ask, “Which guy is
getting this better? Which
guy has the feel down the
best?” There was no fighting
ego-wise as to who was
going to get what. People
always want to know that. There really
was no ego.
No, none at all. Not one thing. It’s the
exact same running order and everything.
That’s why I’m really proud of it. It brought
back memories of what we were thinking
in this period. When you know you’re being
recorded, nobody wants to try anything
new—better stick to the tried and true. But
there are like four songs off Bad Reputation
that had never been played live before. We
not only put those in the set, but we started
the set off with one of the new songs. It
shows a lot of bravery. We took a lot of
chances with this one, and I’m proud of that.
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