Thin Lizzy’s Damon Johnson Credits Johnny Van Zant For Making Lynyrd Skynyrd One Of The Greatest Bands
Thin Lizzy guitarist Damon Johnson talked about playing with Lynyrd Skynyrd members for a special occasion a short time ago, along with frontman Johnny Van Zant and his contributions to the band during his recent conversation with Ryan Roxie.
Earlier, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced that they would start their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour on May 4, 2018, in West Palm Beach, but in the middle of the tour, they renamed it Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’, which ended on November 20, 2021. The reason behind that can be the rescheduled tour dates because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, Bad Company, Kid Rock, and Hank Williams Jr. joined Lynyrd Skynyrd to perform opening acts.
However, the band’s plans had to be changed when their guitarist Gary Rossington’s emergency heart surgery years after a heart attack and surgery because of that. Johnson replaced Rossington for some dates as the guitarist wanted their bandmates to continue performing without him. The Thin Lizzy guitarist was honored to perform with one of the bands that influenced him the most while he was growing up.
Johnson revealed that he still remembers hearing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s iconic song ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ on the radio, which should be on the list of the best songs in rock music with their four or five more works. Then, the guitarist added that he couldn’t believe that he had a chance to collaborate with the legends. Johnson didn’t forget to credit Johnny Van Zant as the musician who has been doing a great job and contributing to their uniqueness.
Johnson said in his interview that:
“Skynyrd is like gospel music in the South. It’s omnipresent. Lynyrd Skynyrd music for a guitar player growing up in the South, especially the age I am – I remember when ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ was a hit on the radio like 74′, 75′. If you put up a list, here’s the list of the 100 greatest classic rock songs of all time, or most successful, brother, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s got five or six songs in that list; it’s crazy.
You can tell; it’s all still kind of fresh for me. I can’t believe it’s happening. It’s just one of the biggest thrills of my life to stand up there, play those songs, and play them in such a great band. The band sounds so good. Credit to Johnny Van Zant; he’s done an amazing job of helming that ship for almost 35 years now. It’s incredible.”
You can check out the interview below.