Thin Lizzy’s Damon Johnson Recalls Van Halen Once Made Him Cry
Thin Lizzy’s Damon Johnson spoke about seeing Van Halen before he was the band’s guitarist. The musician remembered how he knew that’s what he wanted to do for the rest of his life and had burst into tears after interacting with David Lee Roth.
Damon Johnson has been Thin Lizzy’s guitarist and a solo artist since 1988. The rocker also worked with Alice Cooper’s band as his lead guitarist. Before he established a career full of performances, he was inspired by one of the biggest metal bands in the industry.
Seeing Van Halen and interacting with David Lee Roth made him want to do what he’s currently doing as a job. He recalled going to a particular Van Halen show when he and his friends ran to the front of the stage on the third row. As revealed during an interview, Johnson and his friends once were directly in front of Eddie Van Halen.
Moreover, the crowd went nuts when Diamond Dave extended his microphone to their side and let them sing. The guitarist was in such an adrenaline rush that he wept after the show and knew that he would want to do that for the rest of his life. He ended telling his memory by stating that that frenzy concert changed his life.
Here is what he said about seeing Van Halen:
“For that particular show, even though it was general admission on the floor, they had seats on the floor. I am sure they did that to keep people from crushing each other. Somehow man, the door that they opened to let us in, we ran down the stairs, and we were able to get the third row in those chairs, stage left, directly in front of Eddie’s microphone, and I don’t remember or care who the opening band was.
I can’t remember to this day. I’m sure I could look it up online somewhere. But man, these guys came out and hit the stage. My brain just opened, and it was probably like 75 – 80 minutes of just pure joy and energy. The very last song they played was ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love,’ and by that time, the whole crowd has just worked up into a frenzy.”
“So, my friends and I have been standing in the chairs, well then Jeff, we stood upon the backs of the chairs, so we were even taller. We had our arms around each other to keep each other from falling off. David Lee Roth comes over with his mic stand, and in the outro, you know, the big ‘Hey, hey, hey.’ He shoved that mic stand right out in our faces, and you know we’ve all got out arms around each other.
I don’t mind telling you, brother, they walked off stage the house lights came up. I don’t know if I’ve ever told this story, but I sat back down in my chair. I put my face in my hands, and I wept. I literally was in tears. It was like, ‘What the f*ck was that? What just happened?’ I remember looking at Troy and Mack and the guys, and I said, ‘I don’t know what it’s going to take, but I wanna do that for the rest of my life, whatever it takes.’ Changed my life.”
You can watch the interview below.