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"As Soon As I Heard Thin Lizzy I Was Hooked"
Midge Ure talked about his brief but highly eventful tenure with Thin Lizzy in a 1991 interview with Stuart Clark.
Stuart Clark, 25 Feb 2011
Despite a refusal to swap his winklepickers for open-toed sandles, Midge Urge has a deep appreciation of traditional music stemming from an early entounter with Thin Lizzy.
“I discovered them through Skid Row, who were probably the first band I ever felt passionately about as a teenager. I saw them in the early 70’s in Glasgow, Gary Moore was only 16 or 17 at the time but already a fearsome guitarist and you had Brush running riot dressed as a leprechaun. It was great! Phil sang with them briefly before forming Lizzy and as soon as I heard the group, that was it, I was hooked.
“We didn’t meet properly until a while later when I bumped into him at a gig. He looked like a typical impoverished musician, which he was then, living off £15 a week and travelling in the back of a Transit van. He wasn’t doing anything so I dragged him back for a meal and introduced him to my Mum and all that. Our paths didn’t cross again until 1978, when we found ourselves at the same party in London. I was with The Rich Kids, Lizzy were huge at the time and to my amazement he remembered who I was, joined me for a natter and the friendship developed from there.”
The two drinking buddies soon became colleagues when Gary Moore departed the Thin Lizzy ranks half-way through a crucial American tour.
“I’d just joined Ultravox and was in the studio recording the first Visage LP with Steve Strange. Phil phoned in a blind panic from Arkansas, asked me to drop everything and get my butt over to the States as quickly as possible. 24 hours later I was sitting on Concorde with a pair of earphones superglued to my ears and a huge big Ghettoblaster on my lap trying to learn the songs. The chords were simple enough but I had to wait until I got to New Orleans for Scott Graham to teach me the harmonies.The next night I was on the stage with Lizzy for 40 to 45 minutes and honestly, I’ve never been so petrified!”
After a fortnight of wearing brown trousers to hide his nerves, Midge settled down and started enjoying the Spinal Tap-style antics which in those days were part and parcel of touring with Thin Lizzy. Was he ever tempted to make the arrangement permanent?