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Scott Gorham hits out at Mitt Romney's use of 'The Boys Are Back In Town'

In a new development in the US Presidential race, Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham has confirmed the band's unhappiness at the political use of 'The Boys Are Back In Town' by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 08 Sep 2012

Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham has criticised the use of 'The Boys Are Back In Town' by the Republican Party, as the intro music for Paul Ryan at their recent National Convention.

In what is another deeply embarrassing slapdown for Mitt Romney's campaign, the Thin Lizzy guitarist - who played on the original recording of 'The Boys Are Back In Town' and is effective band leader in 2012 - was dismissive of the way in which the band's music was appropriated for political ends to which they would always have been unsympathetic.

"We were all disappointed with that," Gorham told Hot Press, "because it's almost kind of policy with Thin Lizzy, we don't use our music for any kind of politics. Movies and commercials, yes, but politics we leave alone.

"Even if we did like the candidate it's kind of a bad policy to say go ahead and use our music as it looks like you're biased, whereas that may not be the case."

The criticism by Gorham coifirms that the music was used entirely without the permission of the band.

"It is a gaffe which has other implications," one U.S. music industry insider told Hot Press. "You have to ask the question: did the Republican Party not consider that they should seek permission before using music in this way? This sort of arrogant and disrespectful treatment of any artist reflects very badly on any Presidential candidate."

Indeed, the failure to observe a relatively simple convention opens another issue.

"If the use was unauthorised, and can be construed as being damaging to the artistic independence, and therefore the commercial position of the band, then there is the possibility of a legal action to seek damages - though one imagines the copyright owners would be unlikely to wasn't to go that route."

Just last week, in an interview with Hot Press, Philomena Lynott was highly critical of the Romney campaign, stating in forceful terms that her son would not have wanted his music used by the anti-Obama ticket " and Scott Gorham concurs.

"Phil certainly wouldn't have wanted his music used in this way," he insisted. " We never really discussed it back in the day but I can imagine that he would not want any song he had written, or played on, used as a political tool."

In his most clearcut statement about the presidential race, Gorham issued a robust riposte to the Romnay/Ryan axis' presumptuousness. Asked was it upsetting to have Thin Lizzy's music associated with a Presidential ticket that is openly anti-gay, he was unequivocal.

"Yeah absolutely, it is upsetting," the Lizzy guitarist told Hot Press. "Mitt Romney would not be a guy that I would vote for."

Thin Lizzy are currently going through a remarkable renaissance with the band's current line-up - featuring Irishman Ricky Warwick on vocals - being hailed as the best ever, since the untimely and heartbreaking death of frontman Philip Lynott in 1986.

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