Interview – Damon Johnson
Guitar World|June 2021
On the hard-rocking battle lessons, the former Black Star Riders/Alice Cooper/Thin Lizzy guitarist establishes himself as a force of one
By Jeff Kitts

For the better part of 30 years, Damon Johnson has cultivated the type of illustrious, star-studded career most professional guitarists only dream about. His resume speaks for itself: founding member of Brother Cane in the early Nineties, Alice Cooper band member in the late 2000s, Black Star Riders guitarist in the 2010s, touring guitarist for Thin Lizzy from 2011 to 2013, and songwriter/musician on albums by Stevie Nicks, Skid Row, Faith Hill, Ted Nugent, Carlos Santana, and Sammy Hagar, among others. Since 2010, Johnson has also maintained a successful career as a solo artist — and that is where we find the versatile guitarist these days, putting the hired-gun life behind him and fully committed to going it alone.

“I just felt like it was time for me to chart my own course,” says the 56-year-old Nashville resident. “I need to be the 1. I need to be in charge of my calendar. I need to be the one to make the decisions that for so many years had been made for me. I love to play and I love having a bunch of tour dates and traveling and all of that — but I don’t love doing it 230 days out of the year anymore. There’s a lot of stuff I've missed because I was out on tour with a band lugging a Les Paul case through some airport in Stuttgart, Germany.” [Laughs]

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