Guitarist Damon Johnson has left the Alice Cooper group to join Irish rockers Thin Lizzy.
Johnson updated fans on the news via Facebook on Sunday: “I love you, Alice Cooper. And Chuck, Tommy, Steve, and Glen. And Keri, Jimmy, Eric, Ryan, and Tommy C. With all my heart.”
The former Brother Cane member fills the guitar slot vacated by Richard Fortus, who returns to Guns N’ Roses for the remainder of the year, as that band continues lining up a series of concerts this fall. Damon will be in place for the forthcoming US tour as Thin Lizzy opens for Judas Priest.
“The music of Thin Lizzy is the absolute biggest influence on my entire career,” said Johnson. “As a guitarist, songwriter, singer and performer I’ve been performing Lizzy songs since I started playing in bars in Alabama in 1987. To be even a small footnote on the list of great guitarists that have been in the band over the years is one of the highest accolades of my life. I am honored and beyond excited!!”
Thin Lizzy’s current lineup features Phil Lynott-era Lizzy members Scott Gorham (guitar), Brian Downey (drums) and Darren Wharton (keyboards), as well as former The Almighty singer/guitarist Ricky Warwick, and bassist Marco Mendoza.
Johnson’s slot in Alice Cooper’s band has reportedly been filled Orianthi Panagaris, known for her role as Michael Jackson’s guitarist and a solo artist in her own right.