That time Tommy Aldridge told me that he “wasn’t a fan” of Brian Downey’s drum parts with Thin Lizzy

By Steve Newton

As far as seeing concerts goes, I’ve been very lucky to have been situated in Vancouver since the early ’80s. It’s a major stopping point for bands touring North America–just a quick scoot across the border from Seattle–and being a music writer meant most of the shows were free.

Only a few times was I tempted to head down to Seattle for shows. As a teenager, before my rock journalism days, I cruised down there with a bunch of friends to see Aerosmith on the Rocks tour. Other than that, as a working stiff, I got a free bus ride from PolyGram Records to see Scorpions at the Seattle Coliseum on the Love at First Sting tour, and then one time took a limo down there for the Monsters of Rock Tour in 1988.

The only other time I cruised to the Emerald City to rock out was when my buddy Ferg drove us down to see Thin Lizzy at a bar called the Showbox in February of 2001. Of course, it wasn’t nearly the same as that time I saw Lizzy back in 1978, and went backstage with Scott Gotham, but it was still a great show, what with John Sykes doing his best Phil Lynott impression, and drum god Tommy Aldridge pounding the skins.

When I interviewed Aldridge later that same year I asked him if he was a fan of original Lizzy drummer Brian Downey, and was pretty surprised by his response.

Have a listen:


To hear my full 20-minute interview with Tommy Aldridge, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon.

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Bill Henderson of Chilliwack, 1999
Paul Rodgers, 1997
R.L. Burnside, 1999
Guthrie Govan of the Aristocrats, 2015
Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, 1985
Carlos Santana, 2011
Walter Trout, 2003
Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot, 1983
Rob Hirst of Midnight Oil, 2001
Tommy Aldridge, 2001
Donald “Duck” Dunn, 1985
Mark Farner of Grand Funk, 1991
Chris Robinson of Black Crowes, 1990
Jennifer Batten, 2002
Mike Fraser, 2014
Leo Kottke, 2002
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, 2002
David Gogo, 1991
Booker T. Jones, 2016
Link Wray, 1997
James Reyne, 1988
Mike Rutherford of Genesis, 1983
Buddy Guy, 1991
Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, 1990
Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers, 2016
Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1986
Lindsay Mitchell of Prism, 1988
Buddy Miles, 2001
Eddie Money, 1988
Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith, 1983
Gaye Delorme, 1990
Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, 1984
Graham Bonnet of Alcatrazz, 1984
Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, 2016
Doc Neeson of Angel City, 1985
Rik Emmett of Triumph, 1985
Sonny Landreth, 2016
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, 2016
Jeff Beck, 2001
Albert King, 1990
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Peter Frampton, 1987
Otis Rush, 1997
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Leslie West of Mountain, 2002
Steve Howe of Yes, 2017
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Uli Jon Roth, 2016
Poison Ivy of the Cramps, 1990
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1985
Greg Lake of ELP, 1992
Robert Plant, 1993
Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson of AC/DC, 1983
Warren Zevon, 1992
Tal Wilkenfeld, 2016
Steve Clark of Def Leppard, 1988
Roy Buchanan, 1986
Gary Moore, 1984
Ronnie Montrose, 1994
Danny Gatton, 1993
Alex Lifeson of Rush, 1992
Ann Wilson of Heart, 1985
J.J. Cale, 1990
Yngwie Malmsteen, 2014
Chris Cornell, 2008
Long John Baldry, 1985
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Kim Mitchell, 1984
Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers, 1994
Derek Trucks, 1998
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Joe Satriani, 2018
B.B. King, 1984
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