Brian Robertson - Robbo

 

BRIAN ROBERTSON - GUITAR 1974-78

Brian "Robbo" Robertson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, February 12th 1956. After years of classical training with the cello and the piano, he soon became more interested with the rock'n'roll scene and started playing the guitar as well as bass guitar, drums and keyboards with his older brother Glen in different bands in Glasgow. At the age of 17 he took his gear and went down to London to try to get a job as a drummer, but when Thin Lizzy lost guitar player Gary Moore, their roadie Big Charlie from Glasgow suggested that they give this young wiz kid from back home a chance. Phil Lynott and Brian Downey were both taken by storm by his playing and he got the job straight away.

 

Robbo played on all the classic Thin Lizzy albums between 1974-78 including their breakthrough album "Jailbreak" with the classic hit single "The Boys Are Back In Town" and the live album that many consider the master piece of recorded live rock music "Live And Dangerous". After the "Live And Dangerous" tour in the UK, Robbo left the band to form his own band Wild Horses together with ex-Rainbow bass player Jimmy Bain.

 

Robbo played on all the classic Thin Lizzy albums between 1974-78 including their breakthrough album "Jailbreak" with the classic hit single "The Boys Are Back In Town" and the live album that many consider the master piece of recorded live rock music "Live And Dangerous". After the "Live And Dangerous" tour in the UK, Robbo left the band to form his own band Wild Horses together with ex-Rainbow bass player Jimmy Bain.

 

During that period after Thin Lizzy and before the first Wild Horses album, Robbo did a lot of session work with people like; Eric Burdon, Graham Parker, Peter French, Steve Ellis, Pat Travers, Zaine Griff, Roy Sundholm, Tim Hinckley and he also recorded a new version of "Boys Keep Swinging" with David Bowie. Wild Horses released two albums ('80-'81), but they never really had the success they were hoping for and the band broke up in 1982. Between 1980-83 Robbo was involved in a project together with Warren Cann from Ultravox and Hans Zimmer called "Helden". Due to various reasons this musical masterpiece is still unreleased to this date.

 

When Fast Eddie Clarke left Motorhead, both Lemmy and Philty (huge Lizzy fans) decided to get Robbo in the band and after listening to their latest album on the flight over from London, Robbo found himself in the middle of an American tour with the band. Motorhead was only to be a brief stint in Robbo's career, but he recorded the under rated "Another Perfect Day" with them in 1983. The year with Robbo in the band changed Motorhead forever and when they replaced him they had to get two guitar players to get that rich sound that Robbo produced on the album.

 

Robbo spent the major part of the late eighties playing with his old friend Frankie Miller from Glasgow and they recorded one album "Dancing In The Rain" and toured all over the US, Europe and the UK. Robbo would probably still be working with Frankie today, but he had a stroke in '93 and is not able to sing any more. Many people, including Bob Seger, think of Frankie as the best white soul singer that ever lived.

 

Besides working with Frankie Miller, Robbo had a on-off working relationship with Shane MacGowan from The Pogues from the late eighties until the mid nineties. Robbo, Shane and Joe Strummer from The Clash started to form a band after Shane left The Pogues which eventually became The Popes, without Strummer and with Robbo as producer and arranger. They recorded the single "Haunted" together with Sinead O'Connor as well as an interesting version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" which was used as an ad for Nike. Some songs were recorded with actor Johnny Depp on guitar, whom Robbo also replaced in the band Rock City Angels in the early nineties. Before going separate ways, Robbo produced Shane's "Christmas Lullaby" which was released just before Christmas 1996.

 

Since 1997 Robbo has his own production company Yodel International and has worked with soundscapes for British Airways VIP Lounges and recorded and toured with artists like Rob Lamothe, Bittermoon, John Norum, Meldrum, Dare, Lotus and Five Fifteen. The year 2000 looks to be a very busy year for Robbo as there are several artists that are lined up looking for a producer and a guitar player for both recordings and tours.

 

Sören Lindberg