Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham said the game of golf had been instrumental in escaping his heroin addiction.

In a new interview with Classic Rock, he also reflected on his wayward childhood, which featured several run-ins with the law.

“Growing up, I kept landing myself in trouble,” Gorham said. “I was in L.A. County Jail for four days once and it was the scariest fucking place on earth. So when I got the opportunity to come to London it was a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over. No one knew who the hell I was, so I could be this totally different guy. London gave me a new shot at life.”

One of the lessons he’d learned from his early days was, “Don’t sell drugs to cops.” “This seems obvious, right?," the guitarist noted, before detailing his own experience. "One Labor Day weekend I went to New Mexico with my friends and when we ran out of money for gas to get home someone said, ‘Let’s just chop off a little piece of this hash we’ve got and sell it.’ A guy came over and said, ‘Hey man, do you have anything?’ and I said, ‘As a matter of fact I do…’

“But it turned out that the guy was a fucking cop. I was in jail for three days and they were threatening me with two to five years in the state penitentiary. I went to court, but my lawyer uncle had a meeting with the judge in his chambers, paid him $4,000 and I walked out a free man.”

Years later, the rocker was saved by something entirely different.

“Golf saved my ass,” Gorham explained of his mid-’80s experience. “When I finally tried to kick heroin, the guy staying with me to guard me could see how bored and irritable I was getting, so he said, ‘As a kid, did you have any hobbies?’ I said, ‘Well, I used to go to a driving range and smash golf balls.’ … he said, ‘OK, let’s go do that.’ I remember concentrating so hard on hitting this stupid little white ball, and for a couple of hours it made me forget all the shit I was going through. I went out again the next day, then got my own set of clubs, and never looked back.”

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