And he’s revealed he broke down in tears during his performance in Tilburg in the Netherlands, just hours after he’d been told of the tragedy.
The musician, real name Steven Duren, says elder sibling Clifford was the inspiration behind his Crimson Idol concept album – and an inspiration to his entire career.
Lawless says on his WASPnation blog: “We were playing in Tilburg and I got a phone call from my sister about 6pm, informing me that our brother has passed away.
“He was a mentor to me in my early years – much of the advice he gave me I still use to this day. As a kid I admired him more than he would ever know.
“That show was the one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”
Crimson Idol was WASP’s fifth studio album, telling the story of fictional rock star Jonathan Steel. The band are currently playing part of the album on their 30 Years of Thunder tour.
Lawless says: “When we were at the end of the Crimson Idol part of the show, I looked up at one of the screens just as Jonathan was being laid on the bed.
“I could not control my emotions any more. I walked to the side of the stage and cried.
“Me being the younger brother, it’s natural to see the older brother as your hero. As a writer I’ve tried to share myself with you all, even the intimate details of my life, to give you a better understanding of who I am so you can better see the man behind the lyrics.
Lawless says: “When we look at death we measure it in one or more stages of life. The death of a parent is the death of our past. The death of a spouse or mate is the death of the present. The death of a child is the death of the future, in that their future will now never happen.
“The death of my brother represents both the past and the present for me. Part of my childhood is now gone as well as the present.
“Crimson Idol was ultimately a story about love. If there is someone in your life you need to tell that you love them, don’t wait.”
WASP are on tour in Europe until December 7.
-Classic Rock Magazine