Phil Lynott

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Phil Lynott
Thin lizzy 22041980 01 400.jpg
Lynott performing in Oslo, Norway on 22 April 1980
Background information
Birth namePhilip Parris Lynott
Born(1949-08-20)20 August 1949
West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England
Origin Dublin, Ireland
Died4 January 1986(1986-01-04) (aged 36)
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Genres Rock, hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal, Celtic rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer, poet
InstrumentsVocals, bass guitar, guitar
Years active1965–1985
Labels Vertigo, Mercury, Warner Bros.
Associated acts Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore , Wild Horses, The Greedies, Skid Row, Grand Slam

Philip Parris Lynott ( /ˈlnət/ , LY-nət; 20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986) was an Irish musician and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He was known for his distinctive plectrum-based style on the bass, and for his imaginative lyrical contributions including working class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture.

Thin Lizzy Irish rock band

Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material. The singles "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak", and "The Boys Are Back in Town" were major international hits. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band emerged over the years based initially around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Gorham later continued with a new line-up including Downey.

Plectrum small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument

A plectrum is a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. For hand-held instruments such as guitars and mandolins, the plectrum is often called a pick and is a separate tool held in the player's hand. In harpsichords, the plectra are attached to the jack mechanism.

Contents

Lynott was born in the West Midlands of England, but grew up in Dublin with his grandparents. He remained close to his mother, Philomena, throughout his life. He fronted several bands as a lead vocalist, including Skid Row alongside Gary Moore, before learning the bass guitar and forming Thin Lizzy in 1969. After initial success with "Whiskey in the Jar", the band had several hits in the mid-1970s with hits such as "The Boys Are Back in Town", "Jailbreak" and "Waiting for an Alibi", and became a popular live attraction combining Lynott's vocal and songwriting skills with dual lead guitars. Towards the end of the 1970s, Lynott also embarked upon a solo career, published two books of poetry, and after Thin Lizzy disbanded, he assembled and fronted the band Grand Slam, of which he was the leader until it folded in 1985.

West Midlands (region) region of England in United Kingdom

The West Midlands is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It covers the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands. It contains Birmingham and the larger West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Coventry is also located within the West Midlands county, but is separated from the conurbation to the west by several miles of green belt. The region also contains 6 shire counties which stretch from the Welsh Border to the East Midlands.

Dublin Capital of, and largest city in, Ireland

Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the province of Leinster. It is bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountains range. It has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region as of 2016 was 1,347,359. The population of the Greater Dublin Area was 1,904,806 per the 2016 census.

Philomena Lynott was an Irish author and entrepreneur. She was the mother of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, and her autobiography, My Boy, documents their relationship. She was the proprietor of the Clifton Grange Hotel in Manchester, which provided accommodation for a number of bands in the 1970s including Thin Lizzy.

Following Thin Lizzy, Lynott increasingly suffered drug-related problems, particularly an addiction to heroin. In 1985 he had a final chart success with Moore, "Out in the Fields", followed by the minor hit "Nineteen", before his death on 4 January 1986 from sepsis secondary to pneumonia. He remains a popular figure in the rock world, and in 2005 a statue in his memory was erected in Dublin.

Heroin Opioid drug primarily used recreationally

Heroin, also known as diamorphine among other names, is an opioid most commonly used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects. It is used medically in several countries to relieve pain or in opioid replacement therapy. It is typically injected, usually into a vein, but it can also be smoked, snorted, or inhaled. The onset of effects is usually rapid and lasts for a few hours.

Out in the Fields (song) 1985 single by Gary Moore and Phil Lynott

"Out in the Fields" is a single by former Thin Lizzy band members Gary Moore and Phil Lynott, released in 1985. The song is about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Sepsis Life-threatening organ dysfunction triggered by infection

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and confusion. There may also be symptoms related to a specific infection, such as a cough with pneumonia, or painful urination with a kidney infection. In the very young, old, and people with a weakened immune system, there may be no symptoms of a specific infection and the body temperature may be low or normal, rather than high. Severe sepsis is sepsis causing poor organ function or insufficient blood flow. Insufficient blood flow may be evident by low blood pressure, high blood lactate, or low urine output. Septic shock is low blood pressure due to sepsis that does not improve after fluid replacement.

Early life

Lynott was born in Hallam Hospital in West Bromwich, England, and christened at St Edward's Church, Selly Park, Birmingham. His mother, Philomena Lynott, was born in Dublin [1] [2] and his father, Cecil Parris, was from Georgetown, British Guiana. [3] Philomena met Parris in Birmingham in 1948, having moved to England to seek work and they were in a relationship for a few months, until Parris was transferred to London. [1] Shortly afterwards, Philomena found she was pregnant and, after Philip was born, she moved with her baby to a home for unmarried mothers in Selly Park, where he was baptised on 4 September. [4] Philomena subsequently moved to Manchester but stayed in touch with Parris who helped pay towards his son's support. She subsequently had two other children who were given up for adoption. [5] Though he suffered no serious racism, Lynott felt different from his school-mates and was more self-conscious, which he found was itself a reason to be proud. [6]

Sandwell General Hospital Hospital in England

Sandwell General Hospital is an acute teaching hospital of the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust in West Bromwich, England and provides an extensive range of general and specialist hospital services. The trust is currently under the leadership of chair Richard Samuda and chief executive Toby Lewis.

West Bromwich town within the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, in the West Midlands county of England

West Bromwich is a market town in the borough of Sandwell, West Midlands, England. Historically part of Staffordshire, it is 6.4 miles (10.3 km) northwest of Birmingham. West Bromwich had a population of almost 78,000 in 2018.

St Edwards Church, Selly Park, Birmingham Church in Selly Park, England

The Catholic Church of St Edward, Selly Park, Birmingham is a Roman Catholic parish located in Selly Park in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Philip first attended school in Moss Side, Manchester. In 1957, due to accounts of racism and Phillip being mixed race, his mother sent him to live with his grandparents, Frank and Sarah Lynott, in Crumlin, Dublin. The move was important, as the presence of Frank gave him a father figure for the first time in his life. [7] His mother stayed in Manchester and remained close with her son. She later took over the management of the Clifton Grange Hotel in Whalley Range with her partner, Dennis Keeley. [8] The hotel, nicknamed "The Biz", became popular with showbusiness entertainers, and was later referred to in a song on Thin Lizzy's debut album. [9] Lynott had a happy childhood growing up in Dublin and was a popular character at school. [10]

Moss Side inner-city area of Manchester, England

Moss Side is an inner-city area of Manchester, England, 1.9 miles (3.1 km) south of the city centre, It had a population of 18,902 at the 2011 census. Moss Side is bounded by Hulme to the north, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Rusholme and Fallowfield to the east, Whalley Range to the south, and Old Trafford to the west.

Crumlin, Dublin suburb in Dublin, Ireland

Crumlin is a Southside suburb of Dublin, Ireland. A densely populated residential area, with some industry, it is also the site of Ireland's largest children's hospital, and the birth place of Conor McGregor.

<i>Thin Lizzy</i> (album) 1971 studio album by Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy is the debut studio album by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, released on 30 April 1971. The album was followed by the EP New Day, produced and recorded by Nick Tauber at Decca Studios on 14–17 June 1971 and released on 20 August 1971. The songs from the EP were included in later editions of the album.

Music career

Early years

Lynott was introduced to music through his uncle Timothy's record collection, and became influenced by Tamla Motown and The Mamas & the Papas. He joined his first band, the Black Eagles in 1965 as a lead singer, playing popular covers in local clubs around Dublin. [11] [2] He attended the Christian Brothers School in Crumlin, where he became friends with Brian Downey, who was later persuaded to join the band from the Liffey Beats. [12] The group fell apart due to the lack of interest of manager Joe Smith, particularly after the departure of his two sons, guitarists Danny and Frankie. [13]

Brian Downey (drummer) musician, songwriter

Brian Michael Downey is an Irish drummer. He was a founding member of the rock band Thin Lizzy and the only other constant in the band aside from leader Phil Lynott until their break-up in 1983. Downey also co-wrote several Thin Lizzy songs. Allmusic critic Eduardo Rivadavia has argued that Downey is "certainly one of the most underrated [rock drummers] of his generation".

Lynott then left the family home and moved into a flat in Clontarf, where he briefly joined the group Kama Sutra. It was in this band that he learned his frontman skills, and worked out how to interact with an audience. [14] In early 1968, he teamed up with bassist Brendan 'Brush' Shiels to form Skid Row. Downey was not interested in Shiels' request to be the drummer, so the job went to Noel Bridgeman. [15] The band signed a deal with Ted Carroll, who would later go on to manage Thin Lizzy, and played a variety of covers including "Eight Miles High", "Hey Jude" and several numbers by Jimi Hendrix. [16] Because Lynott did not play an instrument at this point in his career, he instead manipulated his voice through an echo box during instrumental sections. He also took to smearing boot polish under his eyes on stage to draw attention to himself, which he would continue to do throughout Lizzy's career later on, and regularly performed a mock fight with Shiels onstage to attract the crowd. [17] In mid 1968, guitarist Bernard Cheevers quit to work full-time at the Guinness factory in Dublin, and was replaced by Belfast-born guitarist Gary Moore. [18]

Despite increased success, and the release of a single, New Faces, Old Places, Shiels became concerned about Lynott's tendency to sing off-key. He then discovered that the problem was with Lynott's tonsils; he subsequently took a leave of absence from the band. By the time he had recovered, Shiels had decided to take over singing lead and reduce the band to a three piece. Feeling guility of having effectively sacked one of his best friends, he taught Lynott how to play bass, figuring it would be easier to learn than a six string guitar, and sold him a Fender Jazz Bass he had bought from Robert Ballagh for £36, and started giving him lessons. [19]

Lynott and Downey quickly put together a new band called Orphanage, with guitarist Joe Staunton and bassist Pat Quigley, playing a mixture of original material alongside covers of Bob Dylan, Free and Jeff Beck. [20] Still learning the bass, Lynott restricted himself to occasional rhythm guitar alongside singing lead. [21]

At the end of 2006 a number of Skid Row and Orphanage demo tapes featuring Lynott were discovered. These were his earliest recordings and had been presumed lost for decades. [22]

Thin Lizzy

Lynott with Thin Lizzy in Frankfurt, Germany, 1972 Phil Lynott in 1972.jpg
Lynott with Thin Lizzy in Frankfurt, Germany, 1972

Towards the end of 1969, Lynott and Brian Downey were introduced to guitarist Eric Bell via founding member of Them, keyboardist Eric Wrixon (Bell had played in a later line-up of Them). Deciding that Bell was a better guitarist, and with Lynott now confident enough to play bass himself, the four formed Thin Lizzy. [23] The name came from the character "Tin Lizzie" in the comic The Dandy , which in turn came from the nickname for the Ford Model T car. [24] The H was deliberately added to mimic the way the word "thin" is pronounced in a Dublin accent. [24] Lynott later discovered Henry Ford's slogan for the Model T, "Any colour you like as long as it's black", which he felt was appropriate for him. [24] Wrixon was felt by the others to be surplus to requirements and left after the release of the band's first single, "The Farmer", in July 1970. [23]

During the band's early years - and despite being the singer, bassist and chief songwriter - Lynott was still fairly reserved and introverted on stage, and would stand to one side while the spotlight concentrated on Bell, who was initially regarded as the group's leader. [25] During the recording of the band's second album, Shades of a Blue Orphanage (1972), Lynott very nearly left Thin Lizzy to form a new band with Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice, called Baby Face. "Ritchie turned up in the studio one day to jam," recalled Brian Downey. "I was asked to play drums to Phil and Ritchie jamming… Me and Eric looked at each other like, 'Well, that's the end of the band then.' It lasted a week, then Phil came back as if nothing had happened. He wanted to be the leader of his own band, not the singer in someone else's." [26] Due to being in dire financial straits Lizzy did, however, soon record an album of Deep Purple covers under the name Funky Junction. Lynott did not sing on the album as he felt his voice was not in the same style as Ian Gillan. [27]

Towards the end of 1972, Thin Lizzy got their first major break in the UK by supporting Slade, then nearing the height of their commercial success. Inspired by Noddy Holder's top hat with mirrors, Lynott decided to attach a mirror to his bass, which he carried over to subsequent tours. On the opening night of the tour, an altercation broke out between Lynott and Slade's manager Chas Chandler, who chastised Lynott's lack of stage presence and interaction with the audience and threatened to throw Lizzy off the tour unless things improved immediately. Lynott subsequently developed the onstage rapport and stage presence that would become familiar over the remainder of the decade. [28]

Lynott on stage with Thin Lizzy in the Netherlands, 1978 Phil Lynott 2 at Pinkpop 1978 by Chris Hakkens.jpg
Lynott on stage with Thin Lizzy in the Netherlands, 1978

Thin Lizzy's first top-ten hit was in 1973, with a rock version of the traditional Irish song "Whiskey in the Jar", [2] featuring a cover by Irish artist and friend Jim Fitzpatrick. [29] However, follow-up singles failed to chart and, after the departure of Eric Bell, quickly followed by Moore replacing him and, briefly, Downey, Thin Lizzy were near collapse by mid-1974. [30] It was not until the recruitment of guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson and the release of Jailbreak in 1976 that Thin Lizzy became international superstars on the strength of the album's biggest hit, "The Boys Are Back in Town". The song reached the top 10 in the UK, was No. 1 in Ireland and a hit in the US and Canada. [31] However, while touring with Rainbow, Lynott contracted hepatitis and the band had to cancel touring. [32]

"I used to note specifically these shady characters ... who used to turn up backstage. I knew they were drug-pushers and I made an effort to stop them getting passes. He [Lynott] said 'They're my mates!' But I said, 'No, Phil, they're not your mates.'"

Thin Lizzy tour manager Adrian Hopkins, on the band's latter touring days [33]

Lynott befriended Huey Lewis while Lewis's band, Clover, was supporting them on tour. Lewis was impressed with Lynott's frontman abilities and was inspired to perform better, eventually achieving commercial success in the 1980s. [34] Lynott's songs, including "Cowboy Song" and "Massacre", were particularly influenced by the band's US touring. He had a particular affinity for Los Angeles. [35]

Having finally achieved mainstream success, Thin Lizzy embarked on several consecutive world tours. The band built on Jailbreak's success with the release of a string of hit albums, including Johnny the Fox (1976), Bad Reputation (1977), Black Rose: A Rock Legend (1979), and the live album Live and Dangerous (1978), which features Lynott in the foreground on the cover. [36] However, the band was suffering from personnel changes, with Brian Robertson being replaced temporarily by Moore in 1976, [37] and then permanently the following year, partly due to a personal clash with Lynott. [38]

By the early 1980s Thin Lizzy were starting to struggle commercially, and Lynott started showing symptoms of drug abuse, including regular asthma attacks. After the resignation of longtime manager Chris O'Donnell, and with Scott Gorham wanting to quit, Lynott decided to disband Thin Lizzy in 1983. [39] He had started to use heroin by this stage in his career, and it affected the band's shows in Japan when he was unable to obtain any. [40] He managed to pick himself up for the band's show at the Reading Festival and their last gig (with Lynott as frontman) in Nuremberg on 4 September. [41]

Later years

In 1978, Lynott began to work on projects outside of Thin Lizzy. He was featured in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds , singing and speaking the role of Parson Nathaniel on "The Spirit of Man". He performed sessions for a number of artists, including singing backing vocals with Bob Geldof on Blast Furnace and the Heatwaves' "Blue Wave" EP. [42]

Lynott took a keen interest in the emergence of punk rock in the late 1970s, and subsequently became friends with various members of the Sex Pistols, The Damned and Geldof's band The Boomtown Rats. This led to him forming an ad-hoc band known as "The Greedies" (originally "The Greedy Bastards", but edited for public politeness). The band started playing shows in London during Lizzy's downtime in 1978, playing a mixture of popular Lizzy tracks and Pistols songs recorded after John Lydon's departure. [43] In 1979, The Greedies recorded a Christmas single, "A Merry Jingle", featuring other members of Thin Lizzy as well as the Pistols' Steve Jones and Paul Cook. The previous year he had performed alongside Jones and Cook on Johnny Thunders' debut solo album So Alone . [44] Lynott became friends with Midge Ure of the Rich Kids, who deputised for Thin Lizzy during 1979 shortly after joining Ultravox. Lynott persuaded Thin Lizzy's management to sign Ultravox. [45]

Lynott playing at the Manchester Apollo, 1983 Phil Lynott singing.jpg
Lynott playing at the Manchester Apollo, 1983

In 1980, though Thin Lizzy were still enjoying considerable success, Lynott launched a solo career with the album, Solo in Soho : this was a Top 30 UK album and yielded two hit singles that year, "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts" and "King's Call". The latter was a tribute to Elvis Presley, and featured Mark Knopfler on guitar. [46] His second solo venture, The Philip Lynott Album (1982) was a chart flop, despite the presence of the single "Old Town". The song "Yellow Pearl" (1982), was a No. 14 hit in the UK and became the theme tune to Top of the Pops . [47]

In 1983, following the disbanding of Thin Lizzy, Lynott recorded a rock'n'roll medley single, "We Are the Boys (Who Make All the Noise)" with Roy Wood, Chas Hodges and John Coghlan. Lynott regularly collaborated with former bandmate Moore on tracks including the singles "Parisienne Walkways" (a No. 8 UK hit in 1979) and "Out in the Fields" (a No. 5 UK hit in 1985, his highest-charting single). [48] In 1984, he formed a new band, Grand Slam, with Doish Nagle, Laurence Archer, Robbie Brennan and Mark Stanway. [49] The band toured The Marquee and other clubs, but suffered from being labelled a poor version of Thin Lizzy owing to the inclusion of two lead guitar players, [50] and split up at the end of the year due to a lack of money and Lynott's increasing addiction to heroin. [51]

During 1983–85, Lynott co-wrote songs with British R&B artist Junior Giscombe, although nothing was officially released and most remain as demos. However, one song, "The Lady Loves to Dance", was mastered with producer Tony Visconti and nearly released before being pulled by the record company, Phonogram. [52] Lynott was particularly upset about not being asked to participate in Live Aid, which had been organised by his two friends, Geldof and Ure, the latter of whom had briefly stood in as a guitarist for Thin Lizzy. Geldof later said this was because the Band Aid Trust could only accommodate commercially successful artists selling millions of albums, which neither Lynott nor Thin Lizzy had done. [53] In 1984, Lynott appeared as team captain (against Alvin Stardust) on the 1980s BBC quiz show Pop Quiz , hosted by Mike Read. [54]

His last single, "Nineteen", co-written by Laurence Archer and Mark Stanway and produced by Paul Hardcastle, was released a few weeks before his death. It bore no relation to the producer's chart-topping single of the same title some months earlier. [55] "This was a guy whose records I used to play when I was at school," said Hardcastle. "He was a hero of mine – I couldn't work out why he wanted to work with me. He said to me, 'You're at the top of your game technically right now, so can you help me?'" The producer played the bassline on Lynott's Fender. "He walked in on me playing it and I thought, 'Shit!' said Hardcastle. "But he said, 'That's fokken great – we're keeping that on there." [56]

Throughout December 1985, Lynott promoted "Nineteen", performing live on various television shows. The same month, he gave his final interviews in which he promulgated his possible plans for the near future; these included more work with Moore and even the possibility of reforming Thin Lizzy, something which he had privately discussed with Gorham previously. He also recorded some material with Archer, Lewis, and members of Lewis's band the News in 1985, which was not released. [55] In his last Irish interview weeks before his death, he told Damian Corless of Hot Press (Vol 10 No1 Jan 1986): "I’ve landed on my feet after all the troubles of the past two years and I’m still hard’n’heavy." He said he was making the most of the lull in his career to spend more time with his family and to reacquaint himself with Irish traditional music. His Sunday morning routine involved taking his two small children to Mass and then to the Pier House in Howth for lunch and a trad session by local group Clann Eadair. He planned to produce Clann Eadair’s debut album, experiment with the new scratch-mix fad and try his hand at movie soundtracks.

Poetry books

Lynott's first book of poetry, "Songs for While I'm Away", was published in 1974. It contained 21 poems which were all lyrics from Thin Lizzy songs, except one titled "A Holy Encounter". Only 1,000 copies of the book were printed. [57] In 1977, a second volume was released, titled "Philip". [58] In 1997, both books were brought together in a single volume, again titled "Songs for While I'm Away". This compendium edition also featured illustrations by Tim Booth and Fitzpatrick, and the original introductions by Peter Fallon and John Peel. [57]

Personal life

Born in England and raised in Ireland, Lynott always considered himself to be Irish. His friend and Thin Lizzy bandmate Scott Gorham said in 2013: "Phil was so proud of being Irish. No matter where he went in the world, if we were talking to a journalist and they got something wrong about Ireland, he'd give the guy a history lesson. It meant a lot to him." [59] In the early 1980s, he purchased several properties in Howth, County Dublin, one of which, White Horses, was a 50th birthday present for his mother. [60]

On 14 February 1980, [61] Lynott married Caroline Crowther, a daughter of British comedian Leslie Crowther. [2] He met her when she was working for Tony Brainsby in the late 1970s. They had two children: Sarah (b. 19 December 1978), [42] for whom the eponymous 1979 song was written, and Cathleen (b. 29 July 1980), [62] for whom the eponymous 1982 Lynott solo song was written. [2] The marriage fell apart during 1984 after Lynott's drug use escalated. [63] Lynott also had a son, born in 1968, who had been put up for adoption. In 2003, Macdaragh Lambe learned that Lynott was his biological father, and this was confirmed by Philomena Lynott in a newspaper interview in July 2010. [64]

Lynott was a passionate association football fan, and a keen Manchester United supporter. He was good friends with United and Northern Ireland star George Best, and the pair regularly socialised at the Clifton Grange Hotel. Lynott later became a shareholder of the club. [65]

Death

Lynott's grave in St Fintan's Cemetery, Dublin Resting place Philip Lynott.jpg
Lynott's grave in St Fintan's Cemetery, Dublin

Lynott's last years were dogged by drug and alcohol dependency, leading to his collapse on 25 December 1985 at his home in Kew. He was discovered by his mother, who was not aware of his dependence on heroin. She contacted his wife Caroline, who knew about it and immediately identified the problem as serious. [66] After Caroline drove him to a drug clinic at Clouds House in East Knoyle, near Shaftesbury, he was taken to Salisbury Infirmary where he was diagnosed as suffering from septicaemia. [2] [55] Although he regained consciousness enough to speak to his mother, his condition worsened by the start of the new year and he was put on a ventilator. [67] He died of pneumonia and heart failure due to septicaemia in the hospital's intensive care unit on 4 January 1986, at the age of 36. [2]

Lynott's funeral was held at St Elizabeth's Church, Richmond on 9 January 1986, with most of Thin Lizzy's ex-members in attendance, followed by a second service at Howth Parish Church on 11 January. He was buried in St Fintan's Cemetery, Sutton, Dublin. [68]

Legacy

"I still listen to his music every single day ... I go over and I pour water on to his gravestone. ... Then when I leave I give him a kick... for breaking my heart."

Philomena Lynott [69]

Statue of Lynott on Harry Street, Dublin, by Paul Daly Phil Lynott Statue at Bruxelles Dublin.jpg
Statue of Lynott on Harry Street, Dublin, by Paul Daly

Thin Lizzy regrouped for a one-off performance in 1986, with Geldof taking lead vocals, and subsequently reformed as a touring act in 1996. In 2012, the members of Thin Lizzy decided to record new material, but chose to do so under the name of Black Star Riders as they and Lynott's widow felt uncomfortable about new Thin Lizzy recordings without Lynott. [70]

Each year since 1987 Lynott's friend Smiley Bolger hosts a festival for him on the anniversary of his death called the Vibe for Philo. A number of musicians perform at the festival annually including Thin Lizzy tribute bands and, occasionally, former Thin Lizzy members. [71] [72] On 4 January 1994, a trust in Lynott's name was formed by his family and friends to provide scholarships for new musicians, and to make donations to charities and organisations in his memory. [73]

In 2005, a life-size bronze statue of Lynott by Dublin sculptor Paul Daly [74] was unveiled on Harry Street, off Grafton Street in Dublin. The ceremony was attended by Lynott's mother Philomena, and former band members Moore, Bell, Robertson, Downey, Gorham and Darren Wharton, who performed live. [75] His grave is located in St Fintan's Cemetery in Sutton, northeast Dublin.

A proposed 15 euro Irish coin as part of the 'Modern Irish Musicians' series is set to release in August/September 2019 with an issuance of 3,000, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Phil Lynott’s birth in 1949. [76]

As well as reissues of Thin Lizzy material, Lynott's solo work has also seen retrospective releases. In April 2007, the 1996 film The Rocker: A Portrait of Phil Lynott, which consisted mainly of archive footage, was released on DVD in the UK. [77] In August 2010, Yellow Pearl was released. This is a collection of songs from Lynott's solo albums, B-sides and album tracks. [78]

In September 2012, both Lynott's mother and widow objected to Mitt Romney's use of "The Boys Are Back in Town" during his election campaign. In an interview with Irish rock magazine Hot Press , Philomena Lynott said, "As far as I am concerned, Mitt Romney's opposition to gay marriage and to civil unions for gays makes him anti-gay – which is not something that Philip would have supported." [79] [80]

Philomena struggled to come to terms with her son's death and visited his grave on a regular basis. [69]

Musical style

Lynott purchased a Fender Jazz Bass from Brush Shiels when starting Thin Lizzy. [81] He used other basses early in the band's career, including a bi-amped Rickenbacker. [82] His signature instrument was a black Fender Precision Bass, furnished with a mirror pickguard and used frequently on stage and in videos. [83] In the later part of Thin Lizzy's career onwards, he used an Ibanez Roadstar RS900. [84]

When playing bass, Lynott always used an attacking style with a plectrum, favoring eighth notes or triplets. His bass lines could be heard in the foreground and on top of the beat, signalling a "pushed" chord played slightly before the first beat of the next bar. [85]

Lynott wrote the majority of Thin Lizzy's lyrics, often refining the words up until the last minute, when vocals were ready to be recorded. [86] A variety of themes and characters were featured, drawing from the Celtic heritage of Irish history. Death was a common theme, such as "Soldier of Fortune", "Massacre", "Killer on the Loose" and "Angel of Death". [87] Early material in particular drew on personal experiences and family around Dublin. [88] He began to include American themes into his lyrics, such as "Cowboy Song" and "Massacre", after Thin Lizzy began regularly touring the US. [35] Several songs feature the character "Johnny", which Lynott used as an alter ego for himself. [89] "The Boys are Back in Town" was written from the point of view of the band and the audience being in a gang together, which contributed to its success. [90]

Lynott's singing style set him apart among hard rock musicians, with a seemingly casual sense of off-the-beat phrasing "closer to folk or jazz." [91]

Discography

Albums

DateTitleTypeUK Chart
1980 Solo in Soho Studio28 [92]
1982 The Philip Lynott Album Studio
2001 Live in Sweden 1983 Live
2006The Lost Recording 1970EP
2010 Yellow Pearl Greatest Hits

Albums with Thin Lizzy

DateTitleUK Chart
1971 Thin Lizzy
1972 Shades of a Blue Orphanage
1973 Vagabonds of the Western World
1974 Nightlife
1975 Fighting 60
1976 Jailbreak 10
1976 Johnny the Fox 11
1977 Bad Reputation 4
1979 Black Rose: A Rock Legend 2
1980 Chinatown 7
1981 Renegade 38
1983 Thunder and Lightning 4

Singles

DateTitleAlbumUK Chart
1979"Parisienne Walkways" / "Fanatical Fascists" (Gary Moore & Phil Lynott) Back on the Streets 8 [93]
"Spanish Guitar" (Gary Moore & Phil Lynott)
1980"Dear Miss Lonely Hearts"Solo in Soho32 [94]
"King's Call"35 [95]
1981"Yellow Pearl" ( Top of the Pops theme)14 [96]
1982"Together" The Philip Lynott Album
"Old Town"
1985 "Out in the Fields" / "Military Man" / "Still in Love with You" (Gary Moore & Phil Lynott) Run for Cover 5 [48]
"Nineteen"non-album single76 [97]

Collaborations

DateTitleProjectsLabelNotes
1978 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds Jeff Wayne Columbia as Parson Nathaniel
Back on the Streets Gary Moore MCA appears on "Back on the Streets", "Don't Believe a Word", "Fanatical Fascists", "Parisienne Walkways" and "Spanish Guitar"
1982 Please Don't Leave Me John Sykes Single features Thin Lizzy band members
1985 Run for Cover Gary Moore Virgin appears on "Military Man", "Out in the Fields" and "Still in Love with You"

See also

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

Footnotes

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  5. Thomson 2016, p. 14.
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  7. Thomson 2016, p. 16.
  8. Byrne 2006, pp. 16–17.
  9. Putterford 1994, pp. 16–17.
  10. Byrne 2006, p. 15.
  11. Putterford 1994, pp. 15–16.
  12. Putterford 1994, p. 23.
  13. Putterford 1994, p. 26.
  14. Putterford 1994, p. 28.
  15. Putterford 1994, p. 29.
  16. Putterford 1994, p. 30.
  17. Putterford 1994, p. 31.
  18. Putterford 1994, p. 33.
  19. Putterford 1994, pp. 33–35.
  20. Putterford 1994, p. 37.
  21. Byrne 2006, p. 25.
  22. "Fans' joy as Lynott demos unearthed". Rte.ie. 5 January 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
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  24. 1 2 3 Byrne 2006, p. 30.
  25. Putterford 1994, p. 49.
  26. Wall, Mick: "The wild one"; Classic Rock #219, February 2016, p43
  27. Putterford 1994, pp. 62–63.
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  30. Putterford 1994, p. 114.
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  34. 1 2 Putterford 1994, p. 103.
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  37. Putterford 1994, p. 158.
  38. Putterford 1994, pp. 228–235.
  39. Putterford 1994, p. 245.
  40. Putterford 1994, pp. 248–250.
  41. 1 2 Putterford 1994, p. 169.
  42. Greg Prato. "The Greedies – Music biography" . Retrieved 20 December 2012.
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  44. Putterford 1994, pp. 186–187.
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  47. 1 2 Putterford 1994, p. 280.
  48. Putterford 1994, pp. 259–260.
  49. Putterford 1994, pp. 265–266.
  50. Putterford 1994, p. 277.
  51. Byrne 2012, pp. 145–48.
  52. Putterford 1994, p. 282.
  53. Goddard, Simon (2013). Songs That Saved Your Life – The Art of The Smiths 1982–87 (revised edition). Titan Books. p. 392. ISBN   978-1-781-16259-0.
  54. 1 2 3 "Farewell, Phil", Sounds , 11 January 1986, p. 3
  55. Barton, Geoff, Dome, Malcolm, Kendall, Jo, Ling, Dave: "The night I set Phil Lynott's todger on fire and other stories"; Classic Rock #219, February 2016, p59
  56. 1 2 Lynott, Philip (1997). Songs for While I'm Away. Boxtree. ISBN   978-0-752-20389-8.
  57. Wardlaw, Mark (20 August 2011). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott". Classic Rock magazine. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  58. "Life After Lizzy". Irish Independent. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  59. Putterford 1994, p. 196-197.
  60. Putterford 1994, p. 195.
  61. Putterford 1994, p. 198.
  62. Putterford 1994, p. 252.
  63. Ken Sweeney (26 July 2010). "Lynott son's joy as Phil's family recognise him". Irish Independent . Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  64. Taylor, Paul (28 February 2011). "Phil Lynott's mother recalls exciting days in Manchester". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  65. Putterford 1994, p. 291.
  66. Putterford 1994, p. 292.
  67. Putterford 1994, pp. 296–297.
  68. 1 2 "Lynott's mum gives son's grave a kicking". Irish Examiner. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  69. "Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose". Classic Rock magazine: 17–18. February 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  70. "Vibe for Philo". Irish Times. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
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  77. "Yellow Pearl : A Collection". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  78. Henry McDonald (3 September 2012). "Phil Lynott's mother objects to Mitt Romney using Thin Lizzy's music". The Guardian . Retrieved 14 December 2012.
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  80. Thomson 2016, p. 61.
  81. Brown, Jake (2012). Behind the Boards: The Making of Rock 'n' Roll's Greatest Records Revealed. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 282. ISBN   978-1-480-32976-8.
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  83. "Private Collection – Bass Odyssey". The Guitar Magazine. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
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  86. Putterford 1994, p. 108.
  87. Putterford 1994, p. 53.
  88. Byrne 2006, p. 44.
  89. Putterford 1994, p. 113.
  90. Thomson 2016, p. 2.
  91. Byrne 2006, p. 161.
  92. Byrne 2006, p. 122.
  93. Brooks 2000, p. 94.
  94. Bailie 1997, p. 156.
  95. Brooks 2000, p. 105.
  96. Thomson 2016, p. 336.

Sources

  • Bailie, Stuart (1997). The Ballad of the Thin Man: The Authorised Biography of Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy. Boxtree. ISBN   0-7522-0395-9.
  • Brooks, Ken (2000). Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy: Rockin' Vagabond. Agenda. ISBN   1-899882-21-9.
  • Byrne, Alan (2006). Thin Lizzy. SAF Publishing. ISBN   978-0-946-71981-5.
  • Byrne, Alan (2012). Philip Lynott: Renegade of Thin Lizzy. Mentor Books. ISBN   978-1-906-62388-3.
  • Putterford, Mark (1994). Philip Lynott: The Rocker. Castle Communications. ISBN   1-898141-50-9.
  • Thomson, Graeme (2016). Cowboy Song: The Authorised Biography of Philip Lynott. Hachette UK. ISBN   978-1-472-12106-6.