Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20: Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott - "The Boys are Back in Town" - was born on this date in 1949 ...


... he died on January 4, 1986 at the age of 36.

Born Philip Parris Lynott in  West Bromwich, England, Phil  was a founding member, principal songwriter, and frontman of the critically acclaimed Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. As leader of the band, Lynott's vocals and bass guitar were a key element in the commercial success of the band's thirteen albums, and succession of hit songs. Similar to Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen, Lynott merged poetry with rock music.

Lynott also had a solo music career, published two books of poetry, and after Thin Lizzy disbanded, assembled and fronted the band Grand Slam, up until his death of at the age of 36.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

HIGHLY Recommended (Press album covers for direct links to Amazon):

Definitive CollectionJailbreakVagabonds of the Western World

After discovering rock n' roll as a teen, Phil began singing in his first band, the Black Eagles. Around this time he met future Thin Lizzy drummer, Brian Downey. Phil then played in a succession of other bands; Kama Sutra, Skid Row and Orphanage.

Thin Lizzy was officially formed in the early-70's, and through a succession of guitarists, eventually became one of the world's top hard rock bands by the middle of the decade, especially on the strength of the hit anthem "The Boys are Back in Town" and a string of successful albums including Jailbreak, Bad Reputation, Live & Dangerous and Black Rose. While Lizzy was often classified as "heavy metal", the band covered a lot of musical terrain.

In addition to the band's instantly recognizable twin guitar trademark sound, - supplied by Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson - it was Lynott's storytelling lyric-writing that attracted their fans.

Lynott published several books of his poetry during the 70's and 80's, and released a pair of solo albums; 1980's Solo in Soho and 1982's Phil Lynott Album. But like many rockers of the 70's, Lynott and most of his bandmates succumbed to the lifestyle of rock n' roll - indulging in hard drugs and alcohol.

Lynott embraced the fledgling punk scene - forming a side project with ex-members of the Sex Pistols -  The Greedy Bastards (later shortened to The Greedies.) He also became friends with Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, and guested on Johnny Thunders' 1978 album, So Alone.

After Thin Lizzy broke up, Lynott attempted to form another band, Grand Slam, which ultimately failed. But a successful collaboration with old friend Gary Moore, "Out in the Fields," showed Phil still had what it took, but it wasn't enough for Phil to put his life back on track. Lynott died on January 4, 1986 - his body giving out from all the years of abuse and hard living.

But the Thin Lizzy name and Lynott's songwriting and influence continued to be named by other musicians as a major influence, including Metallica, Def Leppard, Henry Rollins, and the Smashing Pumpkins.


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