Today, January 4, 2018 marks 32 years since the death of one of rock’s all time great front men, Thin Lizzy’s and Ireland’s Phil Lynott.
Born in West Bromwich in 1949 – but moving to Dublin to live with his grandmother Sarah at the age of four – Lynott was 15 when he joined his first band, the Black Eagles. Other bands followed – Skid Row and Orphanage – but it was with Thin Lizzy that the bass-playing singer made his name. Forming in 1969, their first hit came with 1973’s ‘Whiskey In The Jar’, a cover of the traditional Irish folk song. Their sixth album, 1976’s ‘Jailbreak’, saw the band hit the big time, and featured the global smash ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’.
— Graeme Thomson (@GraemeAThomson) January 4, 2018
With the band’s rise however, came increased drug and alcohol abuse for Lynott, which would eventually lead to his death at the age of 36. The turning point for Lynott, according to those close to him, was the death of his grandmother Sarah. when she was alive he didn’t want anything negative to appear in the papers, or for her to be disappointed by him. Sarah and Lynott’s wife, Caroline Crowther, the daughter of the English game show host Leslie Crowther were the two primary female influences in his life at the time. When Caroline left, their house descended into chaos, and so did his life. After collapsing at home in London on Christmas Day in 1985 he was taken to hospital before passing away from a combination of pneumonia and heart failure due to septicaemia.
Lynott exited the stage far too soon, but before he went he left a host of brilliant music. Thin Lizzy were at their best when rolling through songs about rebellion, brotherhood, living the good life and sauntering across the wild frontier in leather trousers and little else.
— Colm O'Callaghan (@aslinndubh) January 4, 2018
However, apart from music, Lynott was an enormously influential figure. He was Dublin’s first rock star and both Bob Geldof and U2 have stated how he helped clear the way for their success. He was proud of his Irishness , of his rugged Crumlin accent, proud of his colour and rightly proud of his own success. In his Old Town of Dublin where this Grafton Street Cowboy strutted his stuff and is commemorated by a statue outside Bruxelles Pub in Harry Street where he used to gig in the famously sweaty basement lounge. Phil is buried in St. Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton, a seaside suburb of Dublin, near to where his mother Phyllis lives in Howth. She is a frequent visitor to his grave and had dedicated herself to keeping his memory alive.
— RTÉ Archives (@RTEArchives) January 4, 2018
Philip Parris “Phil” Lynott – Irish musician, singer and songwriter (August 20, 1949, West Bromwich – January 4, 1986, Salisbury, Wiltshire)
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