Phil Lynott 30 year anniversary

Phil Lynott 30 year anniversary

Memories are shared on the 30 year anniversary of the death of music legend Phil Lynott

January 4th 2016 marks 30 years since the death of one of rock’s all time great frontmen, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott. 

Born in London in 1949, Lynott moved to Dublin to live with his grandmother at the age of four. Lynott joined a number of bands in his teens, but it was in Thin Lizzy that the bass-playing singer really found his place. 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’.

Phil Lynott 30 year anniversary
Phil Lynott’s mother Philomena with the statue of her son on Grafton Street, Dublin

Lynott was known for his drug and alcohol addictions, which ultimately led to his death at the age of 36. 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.

Speaking about Lynott in 2011, U2 frontman Bono famously told Hotpress “We were 16 when we formed the band and we were trying to learn other people’s songs and we weren’t very good at it,” Bono recalls. “Occasionally one would speak to us, and I remember us trying to work out ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ and I couldn’t understand exactly what he meant. ‘Don’t believe me when I tell ya/Not a word of this is true/Don’t believe me when I tell ya/I’m in love with you’ – just a great lyric device. We tried playing that, just murdered that one.

Phil Lynott 30 year anniversary

“They were such good songs to murder,” he continued. “‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, we murdered that one. We still play that one in soundcheck. ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’, we play that one in soundcheck too, that’s so beautiful. So Van Morrison.”

Slash also found inspiration in Thin Lizzie. He said “a lot of the bands that I liked were two-guitar bands, be it the Stones, AC/DC, Aerosmith or Thin Lizzy or whatever, even The Scorpions. You just got more out of two guitars! I never really set out to be in two-guitar bands, but when Guns N’ Roses started, that’s the way it came together. When Scott and Brian Robertson were playing together, that’s the Thin Lizzy sound I most identified with stylistically.”

The Cure’s Robert Smith was also a fan: “I’ve got every single one of their albums on vinyl. I saw Thin Lizzy in the Brighton Dome in 1976 and it that was one of my all-time favourite concerts. It was just genius…. Phil Lynott with his mirror bass picking girls out. I loved Thin Lizzy.”

The NME today ran a collection of Phil Lynott’s greatest songs. Read more here:



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