On this date in 1949, Irish singer-songwriter-bass player and the frontman of Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott, was born. He would’ve turned 71 today.
Lynott was known for his imaginative lyrical contributions including working class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture.
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 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 embarked upon a solo career, published two books of poetry, and after Thin Lizzy disbanded, he assembled and fronted the band Grand Slam.
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 died on 4 January 1986 of heart failure and pneumonia after being in a coma for eight days following a drug overdose. He remains a popular figure in the rock world, a life-size bronze statue of him was unveiled on Harry Street in Dublin in 2005.
Happy birthday, Phil. Is it possible to bring Thin Lizzy boys back in town?