Phil Lynott’s really big year

9 Apr

Late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott riding a growing new wave of appreciation

Despite not being with us for over twenty-five years now – twenty-seven years this January 4th – Irish singer, songwriter, bass player and Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott still managed to have quite a year in 2012. Perhaps not adding up to much ‘money in the bank’, Lynott’s words and music did however ride a growing new wave of appreciation.

Phil Lynott.indd

by Donald Wiedman for Guitar Planet, January 2013

Tourists flocked to his statue in Dublin, past band members and tribute bands actively played his music, and exhibits and anniversary concerts celebrated him. More to the point, Phil Lynott had quite a presence in the mainstream media throughout 2012.

Here are some monthly highlights of anything and everything Phil Lynott, from January 1 to December 31, 2012. Be sure to click on each MONTH‘s link!

JANUARY – Previously unavailable in North America and other parts of the world, Philomena Lynott releases her newly updated bestselling autobiography My Boy for tablets, and ebook-reading Thin Lizzy fans everywhere.

FEBRUARY – Just released toxicology test results confirm that legendary Irish bluesman, and three-time Thin Lizzy guitarist, Gary Moore died in February 2011 of a heart attack, brought on by an evening of excessive Caribbean holiday drinking.

MARCH – British Prime Minister David Cameron shows his love for Thin Lizzy, telling The Telegraph that he always keeps the band’s 1973 hit single ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ handy. “I have it on i-tunes,” and “play it when needing a lift.”

APRIL – From its twice-extended hometown debut at Stephen’s Green in Dublin, ‘The Philip Lynott Exhibition’ moves to London for a three month display at the British Music Experience at The O2.

MAY – Phil Lynott is “the perfect choice for donning the eye-patch and leather coat of Nick Fury” as the Coventry Telegraph recasts Marvel Comics ‘Avengers’ movie characters with classic rockers.

JUNE – Thin Lizzy’s original trio guitarist Eric Bell tells The Cork News – after his 1973 career-shortening nosedive into alcohol and drug abuse – “I would do it differently now, and have a hot chocolate instead at 10:30 after the gig.”

JULY – ‘The Philip Lynott Exhibition’ returns to Dublin, to welcome three more months’ of supporters from around the world – closing at the end of September after an award-winning 14 month run.

AUGUST – Things get heated – and “Philomena versus Mitt” google hits go through the roof – when Mitt Romney uses ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ to introduce Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas.

SEPTEMBER – Philomena Lynott responds with fury in a Hot Press interview, rejecting “the association of her son’s music with the Republican Party cause”. Thin Lizzy’s third and stalwart guitarist Scott Gorham follows with a statement. Then Caroline Taraskevics, Phil Lynott’s widow and owner of the song’s copyright does the same. All their efforts are to no avail.

OCTOBER – The resurrected and touring ‘latest’ Thin Lizzy line-up, led by Scott Gorham and original trio and legendary Dublin drummer Brian Downey, announce they will – out of respect for the memory of Phil Lynott – stop touring under the Thin Lizzy name, and release the planned studio album instead as ‘Black Star Riders’.

NOVEMBER – Philomena Lynott congratulates Barack Obama on his winning of the 2012 US Presidential Election (Obama’s great great great grandfather was from Ireland), and suggests the re-elected President use ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ at his inauguration. “Philip would be delighted!”

DECEMBER – Phil Lynott supporters end the year on a high note, with three new books on their favourute subject published in the past twelve months: Harry Doherty and Scott Gorham’s The Boys Are Back In Town, Alan Byrne’s Philip Lynott: Renegade of Thin Lizzy, and Martin Popoff’s It’s Getting Dangerous: Thin Lizzy 81-12.

Will Phil Lynott’s really big 2012 prove to be just another periodic passing of his rare but always brilliant Thin Lizzy comet? Or did the Rock & Roll universe over the past 12 months just witness the Elvis Presley of Ireland’s star finally rise high enough, for all to forever see, hear, and read?

Only time, 2013 – and a growing new wave of appreciation for the words and music of the late Phil Lynott – will tell.

Donald Wiedman
Toronto, Canada

@wildeyedboys on Twitter

© 2013 Wiedman Communications


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