Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of musician Phil Lynott, frontman of the rock band Thin Lizzy.
Philip Parris Lynott was born in the UK on August 20, 1949 and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. Lynott began his musical career in the 1960s, playing with guitarist Gary Moore amongst others and in 1969 he co-founded Thin Lizzy as the band’s frontman and main songwriter, as well as lead singer and bassist. In the 1970s, the band hit it big with a rock version of the traditional Irish tune “Whiskey in the Jar” and again in 1976 with “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Jailbreak.”
Aside Thin Lizzy, Lynott had a solo career, was a poet and author, and also appeared on Jeff Wayne’s trippy Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds doing spoken word and vocals for the character Parson Nathaniel.
Thin Lizzy official broke up in 1983 and Lynott formed the band Grand Slam, which he was still a part of at the time of his death. After years of problems with drug and alcohol addiction, Lynott died at a hospital in England on January 4, 1986, of heart failure and pneumonia at the young age of 36.
In 2005, a life-size bronze statue, nicknamed “The Ace with the Bass,” was erected of Lynott, on Harry Street in Dublin, Ireland.
There’s no doubt that Lynott and Thin Lizzy were major influences on bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica (who covered Thin Lizzy’s version of “Whiskey In The Jar” on their album Garage Inc.), The Strokes, and many more artists. (Just listen to “Emerald” from Jailbreak and tell me if there could have been an Iron Maiden without that song.)