Thin Lizzy

Phil LynottVocals, bass
Brian DowneyDrums
Eric BellGuitar1970-1973
Gary MooreGuitar1974, 1977, 1978-79
Scott GorhamGuitar1974-1983
Brian RobertsonGuitar1974-1978
Snowy WhiteGuitar1980-1982
Darren WhartonKeyboards1980-1983
John SykesGuitar1983
  • Songs
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Phil Lynott died on January 4th 1986, aged 36. The official cause of death was "multiple internal abscesses causing blood poisoning leading to kidney, liver and heart failure."
  • Lynott's mother was a white Irish Catholic and his father was a black Brazilian, whom Phil hardly ever saw. In 1976, once Thin Lizzy had taken off, Phil met with his dad, but it was hardly a storybook reunion, and the two never formed a meaningful relationship.
  • Though a very proud Irishman, Phil Lynott was actually born in West Bromwich, near Birmingham, in England.
  • Phil Lynott was briefly in Skid Row, where he first met Gary Moore.
  • Moore has also had a very successful solo career, spanning more than 30 years. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tom - Trowbridge, England, for all above
  • A statue of Phil Lynott was put up off Grafton street in Dublin in 2005. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    rory - victoria, Canada
  • The band's name is a play on Tin Lizzie ("Thin" being pronounced "Tin" in an Irish accent). Tin Lizzie is either a reference to a character from the Dandy Comic or a nickname for the Model T Ford. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Scott - Oxford, England
  • Phil Lynott was the principal songwriter, but he encouraged the rest of the band to contribute their own material. Scott Gorham told us: "He taught us how to do this thing called 'song writing.' And until we got better and better at it and we could actually bring our own songs in, we brought in songs that were either partly finished or just ideas to put on one of his songs. We might bring in a song that was half finished, or a whole song minus the lyrics. And it was always minus the lyrics, because that was Phil Lynott's domain. We knew that we weren't ever going to touch or top his lyrics. So you just let him get on with it."

    "And that pretty much remained the same format throughout Thin Lizzy," he continued. "There were times where he would bring something in, maybe a whole song, and we'd listen to it and say, 'You know, Phil, I think maybe you should use that for your solo album.' [Laughs] And he was like, 'Okay.' He was cool with that. Because, in fact, he was trying to gather up as many songs as he could to do his first solo album [1980's Solo in Soho]. So when anybody ever said that, he wasn't bothered. It wasn't like some kind of a burn on his writing manner or anything. He just said, 'Yeah, great, okay,' and put it in the pile."
  • This Lizzy nearly split up at the beginning of their career, because of drummer Brian Downey's beard. A dustup took place in a television studio as the band were gearing up to make their American screen debut, following a short break during which Downey had stopped shaving, much to Phil Lynott's anger. Gorham recalled to Classic Rock: "I remember watching this happening, this really angry row, and thinking: 'Really, we're going to break up over f---ing facial hair?'"

    "But Phil was like that. He was a good guy, but he never lost sight of what it was that he wanted Thin Lizzy to be," he added. "That was what was always most important to him."
  • Unusually for an Irish rock star, Phil Lynott did not like Guinness. His favorite tipple was Smithwick's, a red ale style beer brewed in Kilkenny.
  • According to Phil Lynott's official biography, Cowboy Song, Thin Lizzy's pioneering twin guitar sound was a mistake. "Brian Robertson was doing a take and the engineer left a delay on his guitar, a millisecond, so he was harmonizing with himself," Scott Gorham recalled. "We kept doing it on other songs, although we weren't thinking about it as a Thin Lizzy sound until we read about it in the paper."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 14

  • Patrick from Aurora, IlI was also at the WLUP radio's "Day in the Park" at Comisky Park in 1979. It was my first concert experience - I was about 14 years old. The crowd starting lining up at 10am and people were smoking, drinking and others things before we even got inside. It was my first time smoking too. Great line-up with Thin Lizzy, Santana, Journey, Molly Hatchett. Hot summer day. What a great first concert. Went with my older borther and sister. I had been trying to remember the line-up and date for a long time - till I found this website..
  • Dennis from North Arlington, NjThin Lizzy was a popular favorite for many in New Jersey during the late 70s at The Jersey Shore!
  • Scott from Palm Desert, CaThin Lizzy were incredible. They had an L.P. in 1979 called "Black Rose (A Rock Legend)" that had in my opinion thier greatest song ever "Waiting For An Alibi".
  • David from Arlington, TxGreat live band, Saw a tape of one of their shows back in 1986 have been a fan ever since
  • Andrea from Trune, AzI never understood why Thin Lizzy reached the fame that they did. I know its all a matter of opnion, but all of the songs seem so mediocre compared with the other artists of that time.
  • Andrew from Belfast, IrelandGreatest irish band ever! live and dangerous was their best album and why the americans didnt like them i dont know they were the greatest rock band ever
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScTom. i think i've heard 'Cowboy's song". That's the onlyThin lizzie song I heard besides "The Boys Are Back..."
  • Zahid from Sacramento, CaMidge Ure was also in Thin Lizzy briefly, around 1979. He toured with them and appeared on at least one album track.
  • Legacy User from Electric LadylandWhat an awesome band! Jailbreak is a great album. My favorite CD by them is their live one with Phil Lynott on the cover. I think its called "Live and Dangerous" or "Live and Loud" or something
  • Dan from Chicago Ridge, IlI saw Thin Lizzy at WLUP radio's "Day In The Park" at Comiskey Park in 1979. They were on a shared bill with Journey, Santana, Molly Hatchett, and Eddit Money. This was my first real concert experience, and what a show!
  • Sam from Sydney, AustraliaIt is very rare that you see the Darkness' guitarist Dan Hawkins not wearing a Thin Lizzy T-shirt
  • Jonathan from Oklahoma City, OkCan't forget Jailbreak
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandGary Moore is a guitar god! He is probably the most emotive guitarist ever.
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandI can't understand why Thin Lizzy were only a 1 hit wonder in America! They had loads of classic songs apart from "The Boys are back...". For example "Emerald", "Dancing in the Moonlight", "Whiskey in the Jar", "Cowboy's Song", "Waiting for an alibi", "Chinatown",
    "Hollywood (Down on your luck)", "Do anything you want to" and "Cold Sweat" are all instantly unforgettable.
see more comments

JJ Burnel of The StranglersSongwriter Interviews

JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)Songwriter Interviews

Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.