Philip Parris “Phil” Lynott (1949 – 1986) was born in West Bromwich, England. His mother was Irish and his father Brazilian. His parents split up, and when he was four, Lynott went to live with his grandmother in Dublin.
In 1970, he was a founding member, lead vocalist and bassist of the band Thin Lizzy. Eric Bell played guitar and Brian Downey was on the drums. Lynott was the leading creative force behind Thin Lizzy producing his unique mixture of poetry and rock.
Lynott paved the way for many of the amazing Irish bands who’ve emerged on the scene since his untimely death in 1986. What’s more, the famous Dubliner had a cheeky sense of humour! Asked by a journalist what it felt like to be black and Irish, Phil quipped: “Kinda like a pint of Guinness”
A 2,4m bronze landmark statue was erected on Harry Street, (just off Grafton Street), Dublin, Ireland, august 2005 to commemorate the life and work of Lynott. It was done for aspiring young and new musicians to lay a plectrum at Phils feet. It stands outside one of the rocker’s favourite pubs, Bruxelles.
“I don’t condone drugs, really, but I know why artists take drugs. They take them to experience, to go to the edge. Why do people climb mountains? To go to the edge. People always want to go to extremes. And if you go to the edge, you must be prepared to fall off. And lots of guys have.” (quote)
Lynott’s hard-living rock and roll lifestyle, and the problems in his personal life and career led to his drug and alcohol dependency. He died of pneumonia and heart failure in intensive care unit due to septicemia on January 4th, 1986, at the age of 36.
My Roisin Dubh is my one and only true love
It was a joy that Joyce brought to me
While William Butler waits
And Oscar, he’s going wild