Philip Parris Lynott August 20, 1949 - January 4, 1986
On this day in 1986 the world lost her one and only wild one, Phil Lynott -- a man whose sound and vision are still very much alive in the hearts and minds of countless rockers the world 'round. From his vaguely Middle Earthian folk-rock proclivities that contributed to Thin Lizzy's early incarnations (evident in "lost" recordings like "Mama & Papa") on through to their first three albums, or the "Eric Bell years", to Lizzy's slow build to their mid-seventies hard rockin' heyday (solidifying their ultimate classic rock cult hero status) until the sun went down with Lizzy's last album in 1983, along with two solo efforts and his Grand Slam finale, Phil Lynott's life's work is infinitely sustained by his brilliance as a lyricist, musician, and a no holds barred, unapologetic fighter of a full-time rocker. No doubt raising hell in heaven above, his temporal existence will be forever missed.
I think I'll just fall to pieces
If I don't find something else to do
The sadness never ceases
I'm still in love with you...
Thin Lizzy "Dublin" (1971) song + Dublin slideshow
Tomorrow, January 4th 2013, marks the 27th anniversary of the death of Thin Lizzy front-man Phil Lynott who died from complications of an apparent drug overdose at age 36. It also marks the 27th year back in the artist's Dublin hometown that the beloved legendary Irish rocker will be honored again with the big Vibe For Philo celebration. Begun as a humble, heartfelt low-key gathering by fans and friends to mourn his tragic passing in the days following his January 1986 death, Vibe For Philo morphed into an annual event that has steadily grown over the years. It is now a three-day, mini festival like celebration with a slew of Thin Lizzy tribute acts that draws Lynott and Lizzy fans from all over to the Irish capital of Dublin. Coincidentally the theme of this year's Vibe For Philo, which begins today (Jan 3rd), is "Dublin."
According to Vibe For Philo organizer Smiley Bolger this Lynott-hometown named theme was inspired from the song "Dublin" off the 1971 New Day 7" EP on UK Decca. "Philip got it spot on when he wrote: How can I leave this town that brings me down, Has no jobs, is blessed by God and makes me cry. Dublin." Indeed considering the current dire economic state of the recession era Ireland (one that makes today's US economy look almost robust) this 2013 Vibe For Philo theme is most fitting.
Like the early 1970's era Dublin with "no jobs" that Lynott sang about the current dismal Irish economy is back at that same unfortunate place. The once boisterous Irish economy took a double whammy of a blow when it crashed and burned about five years ago. After enjoying the almost surreal dozen plus years of the bubble that was Ireland's so-called "Celtic Tiger" (1994 - 2007) it crashed hard and fast. To make a bad situation worse this economic collapse coincided with the global banking scandals that brought down other countries. Currently Ireland, which during its Celtic Tiger years was for the first time experiencing an influx of immigrants, is now back to its old status when emigration (usually to the US, UK, or Australia) was the only option for survival for many Irish. So high were those numbers (76,000 for the 12 months leading up to April 2012) that they are now at the highest point since the devastating Irish potato famine of the 1800's.
We the people of Amoeba Music mayn't always hear ear to ear when it comes to mutual enjoyment of preferred musical genres and styles but it would seem that roughly ten out of ten Amoeba employees agree that Thin Lizzy is the hardest, heaviest most essential band of rockers, Irish or otherwise, ever assembled. Though they are perhaps more widely appreciated for their mid-career jukebox jammers like "The Boys Are Back In Town" (c'mon, who hasn't heard this one), the Bob Seger penned rocker "Rosalie" (oft covered by Motörhead), and new takes on traditional tunes like "Whiskey in the Jar" (Metallica, schmeh-tallica), Seattle-based label Light In The Attic Records has lately seen to the proper vinyl reissue of Lizzy's 1971 self-titled debut, an album that plays like a slightly psychedelic folk tinged early dawn portrait of singing bassist Phil Lynott, drummer Brian Downey, and guitarist Eric Bell.
Never got to see Elvis Presley, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Thin Lizzy with Phil Lynott, Gang Starr's Guru, Wu-Tang Clan with ODB, Bob Marley, Biggie, J-Dilla, Mac Dre or 2Pac in concert when they were alive? No worries. Now you can, or likely will soon be able to, see any deceased artist "live" in concert via the latest advanced, almost lifelike use of holograms if the success of last night's Coachella 2012 Festival is any indicator. During the SoCal festival's closing set last night by Dr Dre when, using state of the art high-tech 3D images of the deceased rapper, the late great Tupac Shakur (aka 2Pac) performed both a song by himself and then a collaboration on stage with Snoop Dogg.
Now while holograms are not new - even their use in big concert settings has already been done like last year when hologram technology was utilized by Mariah Carey who simultaneously did five different concerts across Europe - the profound impact of last night's lifelike Pac appearance is bound to have a major impact on use of the technology in concert settings.
As seen in above video the eerily lifelike hologram image of Shakur, who was gunned down dead 16 years ago, was simultaneously brilliant and spooky. The projected hologram was extremely realistic (even more so when you see it in person and not via video) right down to every little mannerism of the famous murdered rapper that it was like he was really there - and you could tell from the howls of the crowd that the audience members were really feeling it too.
Tremendous news for Thin Lizzy addicts announced today! According to the Belfast Telegraph a cache of up to 700 Thin Lizzy songs found among 'a treasure trove of tapes stashed away by Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott' have been slated for release later this year as a box set via Universal Music.
Apparently, shortly before the Dublin rocker's death in 1986, the then 36 year old Lynott gave a heap of 150 tapes to a third party for safe keeping - here's hoping the good folks at Universal treat the twenty-six year old find kind.
"This is an absolutely stunning find," Steve Hammonds, project manager behind the new Thin Lizzy box set, told the Irish Independent.
"In every group there's a member who lovingly collects their recordings and in Thin Lizzy that was Phil Lynott, because Lizzy was his baby and his band."
"There are out-takes, unheard versions of Thin Lizzy hits and, most exciting of all, material which was recorded but never released at the time," said Mr Hammonds.
The scheduled June release won't be the first collection in the last few years to feature archive work by the band as it follows on last year's Live At The BBC release, not to mention all those long-awaited deluxe remastered editions of Lizzy's back catalog. [and while we're on the subject, powers that be, howsabout getting around to taking the TBD out of the promised 2CD/DVD edish of Live and Dangerous equation already]