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What if Phil Lynott were alive today?

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The greatest Irish rock and roll singer of all time died January 4th, 1986 from heart failure and pneumonia. Since then, things really haven't been the same. Here is but a small sample of what we've had to live through since his passing:


  • Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait
  • 1990 recession
  • Rwandan Genocide
  • The Oklahoma City bombing
  • Waco
  • Elián González
  • The U.S.S. Cole bombing
  • Britney Spears and her ilk
  • 9/11
  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Sean Hannity, Keith Olbermann, Sarah Palin, etc., etc.,
  • The Late 2000s Recession
  • Etc...

I could go on, but I don't see any reason to rub anyone's nose in it. Especially since we all know the root cause is a deleterious lack of Phil Lynott.


All I know is that I'm going to do what little I can to rectify the situation:

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And then send Robbo over to smash his face in...

I heart this thread very hard.

I wonder if there is an alternate universe out there where Phil Lynott is still alive and playing for Thin Lizzy, the twin towers still stand, Rick Allen still has two arms, Steve Perry still sings fo



Yes, I know Live and Dangerous has more than enough overdubs to bring serious question its "liveness," but whatever.


So I ask: if he were resurrected today, what would it mean for the world? Would there be immediate peace, or at the very least, free Ice Cream on Thursdays? Would people finally stop freaking out about gay marriage, Muslim presidents, and "hallowed-ground Mosques?" Would the economy recover and employers start hiring again? Would the Earth begin to heal herself, as people finally realize recreational sex is far healthier than procreational when it comes to our environment? I'm sure we'd see all this and more. What a better place this world would surely be if Phil Lynott were alive to cast his gaze upon it.



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That's fair, given the fact that:


1) sometimes, the comparison is actually quite apt.

2) especially so, with the three songs that get played on American radio -- they all basically sound like faster, harder Steely Dan.


In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I also like Steely Dan, so I'm a bit biased. But also, in sticking up for the great Mr. Lynott, there was a lot more to the sound than that. In fact, I think Thin Lizzy's inability to fit into any one genre is part of why they never took off in the U.S.: they had no problem throwing in a country or jazz lick here or there, or folk, traditional, disco or even soul. I can totally imagine a bunch stoned American teenagers just thinking "What the hell is this crap?!" regarding the subject matter of some of the songs -- it can be extremely Irish-centric and/or introspective at times.


He would, of course, support your right to hate his music...


Freedom Song

Let me tell you the hard luck story

About a man named Jack McDuff

He believed in God and glory

But he just wasn't tough enough


Well they took him and they beat him

Underneath the old hanging tree

Saying, "Jack, you must die"

"What will your last words be?"


Jack, he hung his head back

"Long live liberty!"

"I believe in the freedom song"

"Doesn't matter what you do to me"


With a rope around his neck they left him hanging

High on that old hanging tree

On her knees his wife was screaming

"Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy"


I believe in the freedom song

Long live liberty!

I believe in the freedom song

Doesn't matter what you do to me



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Duke, you are a freaking rock and roll god.


Seriously, you're like a goddamned encyclopedia. So tell me this: who was the instigator of most of the fights Thin Lizzy got themselves into?


I've seen pictures of Lynott performing with black eyes and bruises, but Robertson gets a lot of credit, too (and didn't he injure himself too badly to play guitar in a bar fight right before their "breakthrough" U.S. tour?). The description is usually "Robertson was the powder keg, Lynott the lit match." But I've never read The Rocker...



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Aw shucks!


My answer would be Robbo. And yeah, his first exit was after punching a light post in a fight - it probably deserved it anyway - and wrecking his hand. Then after really getting the boot he moved to Motörhead where he was prompty deemed a wimp. Robbo actually lives in Stockholm now and often shows up at the annual "King´s call" on Phil´s death day Jan 4th. Usually too drunk to play.


I´m not counting the three times Gary Moore was in the band for about 15 minutes per try (plus the original Skid Row). Who started each the five thousand fights between him and Phil was just anyone´s guess...

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Ah, Gary.


I've never been sure if he truly weakened the band's sound (he almost had too much tone and personality in his playing -- Robertson and Gorham were a better fit, in my opinion), or if it's because he came along around the time Phil's drug use escalated to the point where it was effecting his songwriting/singing, but I always think of him replacing Robertson as marking the clear decline of the band (despite Black Rose actually being a damn good album). I guess just as good an argument could be made for Bad Reputation, considering Gorham did almost all (all?) the guitar work there, but it still sounds more like Thin Lizzy to me than Black Rose...


I do love Gary Moore's tone, though, and for a guitarist, his voice is strangely tolerable.



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Well, "Black rose" is one of my fave Lizzy albums (along with the predictable "Jailbreak" and the underrated "Johnny the fox") but I see what you mean. The twin guitar attack started after Gary left the second time. (He was in the band replacing Eric Bell in 1973, recorded one single, "Little darling"/"Buffalo gal" plus the guitar solo for "Still in love with you".) And it ended when he came back, there´s no way in hell he´d play along with anyone. He couldn´t even do it if he tried, Gary Moore is one of the very few players who is instantly recognizable. Probably has something to do with being lefthanded but playing like he was a rightie.


Plus that Lizzy could and should only have one star, Phil. The dvd from Sydney 1979 is almost parodic when Phil and Gary try to upstage each other all the damn time.

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Not to mention that Phil would spam all the boring serious political threads saying Don´t believe me if I tell you, not a word of this is true... Or maybe that he´d be Standing in the shadows of love... waiting for you. Don´t unzip your zipper cuz you know I´m Jack the Ripper.

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That's great, but you do him little justice. Phil's probably the only true hard rock poet there ever was; he's definitely the only hard rock lyricist to blow my mind with his words. As far as I know, he's the only rocker Bob Dylan ever flat-out called a "genius," too.


And that tragic, senseless (yet typically Irish) death. And even worse, the decline -- such a clear case of substance abuse robbing a man of his talents. I mean, how many other fully literate rock and roll singers were there in the '70s? And of those, how many were able to write polysyllabic songs without feeling a need to resort to silly Dungeons & Dragons lyrics? Definitely one of a kind.


I need to catch that Sydney DVD. I've seen a few songs off of it on YouTube, but that's it.



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  • 1 month later...

I used to be a dreamer

But I realized that it's not my style at all

In fact it becomes clearer that a dreamer

Doesn't stand a chance at all


And I've become bitter

For I believe that this is better

No matter, whatever, whenever

We can never ever stay together


He was clearly sending a warning to the Israelis and Palestinians. If only Phil were here to sort out this mess.



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I feel an upcoming book: "The Thin Lizzy Code".


"Cowboy song" is quite obviously a prophecy about George W Bush.


And the line "Me, I went to the liquer store" in "King´s call" happened to me just last night!

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  • 8 months later...

I'm pretty sure "Roisin Dubh (Black Rose) A Rock Legend" is the best song ever written. I seriously never get tired of it. Well, so long as Gary Moore is doing the lead -- Gorham couldn't hack it, White didn't even try to, and Sykes made it sound like bad '80s hair-metal:


Clearly, this song is both ode to and cautionary tale of political tribalism.



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