In response to one person’s comments made in regard to my recent post, “100 Reasons Why Stevie Ray Vaughan Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame,” in which they mentioned that Dublin, Ireland rock band Thin Lizzy was fronted by a black man, I decided not only to re-post the two photos of bassist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott but also several more of the band. Since that first posting, I have also learned how to mat and frame my photographs in which to post online, which gives them added pizzazz. The mention of race was brought up not only by this individual but by several others in which they seem to think I implied that black musicians have no place in the rock hall, which cannot be further from the truth. My only criteria for being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, other than being an influential artist or band, is that the performer play or have played rock and roll music, which to me isn’t too much to ask.
Thin Lizzy, which was founded in 1969 and whose heyday was the mid 1970s through the early 1980s, was fronted by the charismatic Lynott, who passed away on January 4, 1986. The group’s biggest hits were Jailbreak and The Boys Are Back In Town, which were all over the radio airwaves in 1976, both of which were from their album Jailbreak from that same year. Having stopped listening to the radio around 1980, I am told these two songs are still in rotation on classic rock radio stations.
The other thing that stood out about the multiracial band was that its members were both Catholic and Protestant at a time in which the two religions were engaged in a militant struggle known as The Troubles that consumed not only Northern Ireland but Ireland and England as well. Though The Troubles officially ended with the signing of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement on Good Friday, April 10, 1998 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, sporadic violence still continues.
After the death of Lynott, due to complications arising from years of drug abuse, various incarnations of the band have existed. In June of 2012, members announced that they were planning to enter into the studio to record its first album of new material since 1983’s Thunder And Lightning, but out of respect to their fallen leader, changed their minds and released the album All Hell Breaks Loose under the moniker Black Star Riders just last month. However, Thin Lizzy as a band still continues to play live shows to this day.
These photos were shot at a November 15, 1980 show at the Agora in Columbus, Ohio, USA in support of their 1980 album Chinatown. The price of the ticket was $7.00. The band’s lineup at this show was; Phil Lynott: Bass & Vocals, Scott Gorham: Guitar & Vocals, Snowy White: Guitar & Vocals, Brian Downey: Drums and Darren Wharton: Keyboards. To see what is my favorite photo of the band from this same show, please see my other post titled Thin Lizzy #41B. That photo was posted separate from these as to post it in a larger format versus the standard size of these slideshow photographs.
Steven H. Spring