Philip Parris Lynott (20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986) was an Irish musician and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He was known for his distinctive plectrum-based style on the bass, and for his imaginative lyrical contributions including working class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture.
Lynott was born in the West Midlands but grew up in Dublin with his grandparents. He remained close to his mother, Philomena throughout his life. He fronted several bands as a lead vocalist, including Skid Row alongside Gary Moore, before learning the bass guitar and forming Thin Lizzy in 1969.
After initial success with “Whiskey in the Jar“, the band had several hits in the mid-1970s with hits such as “The Boys Are Back in Town“, “Jailbreak” and “Waiting for an Alibi“, and became a popular live attraction combining Lynott's vocal and songwriting skills with dual lead guitars.
Towards the end of the 1970s, Lynott also embarked upon a solo career, published two books of poetry, and after Thin Lizzy disbanded, he assembled and fronted the band Grand Slam, of which he was the leader until it folded in 1985.
Following Thin Lizzy, Lynott increasingly suffered drug-related problems, particularly an addiction to heroin. He had a final hit with Moore, “Out in the Fields“, followed by the minor hit “Nineteen”, before his death on 4 January 1986 from sepsis secondary to pneumonia. He remains a popular figure in the rock world, and in 2005, a statue in his memory was erected in Dublin.
photo by Independent