Okay this book was updated in 2018 and as I said originally not many people are aware of it and it is not a book or author that is spoken about much by the Lizzy faithful. Most bands come and go through a revolving musical door, barely stepping out long enough to make a lasting impression. Bands lost in time wishing for immortality. Thin Lizzy were immortals. Nearly thirty years after their implosion you can turn on your television and still hear "The Boys Are Back in Town" rumbling out of some commercial advertisement, or rocking some hundred million dollar stadium during a football game. Their remarkable influence is everywhere, especially when you consider the impact they had on fellow musicians. From U2 to Metallica to Nirvana to the Darkness over three generations of rockers have made it clear that they owe a little something to Phil Lynott and his rebel group of musicians. The Thin Lizzy story is a classic tale of excessive rock n' roll behavior. Overindulgence in girls, alcohol, and drugs provided the backdrop of a surreal tale that began in small Irish clubs in the 1960s and rose to packed stadiums by the late '70s. Thin Lizzy didn't just talk the talk; they walked the walk and rocked it even harder. Fronted by the classic line-up of bass-playing frontman Philip Lynott, drummer Brian Downey and guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, Thin Lizzy soared to astonishing heights from 1975 to 1978 hitting their stride by releasing four classic albums in a row. In 1979, they reached their peak with their most successful album Black Rose no doubt inspired by the return of the legendary Irish guitarist Gary Moore. But Moore quickly left the group, disgusted by the band's inability to clean up its drug habits. The bad habits remained. By 1983, they had become victims of their self-destruction and after releasing their 13th and final studio album Thunder and Lightning they decided to retire the band in a farewell tour. Throwing salt on the wound, add the breakup of Lizzy with a divorce and separation from his wife and kids. Lynott had now lost both of his families, and his heroin addiction consumed him. The end came for Phil in 1986, after the Lizzy leader died from rock n' roll excess, resulting in blood poisoning and non-responsive organs. The 36-year-old left behind two daughters, a secret love child, a broken band, a mother who adored him, and a legion of fans shocked, saddened and heartbroken. But as the years passed a magical thing happened, instead of fading into obscurity, Lizzy's legend grew. One of rock's biggest mysteries is why Thin Lizzy never crossed over to the big time in America? Maybe in the 21st century and twenty-five years after the death of their legendary front man, they might finally get a chance. America fascinated Phil; he wrote songs about American themes better than many American songwriters. But Ireland held a big part of his soul, and Phil was uniquely Irish. Ireland has the most poets per square inch than anywhere in the world, and Phil Lynott joins Yeats, Wilde and Byron as one of its greats. Every bit as Irish and every bit as talented Lynott evolved into one of the greatest poets of his generation.This Biography of Philip Lynott and Thin Lizzy is an observation from an American perspective that focuses on the staggering quality of Lynott's lyrics, the incredible musicianship of the band and a Rock n' Roll PSA with an overall warning to the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse!
Xaviant Haze is an American author of conspiracy theories, lost civilizations, ancient aliens, ancient giants and the globalist plans of the New World Order. So make of this book what you will!
This new book tells the story of Irish rock legends Thin Lizzy in the words of over 400 fans.
Published by Manchester-based Spenwood Books and compiled by music historian Richard Houghton, Thin Lizzy – A People’s History brings together previously untold eyewitness accounts of the band in action, from their Dublin roots to their break up in 1983.
Richard Houghton said:
‘The Thin Lizzy story is one of myths, legends, romance, rock riffs and some of the greatest music to blast over the airwaves in the Seventies and Eighties. More than anything, the band famed for hits ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, ‘Jailbreak’, ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ and ‘Waiting for an Alibi’ are remembered for exhilarating live performances – the twin guitars, the explosive drumming, the dry ice, the police sirens and flash bombs, all orchestrated by their iconic lead singer and bass guitarist, Phil Lynott. Lizzy were the first rock band from Ireland to achieve international fame and Phil Lynott one of the most celebrated and most fondly remembered musicians in rock.’
Thin Lizzy – A People’s History takes the reader on a journey through Lizzy’s career, from Phil’s Dublin childhood to Lizzy’s early success, the trans-Atlantic breakthrough with the album Jailbreak and the chasing of fame in America, and on to the rows, the walk outs and the band’s break up.
It captures the line up changes that saw Lizzy get through five guitarists - Eric Bell, Brian Robertson, Gary Moore, Snowy White and John Sykes – and ends with the disappointment of failing to break America, the impact on the band of drugs, Phil’s ill-fated attempt to continue his career post-Lizzy and, ultimately, the sad loss of one of the most charismatic front men in music history.
Richard Houghton said:
‘I’ve talked to people who saw Lizzy at the very start of their career right through to the very end. Shining through the book is Lizzy’s rapport with their audiences, with tales of dressing room encounters with Phil, Brian Downey and Scott Gorham, who were determined to stay connected to their fanbase even at the height of fame. This is Lizzy, live and dangerous on stage and up close and personal from the fan’s perspective.’
Thin Lizzy – A People’s History is published by Spenwood Books on 8 July 2022 and available to order now via bookshops or direct from spenwoodbooks.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Houghton lives in Manchester and is the author of more than a dozen rock music histories, from The Beatles to Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays.
Inside the Quality Street Gang
My Life in the Manchester Underworld
by Jimmy Donnelly
JIMMY DONNELLY IS an underworld legend. Known to all as Jimmy the Weed, he has mixed with the most notorious gangsters in Britain and the Costa del Crime in a criminal career spanning five decades. He has been arrested on suspicion of serious crimes including murder, drug supply, violence and fraud, has faced numerous court trials – and walked free from them all.
Most infamously, Jimmy was a key figure in the Quality Street Gang, a mysterious group of ex-fighters, car dealers, scrap merchants and businessmen. They socialised with the city's elite, from footballers to rock stars and inspired the hit song, 'The Boys Are Back In Town.' They were also targeted by Greater Manchester Police who suspected them of involvement in major crime. In the mid-eighties they became embroiled in the sensational Stalker Affair, which led to a national political scandal and ultimately the resignation of the city's deputy chief constable.
In this explosive autobiography, Jimmy tells how he rose from humble beginnings to own pubs, clubs, car pitches and massage parlours, how he became the biggest illicit ticket agent in the North, and his great friendship with numerous figures from the worlds of crime, showbiz and sport, including the formidable exboxer Jim Swords, the man the QSG grouped around. He has seen and done it all: and tells it in unvarnished detail.
About the author:
JIMMY DONNELLY was born in Manchester in 1940 and worked as a youth on Smithfield Market, where he made many of the friends later dubbed the Quality Street Gang. He went on to own numerous pubs, clubs and businesses and to be immortalised in Thin Lizzy's 1976 rock anthem, 'Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed'. Now retired from crime, he lives quietly in the Ancoats area of the city.
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