#OTD in 1986 – Death of singer, bassist, instrumentalist, and songwriter, Phil Lynott.

Irish rock star, bassist, singer and founder of Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott dies. Lynott originally played with Skid Row, (the Irish band featuring Gary Moore, Brush Shiels, Noel Bridgeman). Lynott had significant success with Thin Lizzy. The band’s first major hit was a rock version of Whiskey in the Jar, but are probably best known for The Boys are Back in Town. He subsequently had major UK success with Gary Moore with the song “Out in the Fields”.

Lynott’s last years were dogged by drug and alcohol dependency leading to his collapse on Christmas Day 1985, at his home in Kew. He was discovered by his mother, who was not aware of his dependence on heroin. She contacted his wife, Caroline, who knew about it, and immediately knew the problem was serious. After Caroline drove him to a drug clinic at Clouds House in East Knoyle, near Warminster, he was taken to Salisbury Infirmary where he was diagnosed as suffering from septicaemia. Despite regaining consciousness enough to speak to his mother, his condition worsened by the start of the new year and he was put on a respirator. He died of pneumonia and heart failure due to septicaemia in the hospital’s intensive care unit on 4 January 1986, at the age of 36.

Lynott’s funeral was held at St Elizabeth’s Church, Richmond on 9 January 1986, with most of Thin Lizzy’s ex members in attendance, followed by a second service at Howth Parish Church on 11th. He was buried in St Fintan’s Cemetery, Dublin.

Phil Lynott was born in 1949 to a Brazilian father and Irish mother in Birmingham and brought up in Crumlin, Dublin by his grandmother.

In 2005, a life-size bronze statue of Phil Lynott was unveiled on Harry Street, off Grafton Street in Dublin. The ceremony was attended by former band members Gary Moore, Eric Bell, Brian Robertson, Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, Darren Wharton (keyboards) and by Lynott’s mother. The attending Thin Lizzy members paid tribute with a live performance.



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