The anniversary of Phil Lynott’s death is a strange one, in that it already has a clear and established mythology and ritual associated with it; one set out by the singer himself. In the song King’s Call, the Irish songwriter ostensibly talking about the death of Elvis, prefigured how he would himself be remembered.
The first bands I remember seeing (and liking) on Top of the Pops as a kid were Abba and Thin Lizzy, but it would be a lie to say that I was a die-hard lizzy fan while Lynott was alive. In fact, like many of my contemporaries, the announcement of his death on January 4th 1986 was not something felt particularly deeply at the time. It was a footnote, a talking point, but little more.
Later, though, discovering more and more of Lizzy’s records, with their melodies that seemed to resonate from somewhere deep in the Irish spirit (despite the fact that the majority of Lizzy’s guitarists were not Irish), and their romantic lyricism, I would do exactly as the song suggested and stay in with close friends drinking and listening to the albums over and over again.
It’s a habit I’ve grown out of – but let’s do it virtually today together with this brilliant track from the much over-looked early album Shades of a Blue Orphanage. No need to explain why it’s so good – just listen to it, and enjoy.
Tags: irish rock