Ward's Book of Days.

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What happened on this day in history.


On this day in history in 1986, died Phil Lynott. 

Lynott was the lead vocalist and songwriter for Thin Lizzy and was later successful as a solo artist.

Philip Parris Lynott was born on 20 August 1949 at West Bromwich. When he was four years old, he was sent to live with his grandmother in Dublin. He grew up in Dublin in the 1960ís when the city was alive with the ambiance of rock music. He became influenced by Tamla Motown, The Mamas and The Papas amongst others. He joined his first band, The Black Eagles in 1965 as a lead vocalist playing to local audiences. He later joined the Liffey Beats and then the fronted Kama Sutra where he developed his particular skill of interaction with the audience. 

His major career success was with Thin Lizzy which he formed in 1969. The band had major hits in the 1970ís with The Boys Are Back in Town, Jailbreak and Waiting for an Alibi. After Thin Lizzy disbanded, he took up a solo career and then formed and fronted Grand Slam from 1979 to 1985, all this while publishing two books of poetry. His overwhelming success was due not only to his vocal skill and musical ability, but also his stage presence and rapport with the audience. 

Sad to say, Lynott became involved with shady characters who turned out to be drug-pushers. He started on heroin and began on a steady declining spiral of drug abuse and addiction. As his drug use escalated, his marriage fell apart and he lived isolated by his dependency. His addiction let to serious health issues and on Christmas Day 1985, he collapsed and was hospitalised. He died in Salisbury Infirmary on 4th January 1986. 

Lynott's funeral was held at St Elizabeth of Portugal Church, Richmond and he was buried in St Fintan's Cemetery, Dublin. In 2005, a statue was erected in his memory on Harry St, Dublin.

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