Thin Lizzy

Before the existence of THIN LIZZY there was an attempted band comprising of Lynott, Robertson and MOTÖRHEAD drummer Phil

Taylor, but this never got beyond the discussion stage. More concrete was a union of Lynott, JOHN SYKES and Mark Stanway, but

this was soon put paid to by an irresistible offer to the lead guitarist from WHITESNAKE.

Having lost Sykes to DAVID COVERDALE's employ, PHIL LYNOTT formed a new band, later to be titled GRAND SLAM, with Stanway,

Downey and erstwhile STAMPEDE, LAUTREC and WILD HORSES guitarist Laurence Archer. Downey soon departed, citing his discontent

at being involved in a project that could not hope to match THIN LIZZY. Stanway left the fold shortly after as his previous

act MAGNUM offered him a return position based on a new record deal. However, Stanway was to flirt between GRAND SLAM and

MAGNUM for some time.

To former THIN LIZZY fans, the fact that GRAND SLAM found it difficult to get signed - despite a clutch of excellent gigs

and strong songs - was an enigma. What the public was unaware of was that Lynott was viewed by the record industry as a whole

as too great a risk. Inevitably the group split, Stanway returning to MAGNUM and Archer later formed RHODE ISLAND RED then

joined UFO for their 'High Stakes And Dangerous Men' album.

Meanwhile, Scott Gorham's first post THIN LIZZY project was a union with BRONZ guitarist Shaun Kirkpatrick. Attempting to

sustain the band this proposed union faltered upon the demise of Bronze Records. Gorham would have more success with his own

venture entitled THE WESTERN FRONT which featured guitarist Marty Walsh, vocalist Moon Calhoun (previously with American AOR

band THE STRAND), keyboardist Dick Bergman and drummer Del Vertusco. Gorham later signed to RCA Records with his 21 GUNS

project and also produced a three track EP for ex-TIGERTAILZ vocalist Steevi Jaimz's outfit ST. JAIMZ.

Lynott did actually get THIN LIZZY back together as a band, comprising Brian Downey and ex-MAGNUM and DAVID BYRON BAND

guitarist ROBIN GEORGE, but the liaison was brief. One song from these sessions 'Crying Diamonds' would later turn up on one

of George's solo works.

Having been ill for some time Phil lapsed into a coma after a drugs overdose and died on January 4 1986.

Before 1987 has run its course Gorham and 21 GUNS drummer Michael Sturgis were ensconced in a studio with JOHN WETTON and

GEOFF DOWNES for a projected new line up of the AOR supergroup ASIA. This line up splintered though when no record deal

outside of Japan could be found.

A posthumous THIN LIZZY single, 'Dedication', emerged in 1991 and was the subject of some controversy when it transpired

it was not in fact a THIN LIZZY song at all but had in fact been written by GRAND SLAM guitarist Laurence Archer for that


Later the same year a band going under the title of 'An Evening Of Thin Lizzy Music' toured featuring Brian Downey, Brian

Robertson, ex-GINGER BAKER band guitarist Doug Brockie, former GRAND SLAM guitarist Doish Nagle on bass and former HUMBLE

PIE, JEFF BECK and VAN MORRISON vocalist Bobby Tench. The shows did little to rekindle the legend.

Brian Robertson turned up during 1995 having formed touring outfit the BRIAN ROBERTSON BAND. This group duly evolved into

THE CLAN, releasing a very limited CD EP entitled 'That's All'. In an echo of the past THE CLAN's projected tour was

cancelled when Robertson damaged his hand.

1996 witnessed the enduring myth of THIN LIZZY when Gorham was finally persuaded to involve himself in a tribute.

Assembled by JOHN SYKES, who had the uncanny ability to mimic Lynott's distinctive vocal style, some of his on the debut BLUE

MURDER album highlighting this fact, a band was created going under the title of THIN LIZZY. Other members included Brian

Downey, Darren Wharton (having long since formed his own band DARE) on keyboards and bassist Marco Mendoza. This band put in

highly successful shows in Japan, Ireland and London with Sykes, naturally, on lead vocals. German gigs in December of 1999

saw strong support from MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and GLENN HUGHES.

Ironically Lynott's least favourite THIN LIZZY track received the honour of a prestigious Grammy award when METALLICA's

cover version of 'Whiskey In The Jar' won the 'Best Metal Performance' category. Also keeping the name in the spotlight,

Gorham, Robertson and Wharton reunited for a set of THIN LIZZY songs to celebrate the Jordan Formula One team's tenth

anniversary concert in 2000. Mendoza meantime hooked up with TED NUGENT for his summer American dates.

Rather more low key was Robertson's guest appearance with Swedish act LOTUS on a song contributed to a CAPTAIN BEYOND

tribute album. May of 2001 found Robertson embarking on a short Norwegian tour in a band performing THIN LIZZY tracks

assembled with erstwhile EUROPE guitarist JOHN NORUM. American Rockers WARRANT would step next in line to honour THIN LIZZY's

memory cutting the less than predictable 'Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)' for their 2001 album 'Under The Influence'.

THIN LIZZY fans would be rewarded in November the same year with the release of the mammoth 4 CD box set 'Vagabonds,

Kings, Warriors, Angels'. The collection included the notoriously scarce debut Irish single 'The Farmer' along with an

unreleased track 'Try A Little Harder', the rare German B side 'Cruising In The Lizzymobile' and the GRAND SLAM demo 'Sisters

Of Mercy'.

Early 2002 would deliver a treat for PHIL LYNOTT fans with the release by Zoom Club Records of 'Live In Sweden 1983'. A

limited edition digipack box set, restricted to just 1'000 copies, would include the previously unreleased track 'Look At

These Eyes'. The tapes were compiled from two consecutive concerts featuring JOHN SYKES on guitar. The same year also saw

long established plans for a movie centred upon Lynott's life coming to fruition with American actor Gary Dourdan selected to

perform the lead role.

The Sykes led THIN LIZZY undertook a lengthy series of North American dates throughout October and November of 2002.

Further shows into 2003 were mooted in league with DEF LEPPARD. With both Mendoza and Aldridge having joined the resurrected

WHITESNAKE press reports suggested that both DIXIE DREGS and WINGER man Rod Morgenstein or Brian Tichy of FOREIGNER and OZZY

OSBOURNE repute were to man the drums. Bass was briefly delegated to Gary Liederman, a veteran of RHODE ISLAND RED and ASIA,

then Randy Gregg. However, by February it was revealed that PINK FLOYD and GARY MOORE band member Guy Pratt was to take

command of bass and former LITTLE ANGELS, THE CULT and ROBERT PLANT man Michael Lee enrolled as drummer. THIN LIZZY set out

on a run of headline dates in February of 2004 before uniting with DEEP PURPLE. However, it was announced by the band's

management that Michael Lee was forced to pull out due to illness but within days of this report a further statement

indicated he had recovered. The tour got underway but saw the last three dates, in New Jersey and New York, pulled due to a

relapse in Lee's health condition.

THIN LIZZY, hooking back up with DEEP PURPLE, returned to touring the USA once again in August. By early 2005 the band was

once again touring across the UK, with support from WINTERVILLE, Europe, seeing German act JADED HEART as openers, and


August 20th saw The Roisin Dubh Trust unveiling a life size bronze statue of Lynott in Grafton Street, Dublin. To

coincide, an all-star concert billed as 'The Boy Is Back In Town' would be held at The Point in Dublin. Performers included

GARY MOORE, Scott Gorham, Brian Robertson, the ERIC BELL BAND, Brian Downey, Brush Shiels, DARE, WHEATUS and THERAPY?

Brian Robertson and Eric Bell announced they were to put in joint Irish club dates in January 2006. Meantime, THIN LIZZY,

comprising JOHN SYKES, Scott Gorham, Marco Mendoza and Michael Lee, announced UK tour dates for March and April.