January 4, 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of the THIN LIZZY legend Philip Parris Lynott. As the members of THIN LIZZY's current lineup get ready to embark on a European tour, guitarist Scott Gorham, drummer Brian Downey, singer Ricky Warwick (THE ALMIGHTY), guitarist Vivian Campbell (DEF LEPPARD) and keyboardist Darren Wharton share some memories and thoughts of Phil below.
Scott Gorham: "25 years on and I still miss the guy. Hell, we all miss him. It's a major reason why we go out and play the songs. But standing next to him for 11 years through all the ups as well as the down periods always brings back memories, especially at this time of year.
"As you can imagine, Phil and I got to know each other like brothers on a mission. Maybe not always a successful mission, but we always gave it a hell of a shot. He was a good friend, so I tell you what, when we introduce Phil each night... TAKE THE ROOF OFF!!! I'm pretty sure he's watching.
"Looking forward to meeting up with a lot of you out on the tour."
Brian Downey: "Phil songs bring back some special memories to me especially at this time of year. 'Cowboy Song' instantly transports me back to when Phil and me were kids going to see the Lone Ranger or Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers at the Apollo Cinema in Dublin for Saturday afternoon cowboy matinees. 'Emerald', where Phil wrote about the myths and stories we were taught at school about ancient Gaelic wars and disputes. Or 'Black Rose', where Phil mentions the great literary figure Brendan Behan who lived on Bangor Road not far from where we both lived in Dublin.
"An abundance of personal memories, Phil, 25 years on. Always sadly missed.
"Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas da anam. Róisín Dubh."
Ricky Warwick: "Phil Lynott was the real deal, a true rocker, a criminally underrated lyrical genius, a unique vocalist and probably one of the best frontmen ever.
"When I first saw THIN LIZZY on 'Top Of The Pops', I was ten years old and Phil scared the hell out of me, but at the same time who was this person? What a voice and the music, oh man, I was hooked. My sisters had the albums, they didn't get them back.
"For any kid wanting to be in a rock band, I suggest going to YouTube and absorbing Phil and LIZZY. Watch, listen and learn how to be a true rock n roll star in every way. 'Cuz Phil Lynott was."
Vivian Campbell: "I have many, many memories of Phil Lynott, but the one that sticks out in my mind was the last night of the 'Renegade' tour. SWEET SAVAGE were opening and, as was customary, pranks were played on the opening band. After various objects had descended upon us from above — courtesy of the road crew — Phil suddenly appeared on stage during our last song with my spare guitar around his neck. He grabbed the cable out of my guitar and plugged it in to his. For a split second, I stood there dumbfounded. He had proceeded to center stage and was rockin' out with the other guys. I don't know what came over me, but I automatically ran up to him, looked him in the eye, and then took my cable back... Unfazed, he just mimed the rest of the song with us, looking as rock-star cool as he always did. He didn't know how to play the song anyway."
Darren Wharton: "Being a member of THIN LIZZY has been a fantastic and life-changing experience. Not only has it had a profound impression on me as a person, but also looking back, I've realized how much my own music with DARE has been greatly influenced by Phil, Scott, Brian and THIN LIZZY. Not so much in the style of writing, but more importantly in the sincerity and passion they brought to their unique music.
"As the years go by, I think about Philip most days, and when I do, I whisper a quiet 'thank you' to myself. So now, as I look forward to seeing you all soon at the forthcoming concerts; as we honor and pay tribute to the genius of Phil Lynott, and the music of THIN LIZZY... as we take the stage, I'll whisper once again, 'thank you for letting me be part of one of the best rock bands there ever was.'"