Black roses laid for rock legend Lynott
Dozens of black roses were laid in a quiet corner of a Dublin cemetery today to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott.
His devoted mother, Philomena, was among hundreds of people from Ireland, US, Scandinavia and further afield who gathered in St Fintan’s Cemetery in Sutton to show their admiration for the songwriter had not faded over the past two decades.
Philomena said people from as far afield as Japan and Rio de Janeiro had called to her home to reminisce with her.
The singer’s grave was instantly recognisable as roses in memory of the band’s 1979 famed album Black Rose were placed on the slab, others placed guitar plectrums and bouquets of flowers for the man credited with paving the way for Irish rock music.
Hundreds of fans travel to the capital from Belgium, Holland, Germany, Scandinavia, Britain, USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, and beyond for the annual Vibe for Philo tribute concert to the singer held in Dublin and various venues in January each year.
A message from a fan, Brian, on the Roisin Dubh Trust website said: “Still miss you, Phil.”
Another from a different Thin Lizzy fan, Rob, said: “Twenty years on and I still remember it as if it were yesterday. You’re still the main man Phil. Gone but definitely not forgotten.”
Born in Birmingham and brought up in Dublin, Lynott started playing in groups in the Crumlin area before forming Thin Lizzy in 1969.
The group’s catalogue of hit songs is headlined by The Boys Are Back in Town, Whiskey in the Jar, Jailbreak and Dancing in the Moonlight.
After the band broke up, Lynott embarked on a solo career and died in 1986, at the age of just 36, from heart failure as the result of a drugs overdose.
Thin Lizzy musicians Brian Robertson and Eric Bell had promised fans a host of memories as they lifted their guitars together tonight for the Vibe for Philo concert on Dublin’s Vicar Street stage.
The Roisin Dubh Trust is one of the groups working to ensure the iconic figure is remembered on Dublin streets. The trust first approached Dublin City Council in January 2000 to get a statue erected to honour the rock star and plans were approved by the council in February 2001.
A life-sized statue of the iconic figure was unveiled off Dublin’s Grafton Street last August – a day his mother said was the proudest of her life.
She said the singer was so well-loved people flocked from far and wide to see the statute of him on the streets of Dublin once again.
At the launch, she said: “I love him forever and I will miss him forever. Life is awful without him but knowing all these people are loving him the way they do, they are like a big woolly cloak around me. They write to me telling me how much they love him and miss him. I am not alone in missing him.”
Philomena said her son had changed the course of the Irish music industry, opening up great opportunities for up and coming young bands, including U2.
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