30 Years Ago: Phil Lynott Plays His Final Thin Lizzy Show
On Sept. 4, 1983, Phil Lynott gave his final performance with the band he created, the amazing Thin Lizzy. By the start of of the 1980s, things were exceptionally busy for the band. Leader Phil Lynott was married at the start of 1980; he released his debut solo album, ‘Solo In Soho,’ that spring; became a father that summer, and issued a new Lizzy album, ‘Chinatown,’ that fall.
Thin Lizzy’s popularity was fleeting in the U.S., with each post ‘Jailbreak’ album, doing less and less business, but they were able to maintain a presence in the U.K. The other problem at hand was Lynott’s drug use, which began to escalate around this time. This would eventually put and end to his marriage, and instigate the falling apart of the band.
Two more Thin Lizzy albums (‘Renegade’ and ‘Thunder And Lightning’) would follow over the next two and half years, as would a second solo offering, ‘The Phillip Lynott Album,’ but things were gradually unraveling for Lynott and company.
The band had planned a ‘farewell tour’ to coincide with the release of ‘Thunder And Lightning.’ The album proved their most popular in a while, and featured a heavier approach, showing the band were still vital.
The ‘farewell tour’ ended up being a year-long adventure that culminated with a special performance at the legendary Hammersmith Odeon. For the show, Lynott brought in former band member Brian Robertson, Eric Bell and Gary Moore as special guests.
The last home stand happened on Aug. 28, 1983 at the Reading Festival, while their final concert ever with Lynott took place on Sept. 4 at the Monsters Of Rock Festival in Nuremberg, Germany. The lineup included Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Blue Oyster Cult, Motorhead and others. Lizzy’s set featured old favorites along with a few new songs.
Lynott passed away on Jan. 4, 1986 of heart failure and pneumonia. Though the band would eventually regroup with various ex-members trying to sail the ship, it would never be the same band without their leader.