Phil Lynott, lead singer of Irish rockers Thin Lizzy died on January the 4th 1986. It was a slow, painful death, the result of years of drug abuse and excessive drinking. Had he lived, Lynott would be turning sixty next month. It’s a little known fact that this legend of rock was born in South Birmingham. An interesting piece of trivia that caught the attention of Jez Colins, founder of the Birmingham Music Archive.

As a way of celebrating Lynott’s roots and promoting the BMA (a KTF partner), a radio documentary with accompanying photographs has been developed by Interactive Cultures. The story follows Paul Murphy, lead singer of Birmingham band The Destroyers – as he visits the landmarks of Lynott’s short life and talks with the people he meets along the way. A highlight of the item is a previously unheard track featuring Lynott on bass and backing vocals. The song, called “Do You Want To Rock?”, was recorded with Birmingham born musician Colbert Hamilton just weeks before Lynott’s death.

I recently accompanied Murphy and photographer Ellie Gibbons on a visit to Dublin to capture the final audio for the documentary which included an interview with Johnny Lions, a journalist on Dublin’s 98 FM and former Hot Press rock critic, who spoke of the city’s enduring love for the troubled bass player. A preview of the documentary, along with broadcast details, will be posted here shortly.

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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