Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

"Down from the Glen, came the marching men, with their shields and their swords
To fight the fight they believed to be right and overthrow the overlords
To the towns where there was plenty they brought plunder, sword and flame
When they left the town was empty children would never play again"

Thin Lizzy were the first rock band I ever saw and I was lucky enough to see them four times in what was undoubtedly there best period between 1976 and 1979 or to put it another way between Jailbreak and Black Rose. Over 20 years have now passed and still if I listen to one of their albums I find I know all the words and that double guitar attack of Robertson and Gorham has the hairs standing up on the back of my neck and me reaching for that "air-guitar"! This is my tribute to one of the best British rock bands of that or any other time.

Newcastle City Hall - 1st November 1976
Johnny the Fox Tour

My brother came home from school and announced that some of his friends were going to see Thin Lizzy - would I like to come along? To be honest I didn't know who they were but not wanting to be left out I said yes. We managed to get seats in the second row, just to the left of the stage in front of the PA system but the view was still good.
Thin Lizzy ticket 1/11/76

Phil LynottWe borrowed the Jailbreak album before we went so we knew the classics like Warrior, The boys are back in town, Emerald and Jailbreak. I remember we were on Brian Robertson's side of the stage and had a fantastic view of the band. The show itself was fantastic and very loud - I think my ears rang for two days afterwards. We went straight out and bought Jailbreak and Johnny the Fox and so started two things - my record collection and my concert going. It was a fantastic night.

You've got a Bad reputation that's the word out on the town
It gives a certain fascination but it can only bring you down

Newcastle City Hall - 11th November 1977
Bad Reputation Tour

In the year between seeing Thin Lizzy for the first time and this show Brian Robertson had left and rejoined the band, they recorded Bad Reputation and had a hit single with Dancing in the moonlight. I can't remember why but for some reason we had only been able to get single tickets for this show so we weren't sitting together and in the middle of the auditorium at that!
Bad Reputation sticker
Thin Lizzy ticket 11/11/77One of the memories I have of this show is that during Dancing in the moonlight Phil brought on a guy with a Sax to play the sax riff but they couldn't get the microphone to work and he missed his big chance! I also remember first seeing Brian Robertson's toy dog that used to hang over his amps at this show. I have a feeling the dog was called Derek but I could be wrong. But the reason this show stick out in my mind is because we were lucky enough to go back stage and meet the band after the show.
Meeting the Band

I remember Phil very well, he had had a cold during the show and he was sitting between two beautiful women with a bottle of champagne between his knees. I remember asking if it was his medicine! The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that Brian Robertson's signature is missing from the collection. I remember this was because the autographs are on the back of the Bad Reputation sticker above and he wouldn't sign it because he wasn't in the picture - I'm not sure if he signed something else for me but I can't find it.
Band Autographs

Guess who just got back today, those wild eyed boys who'd been away
Haven't changed hadn't much to say, but man I still think those cats are crazy

All my Thin Lizzy Photographs can be seen here

Part two | Music index

ŠAll photographs copyright Kevin Shewan
Lyrics and Bad Reputation cover art used without permission