Two national THIN LIZZY stamps have been issued by the Irish Post Office in this 50th anniversary year of the band, and feature the artwork of Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, noted for his celebrated two-tone portrait of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, and who was a close friend of Thin Lizzy front-man Phil Lynott and was the artist who created many Thin Lizzy album covers. The stamps were designed by Steve Averill, who worked on all of U2 album covers.
The commemorative stamps — now on sale in Ireland — celebrate the half-century of a band that is close to most rock fan’s hearts.
The stamps were issued as a plaque and bust of the Thin Lizzy front-man Phil Lynott were unveiled in West Bromwich, the place of his birth.
The singer-songwriter and bassist moved to Ireland when he turned five where he was raised by his grandmother in Crumlin, south Dublin. In school, in Dublin, Lynott became friends with Brian Downey and they formed a band.
In 1969, Lynott and Brian were introduced to guitarist Eric Bell and decided that Bell was a better guitarist, while Lynott was more confident on bass, they formed Thin Lizzy with Eric Wrixon on keyboards.
Gary Moore and Scott Gorham were to join Lizzy in 1974 and afterwards a “revolving door” policy of band recruitment meant that names such as Snowy White, Midge Ure, Marco Mendoza, Brian Robertson and others were connected with the band over their active years.
Thin Lizzy were inactive from 1983, when Phil Lynott formed a new band-project called Grand Slam, but he died in hospital in Wiltshire, on 4 January 1986, aged 36. In March 1996, English guitarist John Sykes reactivated the Thin Lizzy project as a tribute to Phil Lynott’s life and work.
The Irish drummer BRIAN DOWNEY is not only celebrated as a founding member of THIN LIZZY but also recognized as the most constant and consistent member of a band that has countless & various incarnations. In early 2017, Downey formed a new band called “Brian Downey’s Alive and Dangerous” to conclude any argument.
Brian Downey’s ALIVE AND DANGEROUS features the amazing talents of Brian Grace (best known as the guitarist for the Commitments’ Andrew Strong), plus former Low Rider band members Matt Wilson (lead vocals, bass), and Phil Edgar (lead guitar).
Ostensibly, Thin Lizzy’s revered live double album “Live and Dangerous” (released 1978) was recorded in London in 1976, although there were extensive overdubs and acceptance that some parts were recorded elsewhere, nonetheless, the album attracted huge critical acclaim and is still considered to be the band’s best work by many aficionados.
2018 marked the 40th Anniversary of Thin Lizzy’s live and Dangerous album and Brian Downey’s band are now playing the album in its entirety. We were lucky enough to witness the show this Thursday at The Underworld, London. You know a show’s gonna be great if it starts with Jailbreak; and to please the many Camden-Irish fans who were literally pining for the song, “Emerald” (from the sixth studio album) it came right after… with whoops of joy from the crowd.
An intrepid and potent drum solo on Sha La La proved Brian still has the hitting ability, the style and the chemicals to get the job done… even after all these years. And like the show of ’76, this incredible set rolled-on hit-after-hit till the stunning Black Rose that marked not-an-end but a fresh beginning. ALIVE AND DANGEROUS are not just a covers-band, they are an integral part of the continuum. An essential component of the extraordinary DNA blockchain of this much-loved and thoroughly iconic band that now, after fifty years, seems to be essentially eternal in nature.