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4 January 1986 Phil Lynott dies at the age of 34.
In 1980, Phil Lynott remembered Elvis with the single, 'King's Call'. His words describe how painfully he took Presley's death; getting loaded on wine and gin, playing his old records though the night, grieving hard. Yet even in this sad moment, Phil was comforted to realize that the records which moved him as a kid in Dublin were still powerful. Elvis was gone but the music was always there.
Phil would be pleased to know that his own work also has an enduring life. Like Elvis, the Thin Lizzy singer was shy and insecure behind the flash stage manner, and he worried about the quality of his songs and recordings. Needlessly, as ii turned out. A decade after his unfortunate death, and Lynott's music runs deeper than ever in the bloodlines of rock and roll.
Many bands who aspire to playing fast, rowdy anthems now chose to measure themselves against Phil's talent Bon Jovi have recorded the 'Boys Are Back In Town', hardly daring to tamper with the Lizzy original. Def Leppard are unabashed fans too Following Lynott's example, they've realised that rock needn't be a messy, indulgent form, that it can also amount to storming pop music.
You find testimonies to Lynott in unlikely places, like the approval of hardcore artist Henry Rollins, or in the beautifully sad way that Smashing Pumpkins have interpreted 'Dancin' In The Moonlight'. Noel Gallagher from Oasis has paid tribute on his song 'Step Out', which echoes Thin Lizzy's roaring version of 'Rosalie'. Meanwhile, a new documentary film, 'The Rocker' demonstrates Irish music's massive debt to Phil's example. U2 benefited from his advice early on. Bass player Adam Clayton even paid homage by cultivating a well-inientioned Afro hairstyle.