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The Story of Phil Lynott’s Final Thin Lizzy Show

Evening Standard, Getty Images
Evening Standard, Getty Images

On Sept. 4, 1983, Phil Lynott gave his final performance with the band he created, the amazing Thin Lizzy. It took place at a stop on the Monsters of Rock tour in Nuremberg, Germany.

By the start of of the ’80s, things were exceptionally busy for Lynott. He was married in 1980; he released his debut solo album, Solo in Soho, that spring; became a father that summer; and he issued a new Lizzy album, Chinatown, in the 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 an 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.

They had planned a farewell tour to coincide with the release of Thunder and Lightning, which featured a heavier approach and proved their most popular in a while. This ended up being a year-long adventure whose high point was a special performance at the legendary Hammersmith Odeon. For the show, Lynott brought in former band members 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 found them in Nuremberg on a bill that included Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Blue Oyster Cult, Motorhead and others. Lizzy’s set featured old favorites along with a few new songs.

Lynott died 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.

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