“Excellent, painstaking… [a] fine retelling of the messy life of Thin Lizzy’s charismatic frontman.”
“The truest measure of the man we have… a must-read.” —MOJO
“The Boys Are Back in Town,” “Whiskey in the Jar,” “Dancing in the Moonlight.” These hits from Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, along with classic albums Jailbreak and Live and Dangerous, are now part of the rock canon. Philip Lynott (1949-1986), Thin Lizzy’s guiding spirit and supremely gifted songwriter who passed away at only age 36, was the Republic of Ireland’s first bona fide rock star—an instantly identifiable singer and charismatic stage performer, combining the instincts of a wild man with the soul of a poet. Bands from Megadeth to Metallica, Foo Fighters to Def Leppard cite Thin Lizzy as an influence, and artists as diverse as Pulp, Sade, the Hold Steady and the Corrs have covered Lynott’s songs.
Cowboy Song: The Authorized Biography of Thin Lizzy’s Philip Lynott (Chicago Review Press; May 1, 2017) by Graeme Thomson is the first biography of the musician written with the cooperation of the Lynott Estate. Exploring the fascinating contradictions between Lynott’s rock star persona and the shy, sensitive mixed-race child of a Catholic teenager and a Guyanese stowaway raised in working-class Dublin, Thomson traces Lynott’s rise above daunting obstacles and wounding abandonments.
Cowboy Song analyzes Lynott’s unsettled childhood, his musical apprenticeship, key alliances with the poets, painters and folkies of 1960s Dublin, stardom with Thin Lizzy and drug-induced decline. It examines the unique blend of cultural influences which informed Lynott’s writing, connecting Ireland’s rich reserves of music, myth and poetry to hard rock, progressive folk, punk, soul and new wave. Drawing on scores of exclusive interviews with family, friends, bandmates and collaborators, Cowboy Song is both the ultimate depiction of a multifaceted rock icon and an intimate portrait of a much-loved father, son and husband. Including an afterword by Lynott’s former wife Caroline Taraskevics, Cowboy Song is the definitive authorized account of an extraordinary life and career.
Graeme Thomson is the author of several music books, including Under the Ivy: The Life and Music of Kate Bush, which the Irish Times described as “the best music biography in perhaps the past decade,” and George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door. His work has appeared in the Observer, New Statesman, the Guardian, Uncut, the Telegraph, GQ, Mojo and Rolling Stone.
Cowboy Song: The Authorized Biography of Thin Lizzy’s Philip Lynott
by Graeme Thomson | Chicago Review Press | Distributed by IPG |Biography/Music
ISBN: 9781613739198| 376 pages | 29 b/w photos | 6 x 9 | Paperback | $17.99 US