When I heard of the death of one of my idols, Philip Parris Lynott, I was deeply saddened but not surprised. Everyone knew he had lead a hard rocking life.
But the reasons for his death were more than mere excesses of drugs and alcohol - and this book shows the reader how the most popular people can make fatal decisions because of unhelpful 'friendly' advice. Lynott certainly seemed to have his share of bad advice. The picture comes across that Lynott was indeed a 'vagabond' type, by which I mean he was constantly on the move musically; often ill at ease with himself and frequently searching for something that maybe he could never find.
All in all, I suppose Lynott was destined - and ultimately satisfied, in a strange way - to die the way he did; in the limelight and going out with a bang, not a whimper. A soldier of fortune, no less.
The book points out the many ways, through his music, that Lynott tried to tell the world of his angst and inability to settle. Tracks such as 'Got To Give It Up', 'Sugar Blues', 'Borderline' and 'Opium Trail' are typical of him trying to lay the ghost of his addictions.
On the lighter side, Lynott was the proverbial 'lovable rogue' and the author makes it clear that wherever Lynott was, the place came alive. The numerous stories that make you chuckle make it easy to find oneself spending hours without wanting to put the book down. A personal favourite was the story of how Freddie Mercury reacted when Lizzy were clearly stealing the show whilst supporting Queen.
Being a Lizzy fan meant I was always likely to enjoy the book, but I would expect fans of the rock music scene in general will find this a 'right good read'.
I can listen to my collection of Lizzy music now and look at the songs in a different and, significantly, an enlightened way thanks to this book. God rest Lynott's soul - now a vagabond of another world.