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Phil Lynott: The Rocker [Paperback]

Mark Putterford
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.95
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Book Description

11 Mar 2002
The classic bestseller re-issed in a B format paperback edition. This eye-opening biography traces Lynott's life from 1950s Dublin through to Thin Lizzy and his tragic death. Using dozens of frank interviews with family friends and band members, this is a touching and shocking account of the life of the Irish legend. Mark Putterford's eye opening biography traces Lynott's visionary ambitions to fuse dance music and heavy rock as well as influences on the early careers of future stars like Bob Geldof, Midge Urem Huey Lewis and Mark Knopfler. Using dozens of frank interviews with family, friends and band members, Putterford gives us a touching and somethng shocking account of the life of the one and only black Irish rock legend. Includes full discography.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (11 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711991049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711991040
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Mark Putterford has faithfully reconstructed the life of an illegitimate black child who rose from a childhood of petty taunts because of the colour of his skin to become a hero worldwide, but more importantly, an Irish icon, a person that the whole nation adored...This book is an incisive but easy read; it is not a weighty tome that scrutinises every aspect of Phil Lynott's life in lengthy, drawn out passages...This is a brilliant book about one of rock's true superstars.'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lynott : A Vagabond Of The Western World 15 Nov 2002
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 2 May 2006
I've become a Thin Lizzy fan in recent years and I have become intrigued by Phil Lynott and the way he lived his life.

What is clear from this book is that Lynott was a determined and dedicated musician, who badly wanted success. It is also clear that when success came knocking at his door, Lynott did not handle the fame game too well. Then there were numerous fall outs with band memebers who came and went, then came back again and then went again!!

It is apparent from the book that Lynott courted celebrity and he ended up with some fairly unsavoury characters hanging around his Kent home. Once the drugs had taken over his life, Lynott was a shadow of the energetic man who strived for success in the early days of Thin Lizzy. It becomes rather moving towards the end of the book when Lynott's heroin addiction takes over his life and ultimatley contributes in no small part to his death.

The book is well researched and written by Mark Putterford and he writes it from a fans perspective. I didn't want to put the book down, especially when it gets to the part of the book where Lynott's career really took off. It is apparent that the band had exciting times on the road and this is captured in the book.

I would disagree with the previous reviewers comments about Live Aid and where were Phil's friends when he needed them most?? At that time, it seems quite clear from the book that Lynott was in no fit state to perform at Live Aid and also it must be remembered that Geldof & Midge Ure were trying to help[ save the lives of many sick people. I think Lynott would surely have approved of this. I think the book makes fairly clear that many of Phil's friends were on the verge of giving up trying to help him because his drug habit was so advanced by this time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Rocked 18 April 2005
By jackie
My teenage years would not have been the same without Lizzy's music and I was in mourning for weeks when Phil died, so I was eager to read this book. I enjoyed most of the aspects of this book, mainly the story of his life and loves, but felt that the book would have been easier reading if there was a separate list in chronological order of the pubs/clubs he played in. Mark Haddon did cover this in the text but there was too much confusing information at once, so I felt lost where he had played before etc and spent much of my time trying to put things into context. Also I would love one day to visit Dublin and if a list of the pubs/clubs he played at in his early years was displayed, I could get this information much more effectively. After (and during reading) this book I played all of my albums again and felt I had a greater insight where Phil was during a particular song, at that period of his life.
I felt his complicated relationship with his mother was not explained fully enough, how did he remain close to a woman he barely saw whilst growing up?
I was at Live-Aid and did wonder at the time why Lizzy were not playing, especially as Phil had close links with both Geldolf and Midge Ure (I had presumed he couldnt do it), so after reading this book I felt very angry to find out that in his time of need his so-called-friends let him down.
All in all this book is a must for anyone who would like to understand the way of life for a rock star in the 70's and 80's. Drugs and alchol were (and presumably still are)the "norm", therefore was not unusual for rock stars to live hard and die hard (and young).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad,could be better.
Not a bad read,a little lacking in depth,as i managed to finish it over a couple of nights.Phil was a great hero of mine,and i've still yet to find the definitive biography the man... Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Blues Man Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
bought as present really like it great value
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Rocker
I thought that this was a very good book, covered all Phil Lynott's career, his early life, Thin lizzy days, solo career, post-Thin Lizzy and his eventual death. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul Keegan
5.0 out of 5 stars Phil Lynott: The Rocker
This isan excellent biography of Phil Lynott, and very well researched. There is no hearsay. Phil's family, particularly his mother, Phyllis, are quoted extensively, as are former... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight to Thin Lizzy's front man
Only read a quarter of the book so far, but a fascinating read about Phil Lynott. Lots of detail and interviews from those who worked with him and knew him well.
Published 9 months ago by Alan S
3.0 out of 5 stars The Rocker
Had this book in paperback but, couldn't seem to settle down to read it. Now it's on Kindle it's brilliant
Published 15 months ago by Glynis Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Legend
Fantastic book on a genuine wild man of rock, superb contribution from his mother and members of Thin Lizzy. One of my original schoolboy heroes and a great read
Published 18 months ago by D. J. Mclaren
5.0 out of 5 stars this is what wanted thnx
havent fine the time to read it yet,but i'm shure i will have much of pleasure on it,
buy this book everyone who likes phill and thin lizzy,
Published 20 months ago by decock mieke
3.0 out of 5 stars A great retelling of the Lizzy story, not such a great bio of Philip...
If I could review this book solely as the story of Thin Lizzy, I'd give it 5 stars. Laugh out loud funny at times, it guides you through the highs and lows of life on the road and... Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2012 by Punker Jez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about a great musical icon
Phil Lynott is one of my favourite bassists and among my favourite singers, thin lizzy is in my top bands, this guy had such an interesting life, the story told by people close to... Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2011 by C. Palmer
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