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Phil Lynott: The Rocker Paperback – 11 Mar 2002

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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: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By R GUTH on 15 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. T. Carter on 2 May 2006
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Punker Jez on 8 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
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 in the studio, without becoming banal or repetitive. All of the key Lizzy characters feature and I felt like I'd gotten to know them all by the end of it. It's a great story, well-told, with some great quotes from friends and observers of the band in their heyday.

But as a biography of the legendary Philip Lynott, it is sadly lacking. There are lots of interesting comments from friends of Phil Lynott: The Rocker, but none from friends or family of Phil Lynott: The Human Being. I felt as though the early years with Philomena were glossed over, which is a shame as I'm sure there are lots of great tales to tell, as well as there being a distinct lack of information about Philip's personal relationships. I should have imagined a a man renowned for his sexual conquests might have warranted an index of 'notches' alongside the discography, but not much is mentioned other his wife and a girlfriend. It would have been nice to read more personal information about his relationship with his children, even the breakdown of his marriage, which I'd expect in the very least from a biography, even if it is considered idle gossip.

I've enjoyed reading this, even though I wasn't even born when Lizzy split and I'm not a hardcore fan, but I really wanted to learn more about Lynott as a man as I find him to be a bit of an enigma. Maybe that's how he wanted it? Who knows. Definitely worth a read, even for non-Lizzy fans.
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