Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy
Two Irish Poets
by Mark R. Elsis
“There’s nothing wrong with being a bit cocky and all the time threatening the system.”
I was in my taxi waiting for a fare outside of the Mudd Club late one night during the magical Summer of 1980 when a passenger got in and said he wanted to go to the Berkshire Hotel on 52nd Street and Madison Avenue. He spoke with an Irish brogue, so I asked him what part of Ireland was he from? He said, from Dublin. I said that both of my maternal grandparents were born in Ireland, and I’m an Irish poet here to save our species from extinction. He told me that he was also an Irish poet. I said my name is Mark, it’s good to meet you, he replied and told me his name was Philip, and it was good to meet me. He mentioned that he found it serendipitous to get in a New York City taxi and the driver is an Irish poet.
His Dublin accent wasn’t too thick, and I could understand every word. My local tavern in Elmhurst, The Gaslight, was run by folks from Dublin with a thicker brogue, that many times I couldn’t understand every word they said. I asked him what he did back in Dublin? He told me that he was in the band, Thin Lizzy. I then realized that it was Phil Lynott, the main songwriter and lead singer of Thin Lizzy. I told him that I liked his music and that he was a talented bassist, singer, and songwriter. He was genuinely gracious and said thank you, Mark.
He asked if I had heard of his first solo album, Solo in Soho? I told him yes, WNEW-FM 102.7 has given it quite a lot of air time. He was pleased to hear from me that his music was being played in New York City by the number one rock radio station in the United States.
Philip was happy and outgoing with me. He told me he was married with two beautiful baby girls. He then asked me to recite a poem of mine, so I did. He told me that he enjoyed it. Soon we were at the Berkshire Hotel, and he gave me the fare along with a big tip, so I got out of my taxi and shook his hand and told him to keep on rockin.
I really liked meeting Philip, he was not only the leader of one of the biggest bands in the world but with me, he was another Irish poet.
Well, about a year or so later and once again it is late at night and I’m the first taxi in front of the Mudd Club. I was writing some poetry when a fare opens the back door and gets in. As soon as the door closed, I hear a man with an Irish brogue say, Mark, how are you? I looked backed and to my astonishment, it was Philip Lynott once again sitting alone in the back seat of my taxi. We shook hands and both smiled at our paths crossing yet again. To the Berkshire Hotel, I asked? He said yes, same as last time.
Philip asked if I was writing poetry just now when he got in. I said yes. He then asked for me to recite a poem that I’ve recently written. I did, and once again he told me that he liked it. So I asked him to recite one of his poems. He did, and I told him that I enjoyed it.
Two Irish poets, taught by Christian Brothers, reciting poems to one another while driving along late one evening in Manhattan.
All too soon we were in front of the Berkshire Hotel. Once again he gave me a great tip, and once again I got out of my taxi and shook his hand. But this time, two Irish poets also gave each other a hug.
Philip Parris Lynott died on January 4, 1986, at 36 years of age.
Rest in peace Irish poet.
Thin Lizzy should be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. If you agree, email and tell them: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I still listen to his music every single day. I go over and I pour water on to his gravestone. Then when I leave I give him a kick, for breaking my heart.”
Philomena Lynott, is an Irish author and entrepreneur. She is also the mother of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott.
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