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Monday, 12 September 2011

Dancin' in the Moonlight


Sometimes I feel the urge to try a different kind of writing to that which I generally publish on this blog. Regular readers will have noticed that in such cases I tend to make use of obnoxi.us, the platform my friend Chris Jenkins has created. For those who do not know it, here’s the basic statement of the philosophy; “Obnoxi.us is a loose collection of writers, artists, gadflies and trolls. Our purpose is to entertain and enrage in the quest to make you think.”

So it’s over at obnoxi.us that I let my nasty alter-ego, Frankie, out of his cage every now and again. And where I try out other things as well.

So when my muse wagged her ass recently and seductively suggested that I might try my hand at a little fiction, it was clear to me that – if it worked – I should publish it over there.

In my teenage years in a small town in the west of Ireland, Thin Lizzy were one of my favourite rock groups; something I believe I shared with the majority of my contemporaries. Along with Rory Gallagher, they were the first to come out of Ireland and make a really serious impression on the international rock scene. Their first, and probably greatest hit, Whiskey in the Jar (1972) served to give diddle-ee-eye traditional Irish music real credibility for my generation and has become a classic rock standard often covered since; most notably perhaps by Metallica, winning a Grammy for their performance of the song in 2000.

Thin Lizzy saw many great musicians as part of their line-up over the years, including Snowy White, Midge Ure and the incomparable late Gary Moore, but the front-man and the soul of the band was their bass player and singer, Phil Lynott. Phil was an amazing, larger than life character, that most seldom of phenomena, a black Irishman, whose singing was always characterised by a broad Dublin accent. His childhood was not easy, growing up as an illegitimate mixed-race kid with his grandmother in very modest circumstances in Dublin in the 1950s. But he came out of this background with a suave, piratical coolness, which he projected on a level comparable with Jimi Hendrix.

And, just like Hendrix, he lived the rock and roll life in the fast lane, dying as a result of drink and drugs at the age of only thirty-six. His native city of Dublin commemorated him with a life-size bronze statue in 2005.

This little story was inspired by a 1977 song by Lizzy, Dancing in the Moonlight. It’s a modest homage to the group, especially to Phil and Gary, who are now rocking the angels.

So here’s the link. And while you’re there, check out obnoxi.us. There is some very good stuff over there …



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