Thin Lizzy: Live at the National Stadium Dublin DVD Review

I was a bit reluctant as to what to post next since life has been chaotic this summer (and I don’t think this coming rough winter will look any better), so I decided to do another Thin Lizzy review to take my mind off shit!

It’s been a busy year for the TL organization what with touring and re-releasing albums for the next generation of rock enthusiasts. Scott Gorham (the de facto leader) has cracked his businessman’s whip mightily and threw open the old flightcases clearing away the cobwebs and panties to serve up some Lizzy goodies previously seen only on You Tube (especially for NA fans). The deluxe editions of Nightlife and Fighting were great, but I favor Fighting as it has better liner note contents and pics. Also on my list is another up-and-coming TL book co-authored by Scott and music journalist Harry Doherty this November by Omnibus Press (they also published Putterford’s biography). Before I get stuck into this I’d like to thank ThinLizzyFanpage and Blacksabfan (amongst other dedicated fans) who originally put up the video clips featured on this DVD.

Still in love with you Philo.

Live at the National Stadium is actually a collection of European TV Thin Lizzy specials spanning 1976-83. The videos are fully restored (or as restored as they could be with our current technology) with 5.1 surround and the clever animated title menu used the Still in Love With You performance in the Johnny The Fox sleeve art motif (I hope Fitzpatrick got his royalties). The two documentaries and TV concert run just about an hour each, and the bonus features which are from RTE music show (so obscure virtually nothing comes up on the Google radar) 6/5 Live and the promo video Old Town, a track from Phil’s second solo album. While there’s multi-language subtitles (English, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and European Spanish), you’re shit out of luck on the lyrics. Also good to note that there are chapters laid out like a setlist for the TV concert.

Thin Lizzy’s appearance on On Stage at the Stadium was packaged in 1976 and broadcast in two 30-minute blocks, on January 21 and July 12. But lucky us we get the whole she-fucking-bang that includes guitar tuning, everyone high and/or drunk off their tits, Phil’s bass fucking up during Suicide, and just before Rosalie Scott had to pseudo-banter because Big Charlie had to come out and tweak Phil’s gear. The campiest bit was during Downey’s showcase of Sha-La-La where Phil donned a wolfman mask, collapsed, and had to be drug off stage à la Elvis by Big Charlie (also in a wolfman mask). The strobe lights in the drum riser were 70s high-tech fun, but the roadies fucked up on the smoke machine cue when they started to pump arbitrarily between For Those Who Love To Live and Showdown. Another interesting tidbit (especially for those with a soft spot for the Brians) you can’t help but notice that Scott gets a lot of face time when the camera isn’t panning on Phil. This phenomena was also apparent on Lizzy’s first TOTP spot miming Wild One (there are two takes, but the one widely seen is on their Greatest Hits DVD). One of the big problems Thin Lizzy suffers from is that their sound on CD (or vynl back in the day) can’t capture what they put out on stage. I know Robbo hated playing the “old stuff” (pre-Jailbreak and from what some say truly got him fired for), but when you see the attitude, charisma, rawness, and power even in these early performances where the kids had to be subdued by security these are unique individuals doing something that had quite the ripple effect in pop culture. I like the young Lizzy, rough and unshaven using Fairy washing-up soap for shampoo with everything to prove, and nothing to lose.

But by 1982 all the swashbuckling was turning to self-parody, the Renegade album failed, and the tour was a disaster where the after show party was becoming more important than the show. Phil was a smart PR guy and he knew he had to rev up public interest so he consented for RTE to produce the short rockumentary Renegade: The Philip Lynott Story. It was shot between London and Ireland over six weeks that was staged as a friendly afternoon tea between presenter David Heffernan and Phil, Lynott entourage member and Irish blues musician Brush Sheils, Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, and Darren Wharton. This is the first in-depth look at Lizzy’s formation, influences, and some of Phil’s background in Dublin. It includes promo videos Waiting For an Alibi, King’s Call, and Killer On The Loose; an impromptu jam session in Phil’s Kew Road studio/garage (and the last time Snowy White is seen with the band); a gig on one of Phil’s solo band tours at St. Francis Xavier Hall in Dublin, and a performance of Are You Ready at the ’78 Australia festival tour featuring Mark Nauseef and Gary Moore. It was a sweetly whitewashed affair, and whether or not it was Phil’s stellar showmanship but any evidence of marital and professional problems he had simply didn’t exist. In fact Phil quipped, “No girlfriends of mine. Got the wife here.” It’s a bit like a Chinese lunch special, you pay the $6 but you feel like you ate $4.50 worth of food. If they went the distance for 90 minutes, and did away with the promos, musical montages, and that awful Yellow Pearl TOTP intro it would seem less like a commercial. What also was so obvious was the palpable anxiousness of giving something away (with the exception of Downey). Phil didn’t look so hot during the jam, despite his asthma, he was a chain smoker, and he sounded very congested. But heroin can do that as well.

In 1983 Thin Lizzy was ready to call it a day, and with John Sykes taking to the right side of the stage, a silver record under their belts with Thunder and Lightning #4 in the UK charts, they were going out in style. RTE and David Heffernan were re-enlisted to produce another rockumentary on the demise of a long-standing touring band featuring, not so much Thin Lizzy, but their treasured road crew. The Sun Goes Down was filmed during one of their final Belfast gigs and their final two gigs at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS), and although there was mixed feelings of both relief and sadness at Lizzy’s imminent split, no one thought it would be permanent. The band resumed the devil-may-care attitude that shot them to stardom in order to die in a blaze of glory. Darren Wharton was still that cherubic Manchester innocent that joined up at 18, John Sykes stayed cool as a cucumber in his little Van Halen-esque bubble, and Scott hammed it up for the camera. Isn’t it cool that it’s a requirement to show up for work drunk and stoned? The entire balls-out storming gig was edited to span the track Cold Sweat, and closed with The Sun Goes Down from one of the RDS shows (I think this is the second show that was used for the Thunder and Lightning concert video. Phil’s voice was shot to hell as he turned up early, got drunk and high, and the rest is history). I know there were a few negative comments on YT with fans getting frustrated that TL wasn’t on camera until the end, but I don’t believe that the band had anything new to add on the matter, without divulging their addiction problems.

The final three treats are two performances on RTE’s 6/5 Live and The Philip Lynott Album’s promo video Old Town. The Founding and Lost Lizzy lineups mimed Are You Ready and Whiskey in the Jar, but Phil’s vocals were live. It was 1980/81 and Lost Lizzy were crackin’ with Snowy joining in on the fun throwing shapes and taking part in the macho goodness. Phil pulled faces at the camera and stuck his tongue out at Scott who was wearing the show’s black muscle shirt. Eric Bell was kind enough to join Phil and Brian for Whiskey seemingly picking up where they left off. Old Town was an old fashioned ballad starring Irish actress Fionna McKenna as The Girl and immortalized the Ha’Penny Bridge into the annals of rock. It was filmed over two days and Phil was completely in his element mooching and flirting on Grafton Street (where he took a cute chick for a turn), but the scene in the Dublin bar (where he had his aperitif of double brandies) had him looking bloated and weary.

Regardless, it was a fine way to wrap up this DVD of Thin Lizzy specials. Buy it for the On Stage gig and try not to get too frustrated at the bits that do tend to drag.

Thin Lizzy photo caption games!

DISCLAIMER: The following photos were ripped off from other sites- regardless of whether or not they are watermarked! In other words, THEY AREN’T FUCKING MINE!!! I take NO CREDIT for these shots, and anyway I was born in 1980 as the Chinatown album was being cut. Also, I’m a huge Thin Lizzy fangirl so I mean no offense to the band (regardless of lineup), their families, or other fans. I’m just bored and having a little fun. And one more thing, can we quit the Snowy White effigy burning? The Isle of Wight native isn’t responsible for the weakening of our Lizzy (and he’s a kick-ass blues/rock guitarist, he’s just not a rocker). For more proof read Mark Putterford’s biography Phil Lynott: The Rocker, and the liner notes of the 2011 deluxe edition albums of Vagabonds of the Western World, Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox, Live And Dangerous, Black Rose, Chinatown, and the (recently released) updated import of Bad Reputation. Loving the added tracks and photos for that one! The updated edition of Fighting will be released this November (I know I pre-ordered mine). You can’t find gold like this in Best Buy or Target, they sell complete and utter bullshit (I think I saw one Whitesnake album but I can’t be sure if John Sykes was in the lineup). Nope these are pressed in Germany and sold online for Americans with sense (I miss HMV and Virgin Mega with a bitter passion).

Also, a big shout out to a certain dedicated Lizzy fan who so wonderfully put a series of nine torrents of Lizzy music porn for us to drool over. Although it took me a few days to download only the first of them (a compilation of performances, vids, and interviews from ’74-’81), I’m hoping someone could seed the hot stuff in part two from ’81-’83. The fan will remain nameless because I don’t want the SS or the rest of the Nazis shutting his shit down. But there’s one particular piece I’d love to see. Back in ’75 after the release of Fighting, Lizzy made a TV appearance on The London Weekend Show starring Janet Street-Porter, the most asinine looking and sounding presenter I’d ever seen. The episode was entitled Shoes, and Lizzy simply rocked with It’s Only Money, but they edited out the interview! All I saw was the camera panning out from Scott and Janet sitting at a set table after the interview was concluded, then the tape cut to Rosalie. I’d really love to see a young Lizzy in their early days (of course Philo being there is the best treat) and high as a squadron of kites (when didn’t Scott have pretty gray stoner eyes?)! If anybody has this (or knows what the fuck I’m talking about), could you put it up on YT or somewhere to download. I’d really appreciate it!

Now on with the Lizzy funnies!

Robbo: Charlie! There’d better be a fresh bottle of Johnny Walker on my cabinets! Phil: Kitties and puppies with waggly tails… Scott: The joke? I just smoked a pound of primo Buddha Thai! Everything’s funny, man…

Robbo: I still dunno what the fuck happened last night… can somebody tell me! Phil: I got this! See the knife? Got the badge? This pose is so ME. Downey: I need a bigger budget for the white kit… I have plans for those floor toms. Scott: Man the sun can’t get any brighter this… maybe in Montecito. Now what the fuck happened last night?!

Scott: Note to self: kick the shit outta the wind! My hair is flyaway! Robbo: Clogs are comfy and roosters are sexy… Downey: I am so fucking fat in stripes! Phil did you pick this out on purpose?! Phil: *SMIRK*

Scott: Studs, gold spangles, and THIS hair? Ladies, I’m the perfect man! Phil: Dennis The Menace ‘fro, police tape tie, and just slippin’ on this glove here… Gary: I know I’m ripping off Jagger, but I’m just better than him. Downey: Soon those floor toms will reach their purpose…

Phil: I match my gold records in this gear. Scott: I will rock this shirt into the 80s! Where the fuck are we?!

Phil: Who’s your daddy? Downey: Tiny and tough, and I can pose too goddamn it! Scott: Mom, for the last time, I’m not wearin’ the mouse ears…

Phil: About the track “Dealer”… Scott: Yeah, let’s NOT talk about Arkansas. Phil: Fair play to whoever that was… I really thought it was a woman.

Scott: I’m tellin’ you Snowy, white shoes + tight pants = chick magnet. Snowy: And what does Christine have to say about it? Scott: I’m workin’ on that… Snowy: She’s been avoiding you again.

Scott: No offense to the kid Phil. But do the words “filler twee” mean anything? Man, I need some Visene…

Scott: I’m so hot, I’m on fire right now! Chrissie honey, c’mon and fuck me! Christine: STFU Gorham! >_< Phil: Darren said he’s totally going gay for you.

Crazed fan: PHIL! SCOTT! BLESS MY TOWEL WITH YOUR SWEAT! LONG LIVE LIZZY! DEATH TO NEW WAVE ROMANCE! Phil: Got a pile of “Vienna” singles you could burn…

Phil: Now show your uncles the little Lizzy cheer Da taught you, Catie darling! Robbo: Ginger hair is best, I say. Midge: Did ya have to go burn all my singles, Phil? Scott: Now what does this put you in the mood for, Chrissie baby? Christine: For the love of fuck Gorham… -_-;

Phil: I wear ties MY WAY. Downey: A gong is next on the list. And its purpose is essential to the plan… Robbo: Fuck glasses! I do it the old fashioned way. Scott: Pucker up! ‘Cause I’m beautiful!

Downey: Now the drum riser must be fully-equipped to execute the plan… Phil: I’m the man… I’m the man… I’m the man- ooh it’s a puppy! Robbo: The stair is wedged into my ass!! Scott: Adieu Sweet Marie… hello Sexy Chrissie! Christine: Fuck you Gorham…

Scott: Thanks for the aerodynamic hair Dad! Bill Gorham: O.O

Downey: At long last! The plan’s coming to fruition! Snowy: 1/1000, 2/1000, 3/1000… Phil: HA HA HA!!! It’s Chinatown! Get down Snowy! Scott: Muscle tees and silk shirts! Scottie G for the 80s! BA-RING IT BABY!

Scott: What you’ve heard is true. I can run in heels. Robbo: Fuck you, I’m not losin’ the shades! Frankie Miller got me into something last night, and NO, I’m not tellin’ you! Phil: Yes, I’ve got a bit of a bad reputation… hey! That’s a great album title! Downey: I wouldn’t lean too close to the floor toms mate… John Alcock: TAKE THE PICTURE AND GET ME THE FUCK AWAY FROM THESE CRAZIES!

Scott: Yes, these are my teeth. Y’know LSD-coated Malteasers were a great idea! Phil: And as you can see my friend here has quite the sense of humor. In fact I’ve nicked all his beer and he still hasn’t caught up yet.

Scott: I love this fuckin’ job! I can’t feel my legs, but I love this fuckin’ job!

Scott: You lend a guy a silk shirt, and he drools all over it! Snowy: Can I stand by my amp now? I’m going insane…

Scott: And the method to my madness is… I don’t tell, I SHOW!

Scott: Check this out Snowy. We might be able to increase our Asia sales if we make subtle references to THAT. I hear Japanese high school girls cream their jeans over it! Phil: It’s time to take one for the team, Snowy. Snowy: …

Scott: Strike a pose Gaz! Gary: You mean throwin’ shapes? Yeah, I had that covered long before you Mr. LA Glamour Boy. Phil: I SO regret not buying those shoes…

Scott: The earth moved and spoke to me…

Scott: Beer, best for the hair. Phil: Yes, but do they know you actually wash your hair with it?

Retarded Danish fangirl: Tee-hee! I’ll take him home to Mummy! Scott: MY EYES! MY EYES! Phil: You’ll live in a gingerbread house and have 18 kids!

Gary: Wah-wah pedals, things of beauty. Scott: Hey Vicki! Tell Bob-o that Supertramp may have sold 50 mil, but can he get away with murder? I don’t think so…

Phil: Lockets are too a manly thing! And so is sporting a pair of leather studded belts. Gary: Ah, polka dots, my current fetish… Scott: But we know what your TRUE fetishes are, don’t we Gary?

Scott: DOWNEY IS TAKING OVER THE WORLD! I’M ON STRINGS AND THERE’S A ROCKET LAUNCHER ON MY BACK! I’M NOT FUCKING WITH YOU!

Scott: Ladies, in my right hand is… Fangirls: A guitar pick. Scott: And behind my left hand is… Fangirls: The stairway to heaven.

Gary: Lookin’ sexy there, Gorham! Scott: I’m so fuckin’ high, I’m ready to consider it…

Scott: NOW THAT’S A PICK SCRAPE MOTHERFUCKER! YA LIKE THAT?!

Phil: Note to self: buy more studded leather vests. Scott: RETURN OF THE AERODYNAMIC HAIR! HELL YEAH!

Phil: Renee Descartes was a very clever man… Scott: He said ‘I am zinc, therefore I’m a pram.’

Scott: A cig, some OJ, all is cool with the world. But are these shoulder pads too much?

Gary: High? Who’s high? (kicks a bottle of ‘ludes away) Scott: Are we still in Paris? Delivery man: Package for Brian Downey! Downey: Just put it behind the floor tom. Phil: Hey Brian, what does ‘WMD’ stand for?

Scott: Yeah, about this album Phil… what’s up with the rhyming lyrics? Phil: It came to me in a dream. Besides, it was either that, or haiku.

Scott: Look Ma! Playin’ the back of my head! Phil: And ya nicked me silk trousers… I’ll have Gary fix you boyo.

Sykes: Age before beauty… Scott: Fuck you! Watch me kick, stretch, and kick!

Sykes: I’m the brand new pretty boy! Scott: *SNAPS CAT O’NINE TAILS* What was that, bitch?

Scott: I’m not bad, I just rock that way. Now shut up and kiss me… and don’t forget the tongue. Christine: Impossible man!

Darren: Are we there yet?! Are we there yet?! Snowy: Note to self: re-read contract. There’s got to be an end in sight to all this… I know it… Downey: And to think we paid that much for the kid to turn in his v-card… Scott: Yeah, honey, the hotel management said we’re gonna have to foot the bill for the bed. Christine: And you owe me a nightie. Scott: Nothin’ like good old-fasioned American sexy violence.

Scott: Originally I was gonna wear the red outfit from the “Lonely Hearts” video, but I decided that the focus of this shot should be the hair. ALWAYS. THE. HAIR.

Scott: I’m a closet perv, who does the preppy thing. Okay? O-fucking-kay? Chrissie, defend your man! Christine: I’m still trying to work out what tree you fell from Gorham…

Scott: No, I’m not playing with myself. But if I don’t do this, Phil will punish me…

Sykes: A phallic thing? Whatever could you mean? Scott: Little bitch, I had the whole guitar-fucking thing locked down way before you! Phil: Think he needs a reminder? Scott: Charlie! Get me the thorn lash!

Darren: Look, Scott, I dunno why you have to feel uncomfortable around me. I know Sykes is your bitch… Scott: You wouldn’t get it, piano boy! Sykes: I don’t enjoy it… I don’t enjoy it… I don’t enjoy it… Phil: I may have to spill the beans on you and Gary, mate… Downey: The final stages of the plan will commence here…

Scott: Ladies and gentlemen… introducing, SCOTT GORHAM’S HAIR!

Scott: Hey-y-y-y Brian… ya ever wonder what it’s like to roll around naked on a shag? Downey: Shit! Phil! Did ya have Phyllis make those “special brownies” again?