Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back In Town

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. This is the day when everyone’s Irish, even if you haven’t a drop of Irish blood. As we continue with our theme of Irish musicians, one of the more popular bands to come from Dublin was Thin Lizzy. The first song and album to chart outside of Ireland was the single, “The Boys are Back in Town” from the album “Jailbreak.”

This is one of those tunes that I remember hearing it for the first time. During the summer of 1976, I had the pleasure of living in Logan, West Virginia with my older brother John. Coming home one afternoon from the local music store where I was working, I heard this tune as I was coming up Peach Creek Road. In was on the now defunct WLOG and at first I thought it was Kiss, but I was wrong. I had never heard of Thin Lizzy before this and I was enthralled by the dual guitar leads and answer back whispers.

Thin Lizzy was an unusual name and it was coined from the name of a comic book robot named Tin Lizzy. The “H” was added as a joke because many Irish dropped the “h” in “th” when speaking. Remember yesterday, Mick Maloney sang, “You’ll tink you’re home in Ireland.” Lead by the late Phil Lynott, the band’s bassist, it is said that Thin Lizzy shone in concert settings. I never had the opportunity to see them live.

Live (more or less) Version for TV

A few years ago, Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham explained to Guitar World how this song evolved from a bass progression to the hit song that we know and love. He also shows how to play the twin guitar riffs. Parts one and two of this interview are found at

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