The Authorised Biography of Philip Lynott
By Graeme Thomson
Cowboy Song is the definitive authorised biography of Thin Lizzy guiding spirit, Philip Lynott, the instantly identifiable singer, charismatic stage performer and supremely gifted songwriter.
'The truest measure of the man we have thus far' - Mojo
'Affectionate, impeccably researched biography' - Mail on Sunday
'Head and shoulders above the usual rock hagiography' - Sunday Telegraph
The first biography to be written with the cooperation of the Lynott Estate, Cowboy Song is the definitive authorised account of the extraordinary life and career of Thin Lizzy guiding spirit, Philip Lynott.
Leading music writer Graeme Thomson explores the fascinating contradictions between Lynott's unbridled rock star excesses and the shy, sensitive 'orphan' raised in working class Dublin. The mixed-race child of a Catholic teenager and a Guyanese stowaway, Lynott rose above daunting obstacles and wounding abandonments to become Ireland's first rock star. Cowboy Song examines his key musical alliances as well as the unique blend of cultural influences which informed Lynott's writing, connecting Ireland's rich reserves of music, myth and poetry to hard rock, progressive folk, punk, soul and New Wave.
Published on the thirtieth anniversary of Lynott's death in January 1986, Thomson draws on scores of exclusive interviews with family, friends, band mates and collaborators. Cowboy Song is both the ultimate depiction of a multi-faceted rock icon, and an intimate portrait of a much-loved father, son and husband.
Graeme Thomson is the author of several music books, including Under the Ivy: The Life & Music of Kate Bush, described by the Irish Times as 'the best music biography in perhaps the past decade'. His biography of George Harrison, Behind the Locked Door, was included in the Mail on Sunday's Best Books of 2013. One of the UK's leading music writers, his work has appeared in the Observer, New Statesman, the Guardian, Uncut, the Telegraph, GQ, MOJO and Rolling Stone.
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- Publication date:
25 Feb 2016
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An affectionate and unflinching book on Lynott ... It's the substantive flesh Thomson puts on the bones of Lynott's personal life, though, that makes Cowboy Song the truest measure of the man we have thus far - and a must-read for anybody ever smitten by Lizzy's fatally-flawed romantic — James McNair, Mojo
Well researched ... poignant ... revealing — RTE Guide
A genuinely sympathetic portrait — Uncut
An admirable book ... there are times when Graeme Thomson's prose reaches astute heights and stirs recognitions — James O’Connor Irish Times
Affectionate, impeccably researched biography ... an impressively well-rounded story — Geoff Barton Mail on Sunday
Head and shoulders above the usual rock hagiography — Neil Armstrong, Sunday Telegraph
Outstanding — John Spain, Belfast Telegraph
Even non-Thin Lizzy fans will find much to fascinate in Cowboy Song. Thomson's account ... is absorbing — Irish Examiner
Packs a real emotional punch — Spectator
An excellent, painstaking life ... Crowther's afterword about her errant bad-boy hubbie and their "beautiful, strong, funny, creative and loving girls ... of whom he would be so very, very proud" brought tears to my eyes — Barney Hoskyns, Guardian
Cowboy Song goes further - uncovering how Lynott's race, country, and complex family life fed into his singular poetry and music — Michael Curle, Irish Post
Engrossing ... a candid depiction of a complicated soul — David Burke, Rock’n’Reel
Fascinating — Edel Coffey, Belfast Telegraph