Sometimes the same legacy that allows a band to pack arenas after multiple decades is the same thing that weighs a band down creatively. Fans, after all, tend to want their classic rock bands frozen in time. In the case of Thin Lizzy, not only are there lofty expectations set by classic albums like Jailbreak and Bad Reputation, but there is also the looming specter of the band’s late, great frontman and bassist Phil Lynott, who died in 1986 and without whom the band has never released a record.
I woke up this morning to some very good news. John Sykes just updated his official Facebook page. It looks like he's working on a new album that will hopefully be released soon. For those of you who know Sykes, you already know he is a phenomenal guitar player, singer and songwriter. For those who don't, here's a quick history lesson.
Like most musicians growing up in the 1970s, Damon Johnson fell in love with the music that is now considered “classic rock.” The volume, the stage presence, the dual guitars — it all spoke to a young man growing up in Alabama and dreaming of being onstage with his idols. Years later, that’s exactly what happened: Johnson was selected to join Alice Cooper’s band in 2004 and is now a member of Thin Lizzy, touring the world with musicians who influenced him as a teen.
When a previously-unheard song featuring a deceased rocker is uncovered, it always causes a stir, regardless of quality. Still, when such an event occurs, it's usually only one song, or maybe a handful at the most -- or in the case of the late Phil Lynott, over 700.
Nineteen hundred and seventy-one. Even for a year that falls squarely in the heart of the "classic rock" era, it was a particularly classic year. It was the year of Who's Next, Sticky Fingers and Fragile, albums that are so renowned that we don't have to name the bands that created them (But, just in case, it was The Who, The Rolling Stones and Yes).