Philip Lynott: Still In Love With You – The Life and Music of Ireland’s Legendary Rock Icon will recreate the exhibition which ran in Dublin and London in 2011/2012 in book form, and include a host of previously unseen memorabilia and personal artefacts donated by the singer's mother Philomena and friends and fans worldwide. We spoke to Niall Stokes, the Editor of Hot Press magazine, and curator of the exhibition, about the book and the Pledge campaign funding its publication.
Can you give us some background as to how you originally became involved with the Still In Love With You exhibition Niall?
“Well, at Hot Press we always had a great affection and respect for Philip: for many people in Ireland he absolutely defined what a rock star can be: he looked the part, he walked the walk and he talked the talk, so he made a huge impression on people here. Part of that, of course, was that many people thought of Philip Lynott as the first black guy in Ireland, and that wasn’t that far off the truth, because Ireland was a hugely mono-cultural society back then. We were conscious of the fact that there isn’t enough recognition in general of great Irish musicians, and the bands that, in so many ways, changed people’s lives here in Ireland, and specifically that there wasn’t really anywhere where you could learn more about the man and his band and what they achieved. So we came up with the idea of putting the exhibition together. We drew upon different sources for it, but obvious Philomena, his mother, retained a lot of materials, so there was a real richness of archive material. The exhibition got a great response in Dublin, in terms of visitors and public response, and we took it to the British Music Experience at the 02 in London after its Irish run, and the response was fantastically positive: everyone felt that it gave an insight into Philip’s world which was really quite unique. So when the exhibition’s run finished, we had the idea that we could in effect create a book that would give people their own private Philip Lynott exhibition, with a lot of fresh material that was donated by fans visiting the exhibition. I think it’ll give the most extraordinary insight into the man and his music, from his very earliest days.”
Are you still collating material for the book?
“Yeah, we’re pulling in stuff from a lot of different sources, and the research is on-going. There’s a huge wealth of photographic material, but there’s also a lot of unique personal material, which I think fans will find fascinating. You really get an understanding of how just how hard the guys in Thin Lizzy worked and the extent to which they were out on the road constantly, bringing their music to the people. It was a tough grind, even after they’d had hit records, and that was something that a lot of musicians who visited the exhibition commented upon. I think the whole thing will have a huge emotional impact for fans.”
So, according to the Pledge page, the book is going to be available in two formats, a luxury 260 page A4 hardback book and a deluxe, 320 page version, individually numbered and signed by Philomena Lynott….
“Yeah, we’ll kick into production at the end of the pledging process, and I think both books will be beautiful creations. I’ve gone on record as saying that we’re seeking to create the greatest book published about any rock n’ roll star ever, and I’m totally confident that we have the material to make that promise a reality. Every pledge is another brick in the wall, obviously, and having fans come on board at this stage is hugely important in enabling us to do this. The point about doing things in the Pledge style is that it does enable you to personalise stuff for fans so that they become part of the process and that was very important to us. It’s a special book about a very special rock n roll star.
To pledge for_ _Philip Lynott: Still In Love With You – The Life and Music of Ireland’s Legendary Rock Icon go here.