Thin Lizzy ‘always hated Whiskey in the Jar’ Scott Gorham persuaded Phil Lynott to drop it
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Back in 1972, Thin Lizzy released their cover of traditional Irish ballad Whiskey in the Jar. But much to their surprise, the single was an international hit. A new documentary film on the band’s frontman called Phil Lynott: Songs For While I’m Away shows Thin Lizzy concert footage where he shuts down fan requests for the band to play it.
The film’s director Emer Reynolds told Express.co.uk: “Thin Lizzy always hated it and yet it’s one of their biggest hits. The curse of the great hit!
“Phil says in the film that they recorded it almost as a joke.
“They were shocked by its success and continued to be shocked by how much the audience loved it.”
Thin Lizzy were frustrated that the track didn’t represent their sound or image, despite it topping the Irish chart and reaching No 6 in the UK in February 1973.
As a result, Whiskey in the Jar shot Thin Lizzy to fame and scored the band a spot on Top of the Pops.
But when Scott Gorham joined as one of the new guitarists, he couldn’t stand the track.
After being made an official member of the band, Scott headed on down to the management’s office where he was given their last album and the single that made Thin Lizzy famous.
Speaking with Express.co.uk, the 69-year-old said: “I’d never heard of any of this stuff so I was really excited to get home and put it on.”
After enjoying the album, he listened to the single Whiskey In The Jar next and was shocked by what he heard.
At the time, Scott asked himself: “What the f*** is this? I don’t get this. I don’t get this song at all!”
He admitted: “I took a dislike to it straight off the bat.”
After a while of touring Scott approached Phil and pointed out how Thin Lizzy had really evolved from its original trio.
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So Scott boldly asked Phil: “What do you think about dropping Whiskey In The Jar?”
The bassist thought about it a bit but then agreed.
The Thin Lizzy guitarist told us: “I can’t believe that Phil actually agreed with me on this.”
The 69-year-old admitted that if a new band member had come up to him a few years later and asked to drop The Boys Are Back In Town they would be “f***ing fired” right there and then.
Considering why Phil agreed to drop Whiskey In The Jar from the band’s set, the Thin Lizzy guitarist mused: “I think he saw the logic and alot of the fans saw the logic when we told them what we were doing.”
Nevertheless, he added: “Really the resurgence of that song came up with Metallica.
“They put a whole new spin on it, gave it life. I think those guys did a great version of Whiskey in the Jar.”
Phil Lynott: Songs For While I’m Away released in UK cinemas on October 30. See www.phillynottfilm.com for further information & tickets. Thin Lizzy Rock Legends super deluxe edition is out now.
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