Cowboy Song

Cowboy Song
Cowboy Song

Cowboy Song

The Authorized Biography of Thin Lizzy's Philip Lynott
By Graeme Thomson


368 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Trade Paper, $19.99 (US $19.99)

ISBN 9781613739198

Rights: US

Chicago Review Press (May 2017)


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Philip Lynott packed a vast amount into his 36 years. An instantly identifiable singer, charismatic stage performer and supremely gifted songwriter, the guiding spirit of Thin Lizzy combined the instincts of a wild man with the soul of a poet.            The first biography written with the cooperation of the Lynott Estate, Cowboy Song 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.            Cowboy Song analyzes his unsettled childhood; musical apprenticeship; key alliances with the poets, painters and folkies of 1960s Dublin; stardom with Thin Lizzy and drug-induced decline. It examines 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. The results—including the hits "Whiskey in the Jar," "The Boys Are Back in Town," and "Dancing in the Moonlight," and classic albums Jailbreak and Live and Dangerous—are now part of the rock canon.            Including an afterword by Lynott's former wife Caroline Taraskevics, Cowboy Song is the definitive authorized account of an extraordinary life and career. Drawing on scores of exclusive interviews with family, friends, bandmates and collaborators, it is both the ultimate depiction of a multifaceted rock icon and an intimate portrait of a much-loved father, son and husband.


"Excellent . . . painstaking . . . [a] fine telling of the messy life of Thin Lizzy's charismatic frontman." —Barney Hoskyns, Guardian

"I've always held it impossible for biography to encompass a life, especially the life of someone as vibrant as Phil Lynott. Cowboy Song has changed my mind. A touching portrait of one of my favorite musicians." —Cass McCombs

"An admirable book . . . there are times when Graeme Thomson's prose reaches astute heights and stirs recognitions." —Joseph O'Connor, Irish Times

"The truest measure of the man . . . a must-read." —Mojo

"Meticulously researched, richly detailed . . . a compelling read." —Classic Rock

"...Cowboy Song is a sober, somber read. But like the best biographies, it gets to the heart of the man. One feels a connection to Lynott through Cowboy Song." —Under the Radar

"...sympathetic and insightful and a must for fans of Thin Lizzy and Irish rock." —Booklist Online

Author Biography

Graeme Thomson is the author of several music books, including Under the Ivy: The Life and Music of Kate Bush, which the Irish Times described as "the best music biography in perhaps the past decade," and George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door. His work has appeared in the Observer, New Statesman, the Guardian, Uncut, the Telegraph, GQ, Mojo, and Rolling Stone.