Wednesday 16 October 2019

Thin Lizzy anniversary stamps 'wrong by a year'

Manager says band was formed months later but An Post insists date is right

Stamp of approval: Phil Lynott’s daughters Cathleen Howard-Lynott and Sarah Lynott with their mother Caroline Taraskevics (front centre) with (L-R) three of Cathleen’s children – Oscar (14), Olive (6), and Evie (9) – and Sarah’s children, Lola Lynott-Tack (11) and Cassian Lynott-Tack (10) with the €1 stamp designs. Photo: Stephen Lewis
Stamp of approval: Phil Lynott’s daughters Cathleen Howard-Lynott and Sarah Lynott with their mother Caroline Taraskevics (front centre) with (L-R) three of Cathleen’s children – Oscar (14), Olive (6), and Evie (9) – and Sarah’s children, Lola Lynott-Tack (11) and Cassian Lynott-Tack (10) with the €1 stamp designs. Photo: Stephen Lewis
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Thin Lizzy are the stars of a new set of stamps issued by An Post to commemorate the iconic rock band's 50th anniversary - but the accolade comes a year too early, according to their former manager.

Terry O'Neill told the Irish Independent he'd contacted An Post to tell them 2019 did not mark the 50th anniversary and "that would not take place until next year" but he says "they went ahead anyway".

"They could have changed the dates. It was a simple enough thing to do," Mr O'Neill said.

"Instead they behaved like Boris Johnson or Donald Trump and steamrolled ahead without trying to rectify this. I have credibility on this."

An Post released the two new stamps in Dublin yesterday at a ceremony attended by Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott's daughters Sarah and Cathleen, his grandchildren and ex-wife, Caroline.

Dedicated fans queued at the GPO on O'Connell Street to get some of the booklets of stamps.

One stamp features a portrait of Lynott by artist Jim Fitzpatrick while the other is of the album artwork from 'Black Rose', released in 1979.

Fitzpatrick said: "As a close friend of the late Phil Lynott, I am immensely proud to have my artwork included on these stamps. Never in our wildest dreams while working together would Phil and I have imagined that, one day, we would be acknowledged on a national stamp."

An Post insists that it is correct in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the band this year.

But Mr O'Neill said that the company is out by several months, making the real anniversary next year.

"Most musicians throw diaries away but I was there and know when Thin Lizzy started and it was January 1970, not October 1969.

"I'm sure Phil would've been annoyed, as he liked to get things right, he was such a perfectionist. He always wanted to do the right thing and this isn't just some musicians going on tour marking the wrong date, this is stamps and that's a historic thing.

"It's a matter of public record and it's the wrong date."

A statement from An Post read: "No confusion here. We are marking 50 years of Thin Lizzy - from the time in late 1969 when they talked about playing together, right through their decades of successful albums and tours - right up to the present day when they are still giants of Irish rock."

The new €1 Thin Lizzy stamps are available at post offices across Ireland and online at irishstamps.ie.

The Dublin band rose to international fame with anthemic songs such as 'The Boys Are Back In Town' and 'Whiskey In The Jar'.

Lynott's mother Philomena, died in June this year at the age of 88. She had long kept alive the legacy of her son.

She was the author of 'My Boy', a bestselling memoir in which she told the story of Lynott's upbringing in Manchester and Dublin and to his stratospheric success on a global scale as a charismatic rock star.

Irish Independent

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