Pagoda House, 184 Kew Road, Kew, Richmond TW9

From the website of the Black Plaque Project:

“Phil Lynott was the iconic lead vocalist of the band Thin Lizzy and the writer of global hit song ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’. The Irish singer, musician and songwriter was born in the West Midlands, but grew up in Dublin with his grandparents. He fronted several bands as a lead vocalist, including Skid Row alongside Gary Moore, before learning the bass guitar and forming Thin Lizzy in 1969 as a founding member.

Thin Lizzy signed the first deal with Decca Records at Beaumont House in 1971.

Lynott was known for his imaginative lyrical contributions, which brought in working-class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture in his creative output.”

From Famous Residents of Richmond-upon-Thames:

“Phil Lynott (1949-1986) was an Irish rock, psychedelic, Blues and hard rock musician who led lead vocals & bassist with Blue Rock band Skid Row, alongside musician Gary Moore. He left this band to form Thin Lizzy in the 70’s, and with this band he had top hits with The Boys Are Back In Town, Jailbreak, Waiting For An Alibi & Whiskey In The Jar.

Having become dependant and struggling with a heroin addiction, it was at this address on Christmas Day 1985 that Lynott collapsed from a suspected drug overdose and rushed all the way out initially to a clinic in Warminster, then a hospital in Salisbury, both in Wiltshire, where he was later diagnosed to have septicaemia. He died from heart failure and pneumonia brought on by the septicaemia on January 9th 1986.”

By Philip Wilding (Classic Rock) September 30, 2019:

“Philip Parris Lynott, born to a Brazilian father and an Irish mother, played the bars of Dublin with Skid Row and Orphanage before settling on a Thin Lizzy line-up featuring Eric Bell on guitar and mainstay drummer Brian Downey at the start of the seventies.

Lynott’s body finally gave in on Christmas Day. He collapsed at home in Kew, and while his two daughters Sara and Cathleen were at the house, it was his mother, Philomena, who discovered him and called his estranged wife.

Caroline jumped in her car and drove the 100 miles from her home in Bath to be at Lynott’s side. Familiar with his habit, she rushed him to a drug clinic at Clouds House near Shaftesbury, where the clinicians took one look at the ailing Lynott and sent him quickly on to Salisbury Infirmary. There he was diagnosed with septicaemia (poisoning of the blood), as well as kidney and liver damage.

Although he regained consciousness and was able to speak to Philomena, his condition worsened, and by the start of the New Year he was put on a ventilator to help with his breathing.

Caroline, face etched with worry, was at his bedside. By her side was her father, the TV host Leslie Crowther, his hand tightly clutching hers as the clock kept a ticking vigil and the night crept towards another day.

Just eleven days after his collapse, on January 4 1986, he died of pneumonia and heart failure at the hospital’s intensive care unit. He was just 36.

Phil Lynott’s funeral was held at St Elizabeth’s Church in London five days later, and was followed by a second service at Howth Parish Church in Dublin, on January 11. He was buried in St Fintan’s Cemetery, Dublin.”

By Geoff Barton, Malcolm Dome, Jo Kendall, Dave Ling (Classic Rock) December 31, 2015:

“Darren Wharton

Lizzy’s on-off keyboard player recalls the nefarious ‘cheese incident’.

“When Thin Lizzy toured the UK, Philip, myself and Gus Curtis, who was Philip’s PA and driver, lived at Phil’s house at Kew Gardens, Richmond. On the occasion concerned, [Lizzy guitarist] John Sykes was also at the house.

“One morning I awoke to loud shouting and cursing. We’d all been out the night before so everyone was a little hung‑over. I hauled myself out of bed, pulled on my jeans and walked out on the landing as John and Gus emerged from their own rooms. The shouting and ranting came from below us all. Phil’s voice roared, ‘Gus, Dar, John, get down these stairs now!’ It sounded serious.

“In the kitchen, he was in a complete rage. In-between shows there was little point keeping a full fridge, so Phil would usually have his own private bottle of vodka and a nice piece of Cheddar cheese. To our horror, Phil was stood in a dressing gown holding out his piece of cheese. Its wrapper had been opened with a perfect bite taken – the type of chunk you’d see in a _Tom & Jerry _cartoon. One solitary, perfect-radius dent; its sole distinguishing mark the impression left by a crooked front tooth.

“‘Who’s bit my fokken cheese?’ Phil demanded. We all looked at each other. Phil had a temper and nobody wanted to piss him off even more. ‘Not me Phil,’ I replied. ‘Nor me,’ John agreed. ‘I have no idea,’ Gus insisted. Phil looked again at the mark and held out the cheese for inspection. ‘Bite the fokken cheese,’ he demanded.

“Everyone stood there in silence, uncertain if he was serious but unwilling to argue. So I leant forward and bit the cheese. My perfect teeth proved my innocence. I was off the hook.

“Phil thrust the evidence at Sykes: ‘Bite the cheese.’ John looked worried as he took a mouthful. To his relief, the bite radius did not match. Philip was still in a rage and fuming. Gus now was starting to look very worried indeed.

“‘Bite the fokken cheese, Gus.’ Gus tried hard not to laugh, not daring to make eye contact with anyone else in the room. He leaned in and hesitantly bit the cheese. The bite mark matched perfectly. He was guilty. As John and I sighed with relief, Phil turned tail and stormed out of the room. Phil was an awesome guy, but you wouldn’t want to cross him.”

Robin George

Lynott sideman.

“I auditioned to join Thin Lizzy in the spot that eventually went to [guitarist] Snowy White. The call didn’t come until the evening before, so I stayed up all night listening to the Live And Dangerous record. And, of course, the buggers didn’t ask me to play a single track from that album.

“Later on, Phil played on my album Dangerous Music and I was on his solo single, Nineteen. He asked me to fly up to Newcastle with him to promote the single on a TV show called Razzmatazz. At the airport in Newcastle they searched me and my guitar but left Phil alone. When we got to the TV studio he winked and threw me this massive chunk of dope. I couldn’t believe he’d just waltzed through, but he was always Mr Cool.

“On the plane home, Phil asked Brian Downey and I to re-form Thin Lizzy and we both agreed. So we made some recordings in the studio in his back garden in the house at Kew during December [1985]. It went absolutely great and we took a break for Christmas. His driver took me to the station and Phil came along for the ride. As we got to Euston, Phil asked for the tape of the material we’d been working on, saying he wanted to listen to it over the holiday break. I gave it to him, of course.

“A few days afterwards I was working in my studio when I got a call from a radio station in Stoke, asking me to comment on Phil’s death. It shocked the fuck out me. I knew he was ill, but not the full extent. I told the DJ to fuck off – how unprofessional of them. Unfortunately, the cassette of our material failed to resurface after his death. It was the only copy.

“It was such a shame as Phil was vibed up about the new Lizzy.”

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