When Phil Lynott’s fake tantrum got him what he wanted

Earlier Thin Lizzy guitarist and keyboard player Midge Ure recalled the moment Phil Lynott faked a tantrum to get what he wanted for a show in Japan.

Ure had been hired in 1979 as a guitarist Gary Moore had suddenly stop and was then asked to keep playing keys – although he noted that no one ever heard any of his contributions to the shows. Yet he told Classic rock in a recent interview he was more than happy to remain part of the band.

“Japan was a great experience,” said Ure, who was also in Ultravox at the time. “My very first memory was the look of horror on Phil’s face when we walked into the first hotel and all the girls were screaming ‘Midge!’ [My previous band] the Rich Kids had never been to Japan, but we were big in the pinup magazines because we were quite pretty boys and so all these kids recognized me. I think Phil was a little upset!

Ure added that “the whole tour was just so bizarre. The first thing that I know all the bands comment on was the crowd reaction. You’d get this explosion of applause and then after about three seconds it would just cut right off and the audience would just sit and look at you and wait for the next song. Nobody in Lizzy could get used to that.”

He went on to tell about his dramatic backstage story. “I remember turning up to a sound check and the promoter telling Phil there was only one light bond instead of two,” he recalled. “The promoter was all excuses, but he said because there were a lot of tours out at the time, there were no other panties in Japan. And Phil just exploded, completely lost it. He stormed out and said, ‘I’m off, I going to the airport.'”

Ure said he was “quite surprised” as Lynott was usually a “matter-of-fact guy”, so he followed the bandleader to their car and asked if everything was alright. “He turned and smiled and said, ‘That brace will be there in an hour’. And it was. I remember thinking, he’s got it, he knows what he’s doing. The fake tantrum got us , what we wanted.”

While Ure felt that Lynott did not fully enjoy the Japanese tour, he noted: “For me, the whole tour was a schoolboy’s dream. I had gone to see Thin Lizzy early on and fell in love with them, and within a handful of years, I stand with Phil playing ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’ in Tokyo and Osaka. Life doesn’t get much cooler than that!”

Thin Lizzy Albums Ranked

Phil Lynott established a high reputation as not only one of the greatest natural rock stars of his generation, but as a songwriter’s songwriter.

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