Today is the 26th anniversary of the death of former Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott. He died at 36 from heart failure and pneumonia after an 11-day fight for his life. He had been admitted to Salisbury Hospital in Wiltshire with a serious kidney and liver infection on Christmas Day, after he collapsed from a drinking and drug binge at his home in Surrey.

His estranged wife, Caroline, rushed to help him, driving 100 miles (160km) from her house in Bath to his mansion in Kew. She drove him first to a specialist drugs clinic in Wiltshire, where doctors recommended that he should be admitted to Salisbury’s intensive care unit. Crowther and her father had kept an all-night vigil by the singer’s hospital bed before he died.

Here’s the last TV interview Phil did before he died:

On this anniversary of his death, this from The Belfast Telegraph:
A treasure trove of tapes stashed away by Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott will be released as a boxed set later this year.
Twenty six years after the Dublin rocker’s death at the age of 36, more of his lost music will be heard by the public for the first time in June. Shortly before he passed away in 1986, Mr. Lynott gave 150 tapes to a third party for safekeeping. The cache of up to 700 songs has finally been released to record company Universal Music.

“This is an absolutely stunning find,” Steve Hammonds, project manager behind the new Thin Lizzy box set, told the Irish Independent. “In every group there’s a member who lovingly collects their recordings and in Thin Lizzy that was Phil Lynott, because Lizzy was his baby and his band.”

It will be the second boxed set in recent times to feature archive work by the band, following last year’s ‘Live At The BBC’ release. But the newly unearthed recordings stretch from Thin Lizzy’s years with Decca Records, beginning in 1971, to their ‘Renegade’ album in 1981.

“There are out-takes, unheard versions of Thin Lizzy hits and, most exciting of all, material which was recorded but never released at the time,” said Mr Hammonds.

“Phil Lynott was such a prolific songwriter. He recorded 12 Thin Lizzy albums, two solo albums, along with his Grand Slam post-Lizzy project, and now we find he had even more songs in his drawer.”

However, Thin Lizzy members Scott Gorham and Brian Downey will have the “final say” over which songs are released. “The members of Thin Lizzy are fully involved with this project. We have been sending them tapes of what we’ve found and respecting their wishes as regards the material being issued and the art work,” added Mr Hammonds.

Label bosses have declined to give more details on why the material is only surfacing now, 30 years after Thin Lizzy split.
“Phil Lynott passed the material on to a third party for safekeeping. They held on to it for decades because they were waiting for the right people to come along. They really didn’t trust anyone enough to release it properly. The catalyst was a boxed set of Thin Lizzy BBC sessions we issued earlier this year, which made them believe we were the right people. No money has changed hands, this person is a Thin Lizzy fan.”

Here’s the Phil Lynott statue in Dublin, Ireland. Thanks for all the fantastic music Phil, and can’t wait to hear the unreleased material!