Welcome to my Blog which combines the unlikely topics of supply teaching with progressive rock. Here you will find my ongoing 'Diary of a Surviving Supply Teacher' and a variety of lists/ timelines/ articles on progressive rock.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Rock On the Box

ock, never mind progressive, music is poorly served by television here in the UK. However, on Friday 21st January 2011 on BBC 4 TV, we had:

09:00pm Legends:  Thin Lizzy - Don't Believe a Word. Described in TV Times as a, "New documentary profiling the Irish rock band, which began with singer-songwriter Phil Lynott, guitarist Eric Bell and drummer Brian Downey, and took its name from The Beano." This offered a number of interesting insights including Phil Lynott’s love of being a rock star contrasted with Eric Bell’s wish to concentrate on the music, Brian Robertson’s mercurial talent, Tony Visconti’s controversial involvement in Live and Dangerous, Midge Ure describing himself as Lizzy’s worst guitarist, and Scott Gorham’s desire to remaster a number of albums in collaboration with Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott.

‘Talking heads’ include Lizzy manager Ted Carroll, Melody Maker journalist Harry Doherty, Decca A&R man Frank Rodgers, a clean shaven Eric Bell, Phil Lynott from the archive, Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, Brian Robertson, Bob Geldof, Lizzy tour manager Frank Murray, Midge Ure and producer Tony Visconti. Musical clips include Whiskey in the Jar (197), The Rocker, Nightlife (1974), Wild One (1975), Jailbreak (1976), The Boys are Back in Town (1976), Fight or Fall (1976), Rocky (1977), Dear Heart (1974), Dear Lord (1977), Dancing in the Moonlight (1977), Roisin Dubh (Black Rose) (1979), Do Anything You Want To (1979), Got to Give it Up (1979), Cowboy Song (1976) and Still in Love With You (1974).        

Archive footage of Phil Lynott in interview is almost too painful to watch, especially where he extols the virtue of heroin as creating a distance between himself and his problems. These struggles may have been the result of Thin Lizzy being on the cusp of massive international success, while events seemed to conspire against them - such as Robertson’s hand injury before a big US tour. As is often the case in these documentaries, Lynott comes across as being loyal to his friends and they to him: Brian Downey remained from the early band, Orphanage, enduring racist taunts directed against the lead singer; Midge Ure describes how he could not have been selected as stand-in for his guitar-playing ability; and Lynott was almost desperate to make a Lizzy album with Gary Moore. Tragically, despite the mutual loyalty, none of the long-term cohorts could work with Lynott by the end.  

There is an interesting article on Phil Lynott and the Thin Lizzy Deluxe editions, released through Universal, in Classic Rock magazine, February 2011.     

10:00pm Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009). A moderately interesting documentary chronicling the band during their 2008 tour.  

11:55pm Classic Albums: Black Sabbath Paranoid. A documentary exploring the group's influential second album.

12:50am Bruce Springsteen's The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town. Nominee for documentary with most convoluted title.

02:20 am Bruce Springsteen: Darkness Live.

3:20am - 4:20am Legends.

Originally posted on Sunday, 23 January 2011

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