Thursday, October 19, 2006

Phil Lynott and YouTube

I'm a sheep so I reintroduced myself to YouTube after seeing the "Evil Beaver" ad and some music videos presented on The Smussyolay.

I'm glad I checked YouTube out again. It has greatly improved.

Firefox has a plug-in which allows one to save the YouTube videos for later playback on your computer, which is handy. And no Mr Copyright Man, I'm not going to distribute crappy YouTube FLV files. I can't even use YouTube's own "blog this video" feature because I'm on Blogger Beta, thank you very little. Yes, it's my fault for going "beta" when history shows you should wait for the bugs to get worked out.

Back to the point, and there is one:

Thin Lizzy is the one of the best, if not THE best, rock band of the 1970's / Early 1980's. Think I'm exaggerating? Search for and watch them do "Emerald" live. Watch and listen to them perform "Cold Sweat" in a pub in Ireland. – Yes, in a pub. This was a band capable of rocking a huge stadium and was still willing to bang out some great music on a stage so small Phil's bass threatened to smash his bandmate's heads if he wasn’t careful.

Watch them perform "Holy War" and "Rosalie" and "The Rocker." You can even watch them perform "The Boys Are Back In Town" if you want (although I like this song and it's by far their biggest hit, it's not as good as "Vagabond of the Western World" or "Waiting for An Alibi" or two dozen other tracks from their vast catalog).

You can watch Phil's last interview before he died of complications from heroin addiction in January of 1986.

And you can watch the actual music videos of the later songs.

You see, once upon a time there was a cable channel called "Music Television" which played nothing but music videos. If you are under 25 you might be saying to yourself, "wait a minute, MTV is still around plus MTV2, MTVHits, VH1, VH1Classics, etc."

Oh, dear child, you are not to blame for your ignorance. MTV used to actually play videos ALL THE TIME. Granted, you had to watch a lot of "Uptown Girl" and "Papa Don't Preach" to see a video by The Clash or even Dire Straits. But still. And, here's my bone to pick with the hippity-hoppity crowd, they didn't bleep every other word because (and here's a thought) bands either could do without swearing or could live with the single being edited for radio and video.

I love bad words. I really do. But I feel like an old man because I can remember that when the MC5 screamed out the intro to their most famous song with the words: "Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!" it was actually shocking. It was all "Oooh, those potty-mouthed guys are so naughty they must certainly be about to rock our socks off; yes please I'd like some of that if you don't mind."

But back to Thin Lizzy. Phil Lynott had a great voice. He and Jim Morrison both wished they had the voice of Elvis Presley and, considering their work, I think they both came pretty close.

Technical Thin Lizzy notes: their twin lead guitar harmony style, while not the first, lead directly to the styles of later heavy-metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. If you hear modern versions of two guitarists fighting out a complimentary solo, think of Scott Gorham and Gary Moore.

YouTube is a pathway to the past, my friends. Like Wikipedia and other parts of "the Long Tail" it's not the place to end a history lesson but it's an excellent place to start one.

Check it out. Even if you want to find those hippity-hoppity videos. It don't make no nevermind to me.

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