Thin Lizzy fans caught in spotlight on album sleeve

A group of East Cork music fans are dancing in the moonlight as an image of them attending a Thin Lizzy concert over 30 years ago has resurfaced as an album sleeve.

The photo of 12 Youghal teenagers will feature on the cover of The Boys Are Back In Town, a three-CD box set named after one of Thin Lizzy’s hits.

The 70s rock compilation features 60 hit tracks by legends such as Queen, Rod Stewart, The Who, Lou Reed and, of course, Thin Lizzy.

Bedecked in denim, the group travelled by minibus to City Hall on Sunday Apr 10, 1980, to enjoy the band’s Cork leg of their “Live & Dangerous” world tour.

Youghal compatriot Michael Hussey who at the time was a photography student at Crawford School of Art, also attended.

He gathered the young men for a group shot.

“I was using a Pentax SLR and shot it in black and white.”

Two years ago, on the gig’s 30th anniversary, Michael posted the image online at

Fast forward two years, and Nigel Pearce of London Design Corporation was trawling online libraries for an iconic image to represent 70s rock for Universal Music TV’s compilation set.

“We had only a day left and nothing among the mods and rockers images of the time suited,” said Nigel.

In desperation, Nigel googled “Thin Lizzy Fans” and discovered the photo of the carefree Youghal boys in town.

“It was exactly what we wanted.

“It captures the moment in time perfectly. And appropriately they also share Thin Lizzy’s nationality.

“I contacted Michael and he was extremely helpful in negotiating use of the image.”

All but one of the twelve have been identified and are still alive and well.

While they vividly remember the occasion —who wouldn’t remember a Thin Lizzy gig? — there was some discrepancy over the details.

“I remember Phil Lynott shouting ‘Are You Ready?’ and opening with that song,” said Billy Lane, then 18.

“No. I definitely remember they started with ‘Got to Give it Up’,” insisted Gene Twomey, three years younger.

As Phil might observe, sometimes you Don’t Believe a Word.....

* The Boys Are Back In Town is available now.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up