Sunday 1 December 2019

Don't Believe a Word

When Thin Lizzy were recording their 1976 album Johnny the Fox, their head honcho Phil Lynott had been working on a new song: it was a stripped down, bluesy affair that spoke of broken hearts and romantic deceit. The tempo of the song suggested it was probably best heard at three in the morning wafting from a smokey subterranean speakeasy.
However, Brian Robertson, the band's young hotshot lead guitarist at the time, heard it and told Lynott in no uncertain terms he thought it was shite. Lynott was crushed and left the sessions, not returning till a several days later. In which time Robertson had written a new riff to it and speeded it up by a factor of 3X.

still prefer the original arrangement - featured here with Gary Moore, it's from a 1979 episode of the Whistle Test and Moore's instrument looks it's about to be read its last rites. No matter, even with the five remaining strings he gives the rest of the band* a guitar masterclass.

Gary Moore - Don't Believe a Word 

* Billed as Gary Moore and Friends, of the five musicians on stage only two of them are still the right side of the grass

Gary Moore (1952-2011)
Phil Lynott (1949-1986)
Cozy Powell** (1947-1998)
Scott Gorham (1951-)
Don Airey (1949-)

** Until today I was blissfully unaware that Cozy Powell's real name was Colin Trevor Flooks


  1. Lots of interesting/kinda sad info there. Didn’t know about Cozy Powell either, didn’t know that only two are still with us and didn’t know about that slow version - Very good.

    I think the word in your title is used by the Celtic races more than elsewhere - A bit harsh though in the context. A fine song played at 3x or otherwise.

    1. I tend to use it when describing, say, poorly kept beer. Or Notts County. As with many other swear words I find it very flexible.