The Doors put out two albums after Jim Morrison died. Big Brother and the Holding Company continued recording without a female singer after Janis Joplin left. The Grateful Dead knew they could roll on without Pigpen or Brent Mydland, but never without Jerry Garcia. So why are these second-rate musicians touring as Thin Lizzy? Isn't that Lizzy guy dead? "That guy" is Philip Lynott, and yes, he's dead, having succumbed to years of drug and alcohol abuse 15 years ago. For all intents and purposes, Lynott was
Thin Lizzy, in the same way Ian Anderson is Jethro Tull. Lynott was the band's poet, chief composer, singer, and most charismatic and identifiable member -- a black Irishman who played hard-rocking music with Bruce Springsteen-like lyrics. But Scott Gorham, the band's longtime lead guitarist, John Sykes, and Darren Wharton -- two guys who appeared with Lynott only on the group's final album in 1983 -- believe the world is ready to embrace Thin Lizzy again, sans the main attraction. They reformed Lizzy two years ago and recorded a live album, One Night Only
, in Germany last year. Eight of the album's 13 songs also appeared on the 1976 release Live and Dangerous
, which can only mean the reincarnated Lizzy is after an audience that will be unfamiliar with the original lineup, who had actually gone their separate ways two years before the death of Lynott. After 15 years, perhaps the fellows think youth raised on Limp Bizkit are ready for more melodic, intelligent hard rock. Gorham and Sykes say they're even writing new songs for a studio album. Give them a passing grade for guts, at least.