Brian Downey

 

BRIAN DOWNEY - DRUMS 1970 - 83

Brian Downey was born in Dublin, Ireland on January 27, 1951. He met the 2 years older Philip Lynott at school - and from there and on they were hardly ever apart.
In 1965 they both played in The Black Eagles. Brian's dad was a drummer in a pipe-band and that's where Brian's influences came from. The influences then mixed with the jazz his father really loved and the Kinks, Beatles and the Rolling Stones among all the other 60ís bands Brian listened to.
After The Black Eagles, the musicianís ways parted - Philip went on to Skid Row and would soon meet Gary Moore, and Brian went to Sugar Shack where he got to record his first ever single, Morning Dew. It wasn't until 1969 that they got back together again to form a band. With guitarist Joe Staunton they formed Orphanage. They didn't last that long but they knew what sort of band they were after.

 

Eric Bell, guitarist, entered in the end of 1969 and it was then that Thin Lizzy shaped up; less than 6 months later The Farmer was released as a single.
The rest is, so to speak, history.
Brian Downey stuck with Thin Lizzy, side by side with Phil Lynott as the only original members from start to finish. At two different times Brian was temporarily replaced by Mark Nauseef (ex-Ian Gillan Band) due to personal reasons the first time and being hurt in a fight (while on tour in Scandinavia) the second time. When Phil recorded his solo albums Brian did most of the drumming. Brian Downey still lives in Dublin and since Thin Lizzy he has formed different bands playing blues, his current band is called Blues Up Front.

 

When the idea of a Thin Lizzy reunion as a tribute to Phil Lynott came up, there was no doubt Brian Downey was the only drummer possible. While there, of course, were a few guitarists to choose from... He did the initial gigs in Japan, and the few dates in Scandinavia several years later - having a good time, meeting fans and talking about the old days and the new stuff. Clearly it was a difficult time, being on the road again - and Brian decided to drop out. Rumour has it that he was offered a very large amount of money to stay with them, but he still refused to do any more tours. He's done the occasional gig with Scott, Darren and Robbo - but not a tour and not using the name Thin Lizzy.

He's clearly not in it for the money but for the music, and that summarizes Brian Downey.

 

 Ozzie Adenborg