TR+ Extended Version – Welcome Back: Eric Bell
Celebrating Gary, keeping up with Van and wooing the PM are all in a day's work for Thin Lizzy's co-founder.
When a stoned, drunk and very angry Eric Bell stormed off the stage of Queens University, Belfast on December 31, 1973, publicly tendering his resignation from Thin Lizzy by hurling his guitar in the air and kicking over his amps, many assumed we’d never hear of the mercurial Belfast guitarist again.
But the man who co-founded the band, co-wrote The Rocker and devised the timeless riffs on Lizzy’s take on Irish folk standard Whiskey In The Jar has remained a working musician for the past four decades, recording and touring with the Noel Redding Band, Mainsqueeze and his own Eric Bell Band.
Exile, Bell’s first studio album since 2010’s Lonely Nights In London, finds the 68-year-old guitarist in fine fettle, serving up stinging blue licks that will resonate with anyone reared on early Lizzy.“I still love playing guitar,” he says. “So many guys my age have retired from nine-to-five jobs and don’t know what to do with themselves, but I’ve got this music, and this album coming out and a new tour coming up, it’s great. I consider myself pretty lucky.”