Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron dies after long illness
Founder of The Radiators from Space passed away this morning
Philip Chevron of Radiators From Space, and later the Pogues, live at the Roundhouse in London, 1977. Photograph: Denis O’Regan/Getty Images
Philip Chevron speaking at the Olympia Theatre in August, where a range of musicians and writers guested to honour him. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES
Phil Chevron, who died today was one of the most influential Irish musicians of all time.
Whether fronting the seminal Dublin punk/new wave band The Radiators from Space or being a pivotal member of The Pogues, Chevron was an extraordinarily gifted songwriter and performer.
From Santry, Chevron (his real name was Philip Ryan) was an early Irish punk pioneer with The Radiators from Space.
The band will best be remembered for recording what is still considered one of the best Irish rock albums of all time with their 1979 album Ghostown.
A massively important cultural artefact, Ghostown went on to influence many an Irish band. One of Chevron’s songs on the album Song of the Faithful Departed became a mainstay in Christy Moore’s live set.
For many, it was The Radiators and not their contemporaries The Boomtown Rats who should have been the first Irish new wave band to make an impact on the UK and international charts.
Following the break-up of The Radiators. Chevron, who was 56 when he died, joined The Pogues at the time of their 1985 Rum, Sodomy and The Lash album.
Singer Shane McGowan sought Chevron out as he was such a big fan of The Radiators’s work. Chevron’s song for the band, Thousands Are Sailing about mass emigration from Ireland during the 1980s became one of the band’s best known tracks.
Following the break-up of The Pogues, Chevron re-involved himself in his first love – musical theatre.
When it was announced earlier this year that he was suffering from terminal cancer, a major tribute concert was organised last August at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre.
Writers Roddy Doyle and Joe O’Connor as well as musicians including Horslips, The Hot House Flowers, Paul Cleary and Shane McGowan all gathered to pay tribute to his unique talent. Although severely ill, Phil was able to make an appearance and talk at the event.