John Earle (musician)

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John Earle (1944 - 7 May 2008)[1] was an Irish saxophonist, best known for his solo on Thin Lizzy's live versions of "Dancing in the Moonlight", such as that on their live album Live and Dangerous.[2][3] He also worked with Ian Dury, Graham Parker, Rory Gallagher, The Boomtown Rats, Randy Crawford and Shakin' Stevens[4][5]

Earle started playing the clarinet as a young boy, and later graduated to saxophone. He started his professional music career in the mid-1960s, playing in showbands that were popular in Ireland at the time. After a spell with progressive rock band Gnidrolog, he progressed to playing in Graham Parker and The Rumour in the mid-1970s,[6] playing on the albums Heat Treatment and Stick to Me[5] and it was through their connection as support band to Thin Lizzy in 1976 that he was invited to play saxophone during Lizzy's main set. He later played on The Clash's album London Calling, playing double-tracked baritone saxophone on the track "The Right Profile"[7]

Earle later moved back to Ireland, residing in Rathmines, Dublin. He frequently played with local blues and jazz musicians including Peter Moore, Ben Prevo, Ali & The Dts, The Hot Jazz Trio and Thin Lizzy tribute band Thin as Lizzy.[citation needed]

He died on 8 May 2008 at the age of 64.[4]


  1. ^ "Remembering". Rosin Dubh Trust. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Thin Lizzy - official discography". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Live And Dangerous (Media notes). Thin Lizzy. Phonogram. 1978. 6641 807. 
  4. ^ a b "John 'Irish' Earle dies". Hot Press. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "John Earle's discography at Allmusic". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Interview with John Earle by Vanessa Monaghan". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Gray, Marcus. Route 19 Revisited: The Clash and London Calling. Random House. p. 256. ISBN 9780099524205.