Grand Slam (band)

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Grand Slam
Origin Ireland
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal
Years active 1984–1985
Associated acts Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore, Magnum, Stampede
Past members Phil Lynott
Mark Stanway
Laurence Archer
Robbie Brennan
Doish Nagle.

Grand Slam were a rock band, formed in 1984 as the brainchild of ex-Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott. The name was chosen after a plethora of other band names had been considered, including Reactor Factor, Catastrophe, Hell Bent On Havoc, Slam Anthem and Slam, the name of a song Lynott had in mind.

Grand Slam had little commercial success, but they did release some songs of note, most of which have been accredited to Thin Lizzy, including "Nineteen", "Sisters of Mercy", "Military Man" (which was actually recorded and released by Gary Moore on his 1985 album Run For Cover), and "Dedication". The latter became the subject of controversy upon its inclusion as the title track of the Dedication: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy compilation in 1991. Originally recorded as a Grand Slam demo by its authors, Laurence Archer and Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy's management had former members Scott Gorham and Brian Downey overdub guitar and drum tracks, respectively, and in an attempt to pass the song off as a Lynott solo composition cut out Archer uncredited. The guitarist later settled out-of-court for a share of the publishing.

Lynott had originally intended to include two members of the most recent Thin Lizzy lineup, guitarist John Sykes and (after having been turned down by Motörhead drummer "Philthy Animal" Taylor), drummer Brian Downey. However, Downey declined, saying he "didn't see the point in making a second-rate Thin Lizzy", while Sykes, after much cajoling (as well as an impressive financial offer) from David Coverdale, left to join Whitesnake.

Lynott, although downhearted, carried on with his project, ending up with a line-up of Laurence Archer (lead guitar; ex-Stampede, Wild Horses, Lautrec), Donal 'Doish' Nagle (guitar; ex-The Bogey Boys),[1] Robbie Brennan (drums), Mark Stanway (keyboards; ex-Magnum) and himself on bass guitar and vocals, as well as chief songwriting duties.

Lynott earned the nickname Sergeant Rock at the rehearsals at the E'EE studios in London, due to his almost overbearing strictness and dedication to the rehearsal drill.

Lynott was keen to shed the second-rate Thin Lizzy tag, and was adamant that they should only ever perform three Lizzy songs live ("Cold Sweat", from their 1983 album Thunder and Lightning, "Sarah", from Lizzy's 1979 album Black Rose: A Rock Legend, and the crowd favorite, "Whiskey In the Jar", which can be found on Grand Slam: Live 1984.

Grand Slam split up in 1985 due to their lack of commercial success and inability to secure a record deal (largely due to Lynott's reputation as a drug user during his later Thin Lizzy days), although they were rumoured to be excellent live, and had a large cult fan following.

In 2002 and 2003, keyboardist Mark Stanway produced and released a live CD, Grand Slam: Live 1984, and a compilation of Grand Slam songs, demos and interviews, Studio Sessions.

Frontman Phil Lynott died on 4 January 1986 from liver, heart and kidney failure, due to years of drug abuse and alcohol excess.

Guitarist Laurence Archer recorded a solo album, titled LA, in 1986, and went on to record and tour with a number of acts, including Brian Spence,Rhode Island Red (with drummer Manolo Antonana), UFO, and Medicine Head before retiring from the music business in 1994. In 2009, Archer reformed his old band, Stampede, who have since played a number of UK shows and are reportedly working on a new studio album.[2]


Studio recordings
Live recordings
  • 2003 - Grand Slam: Live 1984
  • 2003 - Twilight's Last Gleaming (Live album, the bulk recorded in London at the Marquee Club on 4 December 1984.)
  • 2008 - Glasgow Kiss (Live album recorded at Glasgow Mayfair on 30 October 1984.)
  • 2007 - The Grand Slam Years (3-CD box set collection of live and studio tracks.)
    • Disc 1: Phil Lynott Live In Sweden 1983
    • Disc 2: Live In Ireland 1984
    • Disc 3: Studio Sessions
  • 2009 - The Collection (4-CD longbox collection of live and studio tracks.)
    • Disc 1: Phil Lynott Live In Sweden 1983
    • Disc 2: Live In Ireland 1984 - Galway / Castlebar / Lifford
    • Disc 3: Studio Sessions
    • Disc 4: Live At The Nostell Priory Festival, Wakefield, 27 August 1984


  1. ^ "The Bogey Boys". Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  2. ^ "The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal: Stampede @ The Embassy Club London - May 25th 2009". 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2014-06-11.