Irish Punk Rock Pioneer Phil Chevron Dies
Guitarist Phil Chevron has died after a long battle with cancer. Even though he got his start as a founding member of the Radiators From Space, one of the many bands to emerge from the late-’70s punk scene in England, Chevron was best known as the guitarist for the Irish punk band the Pogues. He was 56.
“This time the cancer is lethal,” wrote Chevron in a statement on the Radiators’ website last year. The guitarist, who was born Philip Ryan, had received treatment in 2007 and was given a clean bill of health in April 2012. But in August, a new tumor appeared that was inoperable. The cancer to his head and throat returned to claim his life.
The Radiators From Space formed in late 1976 and released their debut single, ‘Television Screen,’ in early 1977. The Irish band went on to record several singles and two albums before splitting up around the turn of the decade.
In 1984, Chevron was asked by his friend Shane MacGowan to join the Pogues. He became a member as the band started working on its second album, ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.’ He would stay with the group for the next 10 years, recording such landmark albums as ‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God,’ ‘Peace and Love’ (which included one of his finest compositions, ‘Lorelei’) and ‘Hell’s Ditch.’
A tribute concert was held in August for Chevron that included many Irish musicians, including Shane MacGowan, Luka Bloom, Gavin Friday and Horslips.