Holiday Triumphs: The Greedies

Continuing the fabled tradition begun all the way back in 2009, Scratchbomb presents Holiday Horrors and Holiday Triumphs: an advent calendar of some of the more hideous aspects of this most stressful time of year–with a few bits of awesomeness sprinkled in.

greedies.jpgThe word “supergroup” is almost always a misnomer. The resulting mixture is rarely super and only technically a group. More often than not, supergroup = millionaires with guitars dicking around. Sometimes, if we’re lucky and the personnel is talented enough, even that can be enjoyable. Usually, it’s not.

Our first holiday triumph of the season clearly falls into the Dicking Around category. There’s not an exceptional amount of care or finesse thrown into this effort. And yet, it undeniably rocks, and is made more remarkable for the fact that it probably shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

“This” is The Greedies, an on-again-off-again collaboration between Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, two of his guitarists and the drummer from that group (Scott Gorham, Gary Moore, and Brian Downey), and two ex-Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook.

With the passage of time, we can see the spiritual similarities between punk and Thin Lizzy’s brand of rock. But in the late 1970s, when The Greedies briefly existed, it would have seemed less obvious. Thin Lizzy represented Arena Rock, while the Sex Pistols stood for the opposite. So these crazy kids getting together is, in retrospect, pretty remarkable.

The Greedies existed in fits and spurts, and as such there is a paucity of information about them on the interwebs. (The most comprehensive rundown comes from, so, yeah.) Apparently they played shows here and there when Thin Lizzy’s touring schedule allowed it, but nothing much came of the attempted merger. Their only recorded output was a one-off holiday-themed single released during the Yuletide season in 1979: “A Merry Jingle.”

Is it the best Christmas song ever? Of course not. In fact, it’s little more than a medley of “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in a rocking milieu. Normally, I find rock-ified versions of Christmas carols to be insufferable. Even the Bruce Springsteen version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” makes me cringe. I blame the spoken word intro; something about The Boss asking Clarence Clemons if he’ll get a new sax for Christmas gives me chills of discomfort.

Not so with this. Maybe it’s the goofy feel of the tune, as if they can barely believe they’re playing this dumb song. Maybe it’s just the idea of most of Thin Lizzy and half of the Sex Pistols playing together.

Whatever. It’s fun. Sometimes that’s enough.