Philip Chevron was born Philip Ryan in Suntry, Dublin, Ireland on June 17, 1957. Beginning in the late 1970s, he was lead singer and co-founder of the punk rock group The Radiators from Space, receiving some critical acclaim but little widespread popularity or financial success. Following a temporary breakup of the band in 1981, he lived in London for a while, meeting and befriending Shane MacGowan through time spent working together at a record shop. Following the release of the Pogues' 1984 debut album Red Roses For Me, he was invited to join the band on a short-term basis as cover for banjo player Jem Finer's paternity leave. He took over as guitarist following MacGowan's decision to concentrate on singing—thereby becoming a full-time member of the band in time for the recording of its second album, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.
Chevron wrote the songs "Thousands Are Sailing" and "Lorelei" among others. He left The Pogues in 1994 following problems with drugs and alcohol. In 2003, he reformed The Radiators (Plan 9) with ex-Pogues bassist Cait O'Riordan. They released the album Trouble Pilgrim in 2006.
In later years, he became The Pogues' unofficial spokesperson and frequently visited online forums, answering questions from fans. In 2004, he oversaw the remastering and re-release of The Pogues' entire back catalogue on CD. He toured regularly with The Pogues, who reunited after a reunion tour in 2001.
Chevron was openly gay and penned the anti-homophobia song "Under Clery's Clock", which was first performed in 1987 when The Radiators reformed for one gig, an AIDS benefit in Dublin, and released as a single in 1989.
In June 2007, The Pogues' website announced that Chevron had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. In early 2008, the website announced that Chevron had recovered, and that his hearing had returned to almost pre-treatment levels. He embarked on the March 2008 tour of the United States and sang "Thousands Are Sailing" at each performance. By 2009, Chevron was free of cancer.
However, in May 2013, it was announced that the cancer had returned and Chevron was terminally ill. His last public appearance was at the Olympia Theatre for a fundraiser in August of the same year. Philip Chevron died on October 8, 2013 in Dublin at the age of 56.
CHEVRON, Philip (Philip Ryan) [6/17/1957, Santry, Dublin, Ireland - 10/8/2013, Dublin, Ireland (esophageal cancer)] – singer, musician, film actor, member of the Rock Groups ‘The Radiators from Space’ [1976–2013], ‘The Pogues’ [1985-2013].
Straight to Hell – 1987 (Ed McMahon)