About Graeme Thomson

GTSummerI write about music and literature. Over the past 20 years my features, interviews, reviews and criticism have appeared in the Observer, New Statesman, the Guardian, Radio Times, The Word, Uncut, the Telegraph, GQ, Time Out, the Herald, Sunday Herald, MOJO, Esquire, Event, the Sunday Express, the Sydney Morning Herald, Oxford American and Rolling Stone. I was also an editor at theartsdesk for several years.

I’m the author of several books. UNDER THE IVY: THE LIFE & MUSIC OF KATE BUSH was described by the Irish Times as “the best music biography in perhaps the past decade” and by MOJO as “superb”. Record Collector called I SHOT A MAN IN RENO (Bloomsbury, 2008) “one of the most informative and fulfilling music books you’re ever likely to read.” BEHIND THE LOCKED DOOR, a biography of George Harrison, was published at the end of 2013 in the UK and early 2015 in the US. It was serialised in GQ and described by the Chicago Tribune as “magisterial”.

My authorised biography of Philip Lynott, COWBOY SONG, was published in the UK by Constable in February 2016, and in the US on May 1, 2017, by Chicago Review Press. Full coverage here.

SMALL HOURS, my biography of John Martyn, is published July 2020.

I live in Edinburgh. If you wish to contact me please use the form below.


  • Complicated Shadows, Canongate, 2004
  • Willie Nelson: The Outlaw, Virgin, 2006
  • I Shot a Man in Reno, Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2008 [translated into Italian and French]
  • Under the Ivy, Omnibus Press, 2010 [translated into German, Polish and Finnish; serialised in the Guardian]
  • The Resurrection of Johnny Cash, Jawbone, 2011
  • George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door, Omnibus, 2013 [published in the US by the Overlook Press, 2015; translated into German, Czech, Portuguese and Finnish; serialised in the Mail on Sunday and GQ]
  • Cowboy Song: The Authorised Biography of Philip Lynott, Constable, 2016 [published in the US by Chicago Review Press; translated into Spanish and Italian]





3 thoughts on “About Graeme Thomson

  1. hi graeme,
    iv,e just read cowboy song,
    as a lover and frequent watcher of lizzy through the late 70,s to the end it bought back many memories and thoughts of happy days of my late youth,
    i first saw lizzy at birmingham odeon in dec 1977,bad reputation tour with the line up of lynott,gorham,robertson and downey,
    after that saw all permutations of lizzy up untill the end,seems hard to think that phil is 30 yrs past,
    i am even considering going over to dublin to visit his resting place,
    thanks for bringing the past back to life,
    tony caulton,

  2. Great comments.
    I’m 4/5th into Cowboy Song and it’s a brilliant read. I read with sadness as to what Phil could’ve gone on to achieve. As a script writer I’ve written a Comedy for TV series titled IRISH BARRY about a Thin Lizzy fan who makes a stand against establishments who attempt to exploit us with there hidden or unexplained charges.
    Brilliant stuff Graeme..!! Mark

  3. Hi Graeme,

    Just read cowboy Song. Incredible stuff! You got an email address. Would love to talk further. I’m Edinburgh based



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