Phil Chevron, Guitarist for The Pogues, Dies at 56

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He joined the Celtic punk band in the 1980s and wrote one of their most beloved songs, "Thousands Are Sailing."

Phil Chevron, a guitarist, singer and songwriter for the Celtic punk band The Pogues, died Tuesday in Dublin following a long battle with cancer. He was 56.

Chevron, whose real name was Philip Ryan, was diagnosed with throat cancer in summer 2007. Doctors discovered a new tumor in August 2012 that was deemed inoperable.

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A native of Dublin, Chevron was an original member of The Radiators From Space, often described as Ireland's first punk band. They formed in 1976, and their album Ghostown (1979), with the song "Faithful Departed," is regarded as a pivotal Irish release.

After Radiators From Space disbanded, Chevron joined Shane MacGowan and James Fearnley's Pogues and played on their second album, 1985's Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (1985). For their third album, If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988), he wrote and performed one of the band's most popular tunes, "Thousands Are Sailing."