R.I.P. Thin Lizzy/Them Founder Eric Wrixon

R.I.P. Thin Lizzy/Them Founder Eric Wrixon
Eric Wrixon, a founding member of the iconic Irish rock groups Thin Lizzy and Them, has died. The keyboardist's cause of death has not been revealed. He was 68.

His passing has been reported by various sources. The sad news was confirmed by his former Thin Lizzy bandmate Eric Bell (who also briefly in Them), who posted a Facebook message to say, "Eric Wrixon was a good mate and a real character, and was a big part of the Irish music scene. RIP Eric."

The Belfast-born Wrixon joined a band called the Gamblers in the early '60s; when it came time for the group to chose a new name, he suggested Them, after a sci-fi film from 1954. The keyboardist was a minor at the time, and since his parents reportedly wouldn't agree to sign his record contract, he was forced out of the band once they signed with Decca.

Wrixon was involved in later incarnations of Them, but not in configurations that included famed member Van Morrison. Later in life, the keyboardist led a spinoff of Them under the name Them - The Belfast Blues Band; fellow ex-Them members Jim Armstrong and Billy Harrison were also involved in the ensemble.

Wrixon co-founded Thin Lizzy in 1969. He played on the band's debut single, "The Farmer" / "I Need You," which came out in 1970 on EMI. He left the group before it came out, however.

Throughout his career, the keyboardist played in various other projects including the People, the Trixons and the Wheels.