New Album! Prodigal Son. Elliott Murphy's new album Prodigal Son is now available for pre-order. The official release date is May 19 but if you order now you will be sure to receive your CD or vinyl LP before that date. Prodigal Son is Elliott's first album of new original songs since It Takes A Worried Man nearly three years ago. The mighty lead off track "Chelsea Boots" is already a fan favorite in concert and the cinematic "Absalom, Davy & Jacky O" clocks in at over 11 minutes - Elliott's longest song to date. Prodigal Son was produced, arranged and mixed by Gaspard Murphy and features a very rich and moving production with a harmonious tapestry of gospel choir, gorgeous piano, great violin and the exquisite guitar of Olivier Durand. Available in the Store.
The DVD of the ninety-minute documentary The Second Act Of Elliott Murphy, featuring interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Willie Nile and others, is now available and includes a bonus of the complete 2015 Elliott Murphy with Olivier Durand concert in Bilbao, Spain performing fifteen songs in front of a wildly enthusiastic audience. This award winning film, directed by Jorge Arenillas, tells the remarkable story of how Elliott Murphy, once renowned as one of the 1970's "new Dylans" rediscovered his audience and began a successful new career in Europe. Includes many vintage scenes and photos. Note: PAL version only in English with subtitles in French and Spanish. Available in the STORE Available in the Store.
New "Last Of The Rock Stars Pen! Pen designed in collaboration with Elliott Murphy. Excerpt chosen by Elliott Murphy and engraved on the pen, "Rock & Roll is here to stay-But who will be left to play .." Model shown on photo: Anthracite Laser engraved anodized aluminum pen. Retractable & rechargeable ballpoint pen in hexagonal shape in polished anodized aluminum with Waterman "Ball Point Refill" black refill. Available via Stylos KCL France website.
Marty May Book Now Available Marty May is now available in English! Virtuoso rock guitarist, Marty May found glory at a young age, living the high life of a rock star in New York during the 1970's. Then his promising career, along with his marriage, slipped away and at thirty-three he is living alone, broke, without a record contract and hassled by collection agencies. Marty fears that he has blown not only his career but any chance at a normal life and wonders if he should go back to playing the blues alongside his first mentor Blind Red Rose. Set in the 1980's when times turned tough for true rockers and the music business became more about the business then the music, Marty May is the story of a man vulnerable to temptation while trying to stay true to his most precious beliefs. Both elegant and tragic like The Great Gatsby put into the age of rock 'n roll, Elliott Murphy's legendary first novel is finally available in English in it's full original version. Available in the Store.
New Book of Short Stories! Paris Stories is a collection of eleven short stories by American singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy, author of two novels and over thirty-five albums of music. Written in Europe where he has lived since 1989, these stories reflect both the same expatriate experiences in the spirit of Henry James, Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway and capture the mood of the city itself during the last years of the 20th Century. Available in the Store.
New Video of "You Never Know What You're In For": In March Elliott played two shows at New Morning in Paris, his annual "birthday shows" which have become destination shows for fans from all over the world. The shows were professionally filmed and we've got a preview for you right now on the MP3 & Video page of the site! Watch "You Never Know What You're In For."
If Poets Were King: Elliott Murphy has published his first book of pure poetry titled Forty Poems In Forty Nights and it's now available on Amazon or you can order it directly through the site. This book finally brings to the public a project that Elliott has been planning for quite some time ever since he came across a file of poetry on a discarded computer that he had nearly forgotten about. All of the poems in this collection were written in Europe where Elliott has lived since 1989 and although a few of his early poems were published in Rolling Stone Forty Poems In Forty Nights marks the first collection of his poetry published in book form. Order it now in the store.
Elliott Murphy Honored With the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. Elliott Murphy has been honored with the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. The medal will be awarded to Elliott in a ceremony on November 4 in Paris. The Order of Arts and Letters includes such American artists as Clint Eastwood, Patti Smith, Terry Gilliam, Paul Auster and Meryl Streep.
Elliott Murphy's classic album Lost Generation featured in Rolling Stone. Elliott Murphy's 1975 classic album Lost Generation, produced by Paul Rothschild (Doors, Janis Joplin), has been featured in a current Rolling Stone top singer-songwriter albums of the 1970's article. You can buy it NOW on iTunes.
Elliott Murphy's new album Aquashow Deconstructed is the long-awaited return visit to his classic first album Aquashow (1973) where each of the ten original songs have been re-recorded with stunning new arrangements, intense vocals and renewed excitement. The original album title came from his father's 1950's watershow and the seeds for these songs were planted while Elliott was busking for change in Europe in 1971. He explains: "Even though the original Aquashow album was released in 1973, the songs have always stayed with me as I continue to play many of them, particularly 'Last of the Rock Stars,' 'How's The Family' and 'White Middle Class Blues' in concert. Now, forty years later, I decided to record these songs again, in a different way, deconstructed, while maintaining the integrity and emotional link to the original. It was quite an intense for me, to revisit these same songs with my son at the recording desk so many years later." Aquashow Deconstructed will give Aquashow a well-deserved second life (Prestigious UK music magazine UNCUT recently called it an album classic) bridging the last century to the current one. This was the album that critics heaped praise and proclaimed Murphy the new Bob Dylan, Lou Reed or even, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Aquashow Deconstructed will be an instant classic for the legions of long time Elliott Murphy fans and also the perfect album to introduce new listeners to his music. In today's instant celebrity atmosphere it is rare that an album is released with such a historic story behind it. Elliott's son Gaspard Murphy has produced this album with young ears (he is now the same age Elliott was when he recorded the original 24 years old) and Elliott himself tried to play as many of the instruments as possible with brilliant contributions from his long time virtuoso guitarist Olivier Durand. And, as you might expect, like the original, Elliott is sporting a dandyish white suit on the cover! A classic album is reborn! You can buy it NOW in our online store.
JUSTICIA POETICA: Poetic Justice, the acclaimed neo-western novel by Elliott Murphy has been published in a superb Spanish edition Justicia Poetica by Tropo Editores and includes a 4 track EP Soundtrack in search of a film... which includes two original songs written by Elliott for this publication - "Poetic Justice Theme" and "The Ballad of Petit-Jean" - as well as a reading by Elliott of Chapter 1 of Poetic Justiceem> (in English!) backed by harmonica and guitar and a previously unreleased rocking version of "If Poets Were King" to celebrate the iconic American poet Walt Whitman who figures prominently in the story of Poetic Justice. For those who read Spanish Justicia Poetica + EP is available at the Store as well as the EP alone!
NEW INTERVIEW: Concert Blooger, an online music magazine, has a new interview with Elliott, "Elliott Murphy Has the 'Medal' to Succeed," by Danny Coleman. Among opther things, Elliott talks about the audiences in Europe compared to those in the U.S.: "In many ways, the people, the audiences are the same; it's art, it's music, it creates a common bond. They are very into it, into the music and honestly, they tend to stay faithful much longer. Rock music here is a cultural phenomenon; age doesn't matter and as an artist you get great support." Read the entire interview at Concert Blogger.
NEW EP! INTIME is a five-song collection of intimate songs recently written and recorded by Elliott Murphy in Paris. The songs were inspired as he sat at his kitchen table looking at the vacant window across the street on rue Beauregard. Produced and mixed by his son Gaspard Murphy and featuring Olivier Durand on guitar along with Laurent Pardo (bass) and Alan Fatras (drums). There is a 21st Century spiritual theme throughout the collection with a production style that is both modern and traditional at the same time, unlike anything Elliott has previously released Intime is a very powerful and personal collection of recordings which demand … intimacy. Available March 10th! All mail orders of Intime from the Elliott Murphy store will receive a signed copy of the lyrics.
Celui qui regarde du dehors à travers une fenêtre ouverte, ne voit jamais autant de choses que celui qui regarde une fenêtre fermée. (A man looking out of an open window never sees as much as the same man looking directly at a closed window.) Charles Baudelaire, Les Fenetres, Petits Poèmes en prose, 1869
Order now directly from the Elliott Murphy Store.
Download the lyrics for Intime.
OTRO VERANO: The wonderful independent Spanish film Otro Verano, directed by Jorge Arenillas and featuring music by Elliott Murphy (including a new version of "Summer House") can be seen for free in HD on Vimeo with English subtitles. Jorge and Elliott are currently working on a new project together. Stay tuned!
THE RCA YEARS: Lost Generation & Night Lights Reissue! Australia's outstanding reissue label Raven Records has released Elliott Murphy's classic early albums Lost Generation and Night Lights in a single CD set called The RCA Years. Included in the 12 page booklet are extensive notes by Elliott himself and many rare photos. Both albums have undergone painstaking remastering to bring out every detail of these iconic analog recordings. All Music Guide has long rated both albums with 4 stars and now they have never sounded better. Sidemen included drummer Jim Gordon (Derek and the Dominos), Sonny Landreth (John Hiatt), Doug Yule (The Velvet Underground), Billy Joel and many others. Lost Generation was produced by Door's producer Paul Rothschild and Night Lights by Steve Katz who produced Lou Reed's Rock 'n Roll Animal. Order now directly from the Elliott Murphy Store.
ALL ELLIOTT MURPHY RADIO: Elliott's long time fan Rick Cesario (he bought Aquashow in 1973!) has set up the first ALL ELLIOTT MURPHY internet radio station on Shoutcast. Elliott Murphy & The Normandy All Stars will be supplying him with rare tracks and station ID's. Thanks to his son for helping get it all together. Be sure to tune in!
Free MP3!: Visit the MP3 page for a free listen or download of Elliott's recent song about the economy, "What The Fuck Is Going On?" Recorded live in Stockholm in 2011 with the Normandy All Stars.
Elliott Murphy And The Normandy All Stars Annual December Tour Elliott and the band will be in Philadelphia, New York, Amagansett, Ringwood, Piermont, Northampton and Teaneck this December. Full details on the tour page. Come on out for a fantastic evening of music, old and new! Click on the image above for a bigger version.
Elliott Murphy Awarded Prestigious French Award! Elliott Murphy was awarded the prestigious Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris in a formal ceremony on October 1, 2012 at the Hotel de Ville in Paris. He joined the ranks of past winners that include fashion designers Valentino and Gianni Versace, actress Jane Fonda, Nobel Prize winning scientist Linus Pauling and Def Jam president Kevin Liles. Read Elliott's full acceptance speech.
Poetic Justice is finally available in English! Elliott's legendary neo-western novel Poetic Justice is finally available in an English version at Amazon.com. You can purchase a paperback edition or download a digital version to read on your iPhone, iPad, Kindle or other device. If you happen to be an Amazon.com Prime Member you can even borrow the book to read for free on a Kindle! It's a great summer read!
Lost Generation and Night Lights are finally available! Sony/BMG has announced the re-release of these two classic albums as digital downloads after years of waiting by frustrated fans. Lost Generation (1975) was Elliott's second album where to escape the New York media frenzy following the release of his iconic first album Aquashow he relocated to Los Angeles to work with legendary Doors Producer Paul Rothschild and a who's who of the finest session players of the time including drummer Jim Gordon (Derek and the Dominos) and keyboardist Richard Tee (Paul Simon). For Night Lights, Murphy returned to New York's mythological Electric Lady Studios with producer Steve Katz (Lou Reed) and an amazing iconoclastic band including Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) and Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads). Both albums have long been rated 4 stars by the respected All Music Guide and are now available at iTunes (Lost Generation | Night Lights), Amazon (Lost Generation | Night Lights) and other digital download sites.
The great photos of Olivier Durand and Laurent Pardo are by Dany Wilmet whose credit was mistakenly left off the CD.
GB Music in the USA is proud to announce the release of three ELLIOTT MURPHY CDs:
All three cds are in digipacks.There is also A Deluxe Signed Limited Edition of the new live Just A Story From New York. This 2 CD version has 4 bonus tracks and is limited to 100 copies. Each copy is hand signed by Elliott and comes with a print of the setlist from the show, hand signed and numbered as well. To order please go to the GB Records site.
Just like Mark Twain Every Elliott Murphy concert is unique but this sold-out event, which was held on the vintage Swedish steamboat Blidösund on July 20, 2011, was very special indeed. The packed boat circled the incredible archipelago of Stockholm while Elliott played two personalized solo sets to the accompaniment of an awe-inspiring sunset. Everyone who returned to port said their life was indelibly changed for the better. We are trying to make it an annual event!
New iTunes Exclusive Album! Elliott Murphy & The Normandy All Stars featuring Olivier Durand recently spent a day in an Amsterdam studio for the legendary 2 Meter Radio show. They recorded 7 songs including David Bowie's "Heroes" as well as selections from the recently released Elliott Murphy album and a slow, soulful version of Elliott's classic "Green River" and you can get it now on iTunes:
New Album! Elliott Murphy's new 2011 album, although musically rich and lyrically intense, has a very simple title - Elliott Murphy - and begins a new cycle in the Murphy career and legend as it was produced by none other then Elliott's 20 year-old son Gaspard Murphy. Once again featuring virtuoso guitarist Olivier Durand and The Normandy All Stars, the album was recorded in Le Havre, New York City, and Paris with guests Kenny Margolis on keyboards (Willy DeVille) and backing vocals by Laura Mayne (Native), Alain Chenneviere (Pow Wow) and Lisa Lowell (Bruce Springsteen). 11 Unforgettable songs like "Poise 'n Grace" and "Rock 'n Roll 'n Rock 'n Roll." A classic in the works!
Order the CD now from the website store!
It's also available at iTunes:
Fall Shows: Elliott Murphy and the Normandy All Stars featuring Olivier Durand will be playing shows all over Europe in anticipation of the January 2011 release of Elliott's new album simply titled Elliott Murphy and produced by Gaspard Murphy. Hear many of the new songs performed live! Check the tour section for details.
Elliott Immortalized: Hard rocking Bob Dye & The Usual Suspects have written and recorded a moving homage to Elliott with their incredible song "The Last Rock Star." Check out news section for song lyrics and links to the MP3.
Summer Shows: Elliott Murphy and the Normandy All Stars featuring Olivier Durand are about to start hitting summer festivals all over Europe - France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Sweden. Check the Tour section for details.
The 2010 Annual Birthday Show: For Elliott's European fans (or those visiting Paris from the US) be sure not to miss his annual and legendary show at New Morning in Paris on Saturday March 27, 2010. (click on the image for a bigger version)
The Unfished Complete Lyrics Of Elliott Murphy Lenoir Ediciones announces the publication of The Unfinished Complete Lyrics of Elliott Murphy featuring the lyrics of 231 songs album by album. With a beautiful cover photo by Jack Mitchell from the Aquashow sessions and full of photos from all periods of Elliott's career inside. All the words from Aquashow to Notes From the Underground! Now available in the store on this site.
Cafe Heartbeat Concert On A USB Stick: Radio T in Chemitz, Germany recently recorded an Elliott Murphy And The Normandy All Stars Featuring Olivier Durand show at the great Cafe Heartbeat in Zwonitz and to satisfy the fans who wanted to take that great night home with them Radio T immediately burned engraved USB sticks to purchase after the show. The set list is:
1. The Valley Below
2. O Wyoming
3. A Touch of Mercy
4. Green River
6. Pneumonia Alley
7. The Day after Valentine's Day
9. Canaries In The Mind
10. You Never Know What You're In For
11. The Last of the Rock Stars
12. On Elvis Presley's Birthday
Here's the link to purchase the USB. They still have a limited supply left so act fast.
We're so East Coast! Elliott Murphy will be returning to the East Coast of the U.S.A. for five shows in mid April 2009 on his Memory and Desire tour. Elliott will be performing with his incredible French backing band The Normandy All Stars featuring his amazing guitarist Olivier Durand. Once again, opening the show will be singer-songwriter Jann Klose and expect some surprises during Elliott's encores. Dates are confirmed in Fairfield CT, Fall River MA, Asbury Park NJ, Hoboken NY and Amagansett NY - check Tour section for details. These will be Elliott's first USA shows with a band in over a decade. For booking/gig information Anne Leighton and stay tuned for more information. "We're so East Coast - So here's a toast - Here's to everything that I wanted the most." ("Change Will Come")
Crawdaddy! Feature Article: One of the true original and long standing American rock 'n roll mags, Crawdaddy!, has posted a long interview and feature article on Elliott on their site written by legendary rock writer and long time Murphy admirer Mick Skidmore. Check it out.
I wish they all could be California Girls! Elliott Murphy will be playing his first West Coast shows in the U.S.A. in twelve years in January 2009 on his Hollywood Tour! Opening the show will be up and coming singer songwriter Jann Klose and Elliott will be appearing as a duo with his amazing guitarist Olivier Durand. Dates are confirmed in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Tehachapi, San Diego, Long Beach and at the NAMM show in Anaheim - check Tour section for details. Plans for an April 2009 Mid West tour with band are in the works. For booking/gig information Anne Leighton and stay tuned for more information. Hollywood - you shaped my life with a technicolor carving knife ...
Hometown boy makes good! The Marie of the 6th Arrondisement in Paris, along with the University Paris Diderot, will host a two week long exposition honoring the 35 year career in music and literature of Elliott Murphy from September 10 - 26, 2008 entitled Elliott Murphy - Last of the Rock Stars - Retrospective that will culminate with a live concert on 26 September. It will be located in the beautiful Mairie (town hall) of the 6th Arrondisement in Paris right near the famous cafés of St. Germain. If you're planning a trip to Paris and you're an Elliott Murphy fan it's a great time to visit the city of light which Elliott has called home for the past 18 years. Right click on the image to download a full size, press quality PDF poster. (It's a big file.)
Elliott, Gaspard and Bruce: On June 27, 2008 Elliott Murphy and his talented guitarist son Gaspard Murphy joined Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for "Born To Run" in front of 50,000 ecstatic fans at Parc de Princes in Paris, France. When Bruce invited Elliott to join him on stage shortly before the show and suggested "Born to Run" Elliott thought he might be unsure of the chords but Gaspard piped in that he could teach Dad as he knew the song by heart. And Bruce, in an incredible gesture of generosity, said "Well, if you know the song Gaspard then you can come up and play it too!" An unforgettable night for a father and son reunion and a memory that will last forever. See a larger version of the photo.
US radio airplay! "What's That" - an exciting up-tempo track from Elliott's recent release Notes From The Underground in which he sings his way through the entire alphabet ("A is for amazed when you walk out of the show - B is for bedazzled its the witching hour") is receiving airplay on NEXT: A New Music Show on radio station The Peak 107.1 from White Plains, New York. If you listen to The Peak and would like to hear more Elliott Murphy music on that great rock station send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know.
New album now available! Elliott Murphy's new album Notes From The Underground is now available in the store here at elliottmurphy.com. It's also available at iTunes:
New online store! We've launched a new store here at elliottmurphy.com. Most of the items are available at our special "nice" price. We'll be adding more items soon. Visit the new store HERE.
Remember though, this is just a small portion of the Elliott Murphy CDs and LPs available. You can find a much larger collection at the "Official" Elliott Murphy store located HERE. You'll also find T-Shirts and books there.
New MP3 of "Canaries In The Mind." A solo acoustic version of the song from Coming Home Again. LISTEN NOW
Elliott Murphy and Red Lounge Records announce the release of The Murphys - The 1973 Aquashow Demos - on a limited Vinyl edition:
The album features a stunning photo from the original Aquashow sessions taken at the Plaza Hotel in New York City and consists of the very high quality demos that Elliott Murphy, Matthew Murphy and friend George Gates recorded before the final Aquashow sessions. Click here for more information and to order.
You can now purchase selected song downloads directly from this site. Currently you can purchase individual songs from Coming Home Again for $0.99 each. More songs will be added in the future.
New CD! Coming Home Again
From the opening drum fill of "Pneumonia Alley" it's clear that Elliott Murphy's 29th album Coming Home Again is something very special in the career of this legendary singer-songwriter. Coming Home Again is already being talked about as a return to the classic Murphy songwriting style that marked his early albums Aquashow and Just A Story From America. Recorded in Le Havre, France with a talented crew of musicians from Europe and America including virtuoso French guitarist Olivier Durand and New York keyboardist Kenny Margolis. In this impressive collection of 13 new songs Murphy tips his hat to cultural icons as diverse as Hemingway and Paris Hilton and exotic locales from India to Veracruz although the music and words belongs to that mythical place his fans now call Murphyland. They will even give you a passport if you ask!*
Coming Home Again features moving anthems ("Pneumonia Alley") and righteous rockers ("Marianne's Garage Sale") and of course the tender ballads Murphy is famous for "(Making Friends With The Dead" & "Home Again") as well as a eulogy to a fallen musical comrade ("Jesse"). The album includes a track so radio-friendly ("A Touch of Kindness") that perhaps we'll be hearing Elliott Murphy back on the radio all over the world once again as with his FM hits of the past "Drive All Night" and "Anastasia."
Murphy (who with guitarist Olivier Durand plays over 100 shows a year all over Europe) says that most of the songs were recently written on the road: "After my blues album Murphy Gets Muddy I wanted to get back to a rich and diverse sound and I was confident that my current band (drummer Alan Fatras [ex-Moon Martin] and bassist Laurent Pardo [ex-Kid Pharoen] and of course guitarist Olivier Durand could give me what I wanted to hear when we went into the studio. In fact, I could hear the finished songs in my head even before we began recording and all the musicians seemed to read my mind. We recorded in-between tours at Florent Barbier's [ex-Roadrunners] brand new studio in Le Havre. For many years now I've been an expatriate American musician living in Paris and on the road and to tell the truth I don't know where home is anymore. But I know that Coming Home Again is where I want to be."
Come home to the legendary sound of singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy with Coming Home Again and you'll never want to leave!
iTunes! Almost all of Elliott's albums are now available for purchase at iTunes, both in Europe and the US. 24 albums are currently available, including the "Vintage Series" releases (which are available at a special low price). You can purchase entire albums or individual songs. And the best part is all the proceeds go to Elliott, not some record label somewhere. Click this button to view Elliott's albums at iTunes.
New MP3 of "Open City." A radio performance of "Open City" By Elliott and Olivier Durand at Radio Paradiso on Suisse Radio recorded February 24, 2006. LISTEN NOW
Read Elliott's thoughts about Paul Nelson who died recently. Paul was important to Elliott in the early days of his career and without Paul's help Elliott would probably never have been noticed by the rock critics who were so influential at the time. Read Elliott's essay HERE.
Download Elliott's original handwritten lyrics for "Winners, Losers, Beggars, Choosers."
Franck Dumaine was kind enough to send us the original handwritten lyrics for this classic song. We've reproduced them as a PDF file which you can download HERE.
Aquashow featured in Uncut magazine. The April 2006 edition of the UK's Uncut magazine features a full page article on Aquashow under the heading "All-Time Classics." We've reproduced it as a PDF file which you can download HERE.
Join the new Elliott Murphy Mailing List. We'll keep you updated with news and information about Elliott, tour dates, CD releases and more. JOIN NOW
Download Elliott's original liner notes for the Velvet Underground's 1969 Live
Elliott recently came across his original liner notes for the Velvet Underground's 1969 Live album. We've reproduced them as a PDF file which you can download HERE.
Prodigal Son On The Beach
I took a superfine vacation down to Miami Beach, which included a wild weekend in Key West this past month and I still have a little bit of tan to prove it. Both places being in Sunny Florida, of course, and not having visited either mythical sunspot in decades, I didn't have any idea of what I was in for. I mean, back in the 60's we called Miami Beach God's Waiting Room but let me tell you, things have changed, as someone else once said. And as I once said, You Never Know What You're In For; so I hopped on an Air France flight and before I knew it, the grey skies of Paris had been replaced by graceful palm trees swaying in the ocean breezes. Now if Air France is offering direct Paris - Miami flights that must tell you something is happening here even if you don't know what it is ... Mr. Murphy.
The first time I visited Key West was in 1972 when my brother Matthew and our best friend George Gates took a Greyhound Bus directly from Miami Airport. We were about to spend a considerable amount of time in Europe and I guess we were wondering if before we leave stateside we should check out if there was any exotic terrain left in the ol' USA and Key West seemed like the right idea. I remember sitting on that Greyhound bus, next to two leather-skinned locals, real old-timers, both in blue overalls and straw hats. One was telling the other that this was all God's Country, meaning the particular Key where he dwelled, as far as he was concerned as the other kept silent as he went on and on about the beauty of his home. Finally when Mr. Sunshine got off at one of the little Keys the other shouted out to him "Don't mean a damn thing to me!" And I've remembered their conversation to this day. Isn't that funny? I got sick in Key West that time and don't remember much besides being in my motel room with bronchitis and coughing spells that would have made Doc Holliday proud.
After that trip we split to Europe and when I went back to New York, I got a record deal with Polydor Records and derided Key West in many interviews. But, I was wrong ... again. Because the next time I was in Key West was in 1977 when my late great manager McShane and I accompanied by my heartthrob at the time, the beautiful Commanche Carol from Texas, we went in rock star style. We stayed at the upscale Pier House and hung out in Sloppy Joe's and Captain Tony's, two local watering holes where Hemingway supposedly like to drink as well. More on Papa later ... but I remember Key West at that time as a kind of picturesque border town being just 90 miles from Cuba full of equally picturesque characters who regaled about how during the Bay of Pigs invasion, the US military was dug in on the beach while tourists suntanned next to their foxholes. Now, with the warming of relations I suspect soon the Key West - Havana Ferry will open for business. But let's get back up to Miami Beach for a moment.
My good friend Kevin, known locally as The Funmaster thought it would be fun to do a little recording at famed Criteria Studios in Miami. If you don't know, that's where Eric Clapton recorded "Layla" with his band Derek and the Dominos, and it's also where the Bee Gees did Saturday Night Fever and the Eagles did Hotel California. So I was up for it to say the least. Kevin's dear friend Wes, a well known producer in his own right, gallantly agreed to accompany us and keep things in the control room in order. Kevin suggested I record a Frank Sinatra tune and so "It Was A Very Good Year" went down that evening along with two new songs of my own. Still not sure what I'll do with it. Maybe a mini 45rpm vinyl?
When Derek and The Dominos released the album Layla (And Other Assorted Love Songs) I was so enamored with Eric Clapton's guitar playing that I once waited for him to step out of a TV show and into his limo just get a look at him close up. Fast Forward to 1974 when I was in LA recording Lost Generation and my producer Paul Rothschild asked me what drummer would I like to work with and, of course, I wanted Jim Gordon who actually co-wrote "Layla" and was a member of Derek and the Dominos. Jim Gordon's story is about as tragic as you can get and I won't go into the sordid and sad details here but let me just say the man had a massive swinging rhythm within him and he worked wonders on Lost Generation.
The last time I was in Miami was when I was opening for Electric Light Orchestra after the release of Just A Story From America and we played an arena in nearby Hollywood (still Florida) and let me tell you it was a completely different town. South Beach has now become the hippest art deco strip imaginable and the beaches are long and covered with too natural looking white sand and you hear more Spanish then English which was fine with me. Almost felt like I was in another country.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I took the tour of Hemingway's palatial Key West house full of six toed cats. And you know what? His wife bought the house for him! Also visited Harry Truman's "Little White House" and took the tour there too. Came out of it liking Harry even more and I even had mentioned him in Prodigal Son. See if you can find it. Let me know ...
I'll go back again to Florida. In fact, as I say in The Prodigal Son, "I'm coming back! I'm coming back!" And yes, I do have a new album out called Prodigal Son after the story in the bible although lots of folks think it's about my own talented son Gaspard Murphy who produced, arranged and mixed the album. There are nine new songs and the record closes with "Absalom, Davy and Jacky O," which at over 11 minutes is my longest song yet. I tried to write a song that you could listen to like you might watch a film if that makes sense. It may be my best record in a decade or more, it may mark my return to someplace that like that old timer on the Greyhound Bus was once God's Country to me.
Read more archived messages from Elliott.