I have lost my long-time bassist and friend Laurent Pardo who suddenly passed away over the weekend. Oliver Durand, Alan Fatras and myself are trying to absorb the loss and shock and we are engulfed by the tremendous sadness that surrounds us at this time. Laurent solidified what became my finest touring band - ELLIOTT MURPHY AND THE NORMANDY ALL STARS - with his outstanding musicianship, great singing and personal charm. Of course, we had countless magical moments on stage together but perhaps what was more important on a human level were all the hours spent rolling in cars and vans - waiting in planes and hotels - at rushed dinners and sleepy breakfasts - where musicians bond as the road goes on and on .... Goodbye dear Laurent.
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.
... Is the title of the last song, Side B, of my second album Lost Generation, released in 1975 on RCA Records. The album was recorded in Los Angeles at a monumental and historically significant recording studio that doesn't exist anymore, Elektra Sound Recorders, in January of that same year and produced by Paul A. Rothschild, who shepherded both the Doors and Janis Joplin to Hitsville, USA, from the same hallowed studio grounds. Naively, at 26 years old, I was expecting the same results to come my way with even more glitter and gloom, as I was armed with tracks that were so hot that a buzz was snaking it's way through the booths of Dan Tana's restaurant, at that time where the music biz glitterati came to trough. At that time, no one in the know could imagine how such an album, with such a groove would not explode on the Billboard charts, be played non-stop on the radio, and crown me as one of the princes, or one of the dukes or at least a baron, of the rock 'n roll kingdom. But you know what they say, want to hear God laugh - go tell him your plans.
King Elvis was still sitting on the throne in 1975 regardless if upstart punks like me tended to smirk at his bejeweled white jumpsuits and expanding waistline. I never saw Elvis perform live because one, he rarely played in New York City and two, I was not motivated enough to jump on a plane and fly off to someplace like Columbus, Ohio and buy a ticket. Let me tell you right out front, make no mistake about it, I consider my failure to see Elvis on stage one of the biggest mistakes of my professional life. Like another well-known rock 'n roll devotee from New Jersey I had tried to crash the gates of Graceland when my tour bus brought me to Memphis for a show but was turned back by a friendly guard that time. I guess the closest I ever came to basking in Elvis' aura was doing a session in Nashville in 1974 where I had the great honor of playing with Reggie Young, the extraordinary guitarist on "Suspicious Minds." That was fairly monumental in itself.
But I'm not looking that far back today, let's save that for another time when I might revisit those raucous LA sessions again for an up-dated album titled something like Lost Generation ... Found. For today, I'm only looking back to this last year 2015 and all that it brought me; certainly, in no small way, it was a year of catching up with my past. To start out, with the help of my brilliant producer son Gaspard Murphy, we released a new version of my first album; this time entitled Aquashow Deconstructed. It was a risky proposition to be sure, an unmapped career move, but the response of both fans and critics and even some radio stations around the world was so overwhelmingly positive even I was taken aback. It seems I was correct when I gambled that those ten songs, "Last of the Rock Stars," "How's The Family," "White Middle Class Blues" and the rest deserved another ride on the merry-go-round, and just maybe, this time they'd grab the brass ring.
2015 was the thirtieth anniversary of Back to the Future, the film where Michael J. Fox teaches Chuck Berry how to play guitar just like ... Chuck Berry! And that was kind of the theme of this past year for me as well as I returned to Japan (which is pretty futuristic just by definition) after a long hiatus for two shows in Tokyo and was received by an incredibly enthusiastic, gentle and patient audience, especially considering that it took me over 25 years to return. Two wonderful, almost heart-breakingly sincere Japanese fans were even waiting for autographs when I went down for breakfast my first morning at my Tokyo hotel. How long had they been waiting for me? Hours or years?
I suppose the most introspective event for me personally, that threw me back to my own once future through the mysteries of light and sound, was attending the first ever showing of The Second Act of Elliott Murphy directed by the indomitable Jorge Arenillas at the In-Edit film festival in Barcelona last October. My wife Françoise and I sat there in the tenth row and it was like a ninety-minute trip down the Murphy River, and believe me, the trip was not always so smooth but the high points were joyous and more free then even I remembered. On a few occasions I noticed my wife turn her head my way with a surprised look on her face as if to say, Was that you Elliott? as I smiled back sheepishly. All my grand triumphs as well as my dismal failures went by on that screen like I was being lead by the hand of Charles Dickens' ghost of Christmas past. The hopes and dreams of my rock-star youth, the more durable acceptance of my stomping troubadour middle age, the sometimes hard earned wisdom of my ... elder statesman years, all of it was in that film. As the end credits rolled, I was gob smacked, didn't know what to think, because something had happened, a voice not my own and not not my own, had spoken to me profoundly, just by watching that film, saying everything is just as it's supposed to be. I knew at that moment that a corner had been turned and I came to the realization that for better or worse I'm on the last stretch of this ill-defined journey I started almost 50 years ago. Not to be morbid, I assure you, I predict it will be a very, very long home stretch with many "Elliott comes out of retirement" tours!
When the film ended, and as the lights came on in the theater, the audience broke into first polite and then aggressive and finally thunderous applauds and whistles and Jorge and I had no choice but to rise to our feet. With a sweep of my black hat, I acknowledged that crowd as the first witness to this wonderful testament of my own rock 'n roll journey. And even more then that: as the co-conspirators of my destiny, because I could not have done it without them, and all those like them, who have applauded me on, pushed me forward, for all these years. At that moment I could have burst out crying or I could have laughed uproariously or I might have just screamed into the eternities, like that Edvard Munch painting. Oh my God! For better or worse, this was my life in music and more these past sixty-six years. Honestly, what did I feel? I felt that I wanted somebody, something, some power, to give me a chance to do it all again and this time do it right with no detours into human folly and hubris but only a fool thinks he can change his nature and I can hardly change my own. And maybe I did do it right after all, maybe that voice was right and this was exactly where I was supposed to be, in that cozy theater, watching that amazing film, with that glorious nurturing public. As Françoise and I walked back to the hotel, more then anything I was full of humility, humanity and gratitude. A winning hand in any game.
For a while now its been almost an album a year for me but I can feel my pace slowing down. The man who wrote "Drive All Night" prefers to take the wheel during the daylight hours when my eyes don't play tricks on me. Better said, I may be getting older but the fire is still burning albeit at a lower flame. This past year, I played 58 shows, down from sometimes over 100 a year, which brings my total number or shows from 1973 through 2015 up to 2457. Yes, somebody has actually figured this out. Is this more then Elvis? Oh ... right now I'm listening to "Manhattan Rock" from my original vinyl version of Lost Generation and I'm singing, "And Lou says death is just like sleeping without electricity," which is what Lou Reed once wrote. And now Lou has shirked this mortal coil himself and his own electricity is turned off and he's sleeping the long sleep as one of his and my favorite authors, Raymond Chandler, put it. I only saw Lou a brief few times since I moved to Paris 25 years ago but I miss his living presence on "Manhattan Rock" or anyplace else. I wrote a song about him last year and called it "Long Island Guys" and I foresee its appearance on my next album. Just to get that song out is enough to get me back into the studio.
But honestly, is anybody out there waiting with bated breath for the next Elliott Murphy album ... besides me and my 89-year-old mother Josephine? If you are so inclined, send me an encouraging message on Facebook or anywhere else and I'll take it into consideration. I've already got something like 35 albums out there, 300 songs floating around in the ether, so I mean, if anyone needs a dose of Murphy, that medicine is not hard to find. I just hope there are more songs waiting for me in that damn thing (Keith Richards once described a guitar to me in just those terms) or under the keys of my underplayed piano. As of today, I've got at least 24 new songs finished and still I'm blocked by the apparent unconnectiveness of them all; they don't all seem to belong to the same family and there's a disharmony of themes and characters. I'm not ashamed to say that I don't know where to go with these newest creations, how to dress them, something personal and acoustic for spring? Or anthem-like and symphonic for winter? Or let the inner Brian Wilson in me take over for a blast of summer fun in sandals and surfer shorts. More will be revealed, I hope. All I know is what I sang 40 years ago: Now that you're looking back it's not so teenage anymore.
Paris, 29 December 2015
Read more archived messages from Elliott.