Declan Mulligan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Declan Mulligan
The Beau Brummels in Village of the Giants (1965). From left: Ron Elliott, Declan Mulligan, Sal Valentino, Ron Meagher, John Petersen.
The Beau Brummels in Village of the Giants (1965). From left: Ron Elliott, Declan Mulligan, Sal Valentino, Ron Meagher, John Petersen.
Background information
Birth nameJohn Declan Mulligan
Born(1938-04-04)April 4, 1938
Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland
DiedNovember 2, 2021(2021-11-02) (aged 83)
Petaluma, California, U.S.
GenresFolk rock, pop rock, garage rock, blues-rock
Instrument(s)Rhythm guitar, bass guitar, vocals, harmonica
Years active1964–2021

John Declan Mulligan (April 4, 1938 – November 2, 2021) was an Irish-born American rock musician, singer and songwriter, best known as a guitarist of rock band The Beau Brummels in the 1960s.

Life and career[edit]

Mulligan was born in Fethard, County Tipperary. He emigrated to Toronto, before moving to San Francisco in 1962.[1] In early 1964, he met Ron Elliott, Sal Valentino, and John Petersen during an informal rehearsal at the Irish Cultural Center in San Francisco.[2] After joining the Beau Brummels, who shortly thereafter also added Ron Meagher, Mulligan recorded perhaps his most memorable contribution with the band, the harmonica opening of the hit single "Laugh, Laugh,"[1] which reached the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1965.[3]

He appeared with the band in the 1965 science-fiction/comedy movie Village of the Giants, which was featured in a 1994 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He sings "Woman" in the film, a song written by Elliott, which ultimately appeared as an instrumental on the band's second album, with Mulligan's vocal being replaced by a lead guitar track. Mulligan also appears with the group in their one other movie appearance, "Wild Wild Winter", in which he delivers the band's only line of dialog.[4] By the middle of 1965, Mulligan was no longer a member of the band.[5] In 1966, he sued the band for $1.25 million in damages, claiming he was wrongfully dismissed from the group.[6]

He later played in a local band "The Black Velvet Band", which in the early 1970s also included Meagher.[1] He reunited with the Beau Brummels for a 1975 reunion album.[1] After the original group broke up after its 1975 tour, Mulligan formed his own band, Mulligan Stew, which eventually fostered a revival of The Beau Brummels. At different times, the reformed band also included Ron Elliott, Sal Valentino and Ron Meagher.

In 1981, Mulligan and Elliott, along with new members, vocalist-bassist John Hjort (aka Jackson Hart), drummer Peter Tucker, and keyboardist James Moyles, released an independent single, "Back To Life" b/w "Native Son", a session produced by Vince Welnick of The Tubes and The Grateful Dead. Welnick also added keyboards and harmony vocals to the session. The recording failed to garner any substantial attention.[7]

Mulligan died in November 2021, at the age of 83.[8]


With The Beau Brummels


  1. ^ a b c d Unterberger, Richie. "Declan Mulligan – Biography". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 14 September 2009.
  2. ^ March, Jeff; Childs, Marti (1999). Echoes of the Sixties. New York: Billboard Books (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.). p. 133. ISBN 978-0-8230-8316-9.
  3. ^ "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Vol. 77, no. 8. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 20 February 1965. p. 26. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
  4. ^ Renzi, Thomas C. (2004). H.G. Wells: Six Scientific Romances Adapted for Film (2nd ed.). Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-8108-4989-1.
  5. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2000). Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock. San Francisco: Miller Freeman, Inc. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-87930-616-8.
  6. ^ "Beau Brummels Deny Charges". Billboard. Vol. 78, no. 8. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 4 June 1966. p. 10. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Obituary: Declan Mulligan 1938 - 2021, Retrieved 7 November 2021

External links[edit]