Elliott Murphy

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Elliott Murphy
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Elliott Murphy.jpg
Background information
Birth name Elliott James Murphy, Jr.
Born (1949-03-16) March 16, 1949 (age 68)
Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, novelist, journalist
Years active 1973-present
Website Official website

Elliott James Murphy (born March 16, 1949) is an American rock singer-songwriter, novelist, producer and journalist living in Paris.


Elliott Murphy was born in Rockville Centre, New York,[1] grew up in Garden City, Long Island and began playing the guitar at age twelve. His band The Rapscallions won the 1966 New York State Battle of the Bands.[2] In 1971 he travelled to Europe and appeared in the Federico Fellini film Roma [3] Returning to New York, in 1973 he secured a record contract with Polydor Records after being noticed by rock critic Paul Nelson.[4]

His debut album Aquashow (1973) was favorably reviewed in Rolling Stone, Newsweek and The New Yorker. Follow up albums included Lost Generation (1975) produced by Doors Producer Paul A. Rothchild, Night Lights (1976) and Just a Story from America (1977). Special guests on Murphy's album have included Bruce Springsteen, Mick Taylor, Billy Joel, Phil Collins, Sonny Landreth, David Johansen, The Violent Femmes, Cindy Bullens and Shawn Colvin. To date, he has released over thirty-five albums including, Affairs (1980), Murph the Surf (1982). In 1985 Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads produced the album Milwaukee. Selling the Gold (1995) featured a duet, "Everything I Do", with Bruce Springsteen. The album also has a collaboration with the Violent Femmes: all three original members Gordon Gano, Victor DeLorenzo, Brian Ritchie appear on the track "King of the Serpentine".

The albums Beauregard, Rainy Season, Soul Surfing and La Terre Commune (a duo with Iain Matthews) followed. Never Say Never...The Best of 1995-2005, a CD and DVD of performances was released in 2005. The year ended with Murphy Gets Muddy, an album of 9 classic blues covers and 5 Murphy blues originals. In early 2007 the album Coming Home Again was released in Europe. Murphy's 30th studio album, Notes from the Underground, came out in 2008 and he returned to the United States. A live CD/DVD-set "Alive in Paris" was released in the fall 2009 followed by the self-titled "Elliott Murphy" (2010), "Just A Story from New York" (2011) and "It Takes A Worried Man" which was produced by his son Gaspard Murphy.[5] All Music Guide has rated over fifteen of his albums with 4 stars or more[6]

In addition to his music and song lyrics Murphy has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Mucchio Selvaggio, Jam and various European magazines and has published Cold & Electric, a semi-autobiographical novel, in French, German and Spanish editions, as well as two short story collections (The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Where the Women Are Naked And The Men Are Rich) and in 2003 Café Notes (Hachette, France). In 2012 the complete version of Cold & Electric re-titled "Marty May" was published by Joelle Losfeld/Gallimard.[7] On October 1, 2012, Elliott Murphy was awarded the Medaille de Vermeil de Ville de Paris in a ceremony at Hotel de Ville presided by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë for recognition of his career as a musician and author.[8]

On 4 November 2015 Elliott Murphy was decorated with the Chevalier des Arts et des Letres in a ceremony at the Mairie of the 4th Arrondisement in Paris.[9]

The Second Act of Elliott Murphy[edit]

In 2015 the documentary film The Second Act of Elliott Murphy, by Spanish director Jorge Arenillas, detailing the transition of Murphy's career from the US to Europe was released on Mirabal Films. The film won the Audience Prize award at the 2016 Dock of the Bay film festival[10] in San Sebastian, Spain and included interviews with both Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.[11]

Discography and books[edit]

Albums and EPs[edit]


  • Diamonds by the Yard (1991)
  • Going Through Something - the Best of 1982-1991 (1996)
  • Never Say Never - the Best of 1995-2003 & Live DVD (2005)


  • Live Hot Point (1991)
  • April - a Live Album (1999)
  • The Last of the Rock Stars... and Me and You (2001)
  • Alive in Paris (2009)
  • Just A Story From New York (2011)




External links[edit]