Elliott Murphy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Elliott Murphy
Elliott Murphy.jpg
Background information
Birth nameElliott James Murphy, Jr.
Born (1949-03-16) March 16, 1949 (age 73)
Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • novelist
  • journalist
Years active1973–present
WebsiteElliott Murphy Official Website

Elliott James Murphy (born March 16, 1949) is an American rock singer-songwriter, novelist, record 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] In 1988, he returned to college studies he had given up in the 1960s, and completed his bachelor's degree at Empire State College.[5]

His debut album Aquashow (1973) was critically acclaimed[6] and 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.[7] All Music Guide has rated over fifteen of his albums with 4 stars or more[8]

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.[9]

On October 1, 2012, Elliott Murphy was awarded the Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris in a ceremony at the Hôtel de Ville presided by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë for recognition of his career as a musician and author.[10]

On November 4, 2015 Elliott Murphy was decorated with the Chevalier Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in a ceremony at the Mairie of the 4th Arrondisement in Paris.[11]

In 2018 he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame by Billy Joel[12]

A biography of Elliott Murphy, "Hardcore", written by Charles Pitter, was published in 2013.[13]

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[14] in San Sebastian, Spain and included interviews with both Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.[15]

Broken Poet[edit]

In 2018, Elliott Murphy starred in the film, Broken Poet, by Spanish director Emilio Ruiz Barrachina, adapted from the Elliott Murphy short-story The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Also starring in the film are Marisa Berenson, Michael O'Keefe, Joana Preiss and a cameo appearance by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa.[16]

Discography and books[edit]

Albums and EPs[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Diamonds by the Yard (1991)
  • Paris/New York (1992)
  • Going Through Something – the Best of 1982–1991 (1996)
  • Never Say Never – the Best of 1995–2003 & Live DVD (2005)

Live albums[edit]

  • 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)
  • Elliott Murphy is Alive! (2018)


  • Cold and Electric (Frío y eléctrico, Madrid, 1989, Ediciones Clips). Paris: L'Entreligne, 1989. ISBN 84-8211-057-8
  • Where the Women Are Naked and the Men Are Rich (Donde Las Mujeres Estan Desnudas Y Los Hombres Son Ricos)'. Madrid: Celeste Ediciones, 1996. ISBN 978-84-8211-057-8
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight (El león duerme esta noche, Barcelona, 1990, Ed. Stultilfera Navis)
  • Café Notes Hachette (2002) ISBN 9782012356207
  • Note al caffé. Italy: FBE Edizioni, 2004. 2004. ISBN 88-89160-01-2
  • Poetic Justice. Paris: Hachette Littératures, 2005. ISBN 2-012-35764-4
  • Il mio nome e John Little. Italy: FBE Edizioni, 2005. 2007. ISBN 978-88-89160-32-9
  • Poetic Justice. Elliott Murphy Books, 2012. ISBN 978-0615669090
  • Marty May. Joelle Losefeld/Gallimard, 2013. ISBN 978-2072483455
  • Forty Poems in Forty Nights. Elliott Murphy Books, 2016. ISBN 978-1530179084
  • Paris Stories. Elliott Murphy Books, 2016. ISBN 978-1539817321
  • Tramps. Murphyland Books, 2018. ISBN 978-1541380578
  • Diamonds by the Yard. Murphyland Books, 2019. ISBN 978-1985817739
  • Just a story from America - A memoir. Murphyland Books. 2019. ISBN 978-1097173877



  1. ^ "Elliott Murphy". Discogs.com. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Elliott Murphy Interview". Classicbands.com. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  3. ^ "Elliott Murphy". AlloCiné.fr. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  4. ^ Avery, Kevin. "Read an Excerpt from Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson". November 14, 2011. American Songwriter website, November 14, 2011.
  5. ^ Kolbert, Elizabeth (January 3, 1988). "Getting Credit For Life's Experiences". The New York Times. New York, NY. p. 12.
  6. ^ Pitter, Charles (March 20, 2015). "PopMatters".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Elliott Murphy – Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Losfeld, Editions Joelle. "Joëlle Losfeld – Marty May – Elliott Murphy – Littérature étrangère". Joellelosfeld.fr. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "Elliott Murphy décoré par la Ville de Paris – Musiques – Télérama.fr". Telerama.fr. September 27, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "Elliott Murphy, un rocker américain adoubé à Paris – Musiques – Télérama.fr". Telerama.fr. November 5, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Billy Joel inducts longtime guitarist Tommy Byrnes and singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy". billyjoel.com. November 11, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Charles, Pitter (2013). Hardcore. UK. ISBN 978-1493534340.
  14. ^ "Dock Of The Bay 2016 list of winners – Dock Of The Bay. Music Documentary Film Festival". Dockofthebay.es. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "'The Second Act of Elliott Murphy': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Elliott Murphy debuta como actor protagonista en un filme de Ruiz Barrachina". elperiodico.com. December 2, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2019.

External links[edit]