Ken Casey

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This article is about the bassist for the Dropkick Murphys. For the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, see Ken Kesey. For the composer of "Sweet Georgia Brown", see Kenneth Casey. For the neuroscientist, see Kenneth L. Casey. For other uses, see Kenny Casey.
Ken Casey
Ken Casey of Dropkick Murphys.jpg
Casey in concert
Background information
Birth name Kenneth William Casey Jr.
Born (1969-04-15) April 15, 1969 (age 47)
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Punk rock
Instruments Bass guitar, vocals
Years active 1996–present
Labels Born & Bred Records, Hellcat
Associated acts Dropkick Murphys

Kenneth William "Ken" Casey Jr. (born April 15, 1969) is the bass guitarist, primary songwriter, and one of the lead singers of the Boston Celtic punk group the Dropkick Murphys.[1] Casey was one of the original members, starting the band in 1996 with guitarist Rick Barton and singer Mike McColgan. He is the only original member of the Dropkick Murphys left in the band, though drummer Matt Kelly joined shortly after formation in 1997. He is known for his melodic vocal parts and solid punk rock bass playing. Dropkick Murphys released their ninth album 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory on January 6, 2017. Casey also founded the charity group The Claddagh Fund, owns his own bar in Boston and runs his own boxing promotion called Murphys Boxing.

Early life[edit]

Casey was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of Eileen Kelly and Ken Casey, Sr. He is of Irish descent on both his mother and father's side of the family. His father died when he was very young and he was brought up under the wing of his grandfather, John Kelly, a teamster and union worker.[2][3] The Dropkick Murphys song "Boys on the Docks" is dedicated to Kelly.

He worked in various jobs and studied at University of Massachusetts Boston before forming the band.

Personal life[edit]

Casey lives in Hingham, Massachusetts with his wife and children. Casey is a die-hard Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins fan,[4][5] and participated in the Boston Bruins AT&T Legends Classic hockey game on 2 January 2010. Other participants included Tim Robbins, Bobby Farrelly, Terry O'Reilly, and Lenny Clarke.[6] Casey scored the winning goal for his team in the second period.

Casey is the owner of a bar in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston on Boylston Street near Fenway Park, called McGreevy's Third Base Saloon. It is dedicated to the memory of the founder of the Royal Rooters, "'Nuf Ced" Michael T. McGreevy.

In 2009, Casey founded The Claddagh Fund, a charity foundation based on the attributes of the Irish Claddagh symbolism: “Friendship, Love and Loyalty.” It was founded with the help of Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr.[2][7]

In October 2014, Casey, a lifelong Democrat, announced that he was co-hosting a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker. Casey stated that "Charlie is a Republican and I’m a Democrat, but I will take a big heart and strong character over political party any day." Casey, who publicly backed Mayor Martin J. Walsh's campaign in 2013, also said that Baker helped several of Dropkick Murphys' charitable causes over the years, including supporting military families. Casey is among many Massachusetts Democrats to have supported Baker.[8][9]

On May 20, 2016, Casey and the Dropkick Murphys received the "Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps' Embracing the Legacy Award" for years of charity work with various organizations including work with children and military veteran. The award, “which parallels Robert F. Kennedy’s quest for social justice on behalf of society’s most vulnerable people” will be presented to the band at the Kennedy Library.[10]


Being left-handed, Casey plays left-handed Fender Precision Basses through Ampeg SVT bass amplifiers and cabinets almost exclusively with Dropkick Murphys. He also plays with a pick and wears his bass lower than many players, explaining that when he was learning, he cared more about his bass "being low and looking cool".

Murphys Boxing[edit]

In 2015, Casey started the boxing promotion, Murphys Boxing. Casey has promoted various local fights in the Boston area which have also aired nationally on television. Danny O' Connor (ranked as one of the top 15 boxers in the world), Spike O'Sullivan, Logan McGuiness, Stephen Ormond and Michael McLaughlin currently fight for Casey's promotion. Casey said of his promotion “My grandfather was an avid boxing fan and an amateur boxer himself. He turned me onto the sport from about the age of three and the band has always had connections too. We have a song about John L. Sullivan (the bare-knuckle champion) and another one about Micky Ward (former WBU light-welterweight champion). But how I actually got into promoting was through my friend Danny O’Connor, who’s a boxer from here. I was watching how hard it was for him – training in Texas, trying to sell tickets for his fights up here, he had a newborn baby and, like, how do you sell tickets when you’re in Texas? I thought I’d just do some social media, promoting him to the Dropkicks fans, and the next thing you know is that five years later I’m immersed in boxing.” [11]


External links[edit]