Elliot Murphy, “Last of the Rock Stars”

Around the time the Dolls and Springsteen were going for stardom, Elliot Murphy was the darling of Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, which didn’t lack for cachet because of that whole Velvet Underground thing.

One day when I was in high school I was in New York City for some unremembered reason, and I was on the Long Island Railroad headed home reading Interview, a feature about Elliot Murphy, and I look up and there on the danged LIRR car is Elliot Murphy, wearing a neon blue (aqua) feather jacket, like a true rock star, with hangers on (friends) and everything. On the Long Island Railroad! Though I’m not sure the record was even out yet, which may explain something.

Murphy didn’t endure nor soar the way the Dolls and Springsteen have. I don’t have a theory why. He seemed very delicate and kind of made up on the train. Aquashow was a good album, but careers get derailed in many ways. Stardom selects in reverse. Many aspire and a few survive the gauntlet.

In any case, Murphy didn’t stop. Here’s a version from a live show in Italy in 2006. No longer innocent nor callow.

4 thoughts on “Elliot Murphy, “Last of the Rock Stars”

  1. Wow, been decades for Elliott. Bought this album at the time and liked it, a little over the top in the confessional/pretentious lyrics but some good folk rock. I saw him open for the Dolls at the Academy on Valentine’s Day 1974. He was good live, playing electric unlike the video, and the band had more drive than the record. Yeah, he seemed mannered and delicate, like his Long Island was still F. Scott Fitzgerald’s.

    • Best F. Scott Fitzgerald reference yet! Good to hear Elliot opened for the Dolls. There are YouTube clips of him singing with the Boss, not interesting enough to post. It’s a small world.

  2. Hmm. Never heard of him before and not bad. Seems to me another second generation Dylan, like Bowie, Ian Hunter, and surely a million others I know and don’t know.

    I’ll bet the guy in Italy longs for the days of riding the Long Island Railroad in a blue feather jacket with hangers-on.

  3. Whoa. Thought about getting Aquashow on CD until I looked on Amazon and it’s $133!!!

    Vinyl is only $40, but I got rid of my turntable. I won’t download.

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