Lots of fun at Dropkick’s wake

By John Benson


Dropkick Murphys fans worried their favorite Celtic rock act is about to call it quits because they named their new CD “Going Out in Style” can rest easy, sort of.

“It won’t be our last CD if they buy this one,” laughed Dropkick Murphys singer-bassist Ken Casey, calling from Boston. “Actually, ‘Going Out in Style’ is in reference to the album theme, which is the story of a gentleman who lived a full hearty life. It’s about the last hurrah. If you knew you were going to go, and basically saying you get to be alive at your wake, it’s your last party. So it was in reference to a big Irish wake kind of thing. I think it’s nice when people can celebrate someone’s life.”

Released earlier this year, “Going Out in Style” continues the quintessential Dropkick Murphys sound, which famously combines the fire of The Pogues with the punk sensibility of, say, Rancid. The album’s title track is a rousing celebratory anthem complete with guest vocals by NOFX’s Fat Mike, The Living End’s Chris Cheney and actor/comedian Lenny Clarke. There’s just something about this Bean Town band that celebs and musicians enjoy.

“The video for the title track we had cameos by Bobby Orr, current Boston Bruins, Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis, Micky Ward the boxer and Lenny Clarke,” Casey said. “The funny thing, look at the list of stars and they’re all just friends and down-to-earth people. It’s not like we have Lindsay Lohan in that video. So if people are getting chased by paparazzi, they’re usually not hanging out with the Dropkick Murphys.”

What’s getting all the press is the band’s cover of “Peg O’ My Heart,” which finds Casey swapping verses with none other than Bruce Springsteen on the old standard. The singer talks about what it’s been like befriending Springsteen, who apparently discovered the band through his son, Evan. The two actually caught a New York City Dropkick Murphys show a few years ago with a friendship ensuing.

“He’s just an awesome guy and really an inspiration as a person and as a musician,” Casey said. “The last time I saw him was backstage at one of his shows, and he was in the dining room eating dinner with the set carpenters. We played with Aerosmith once and you couldn’t walk five feet. ‘You don’t have the Joe Perry pass, you can’t go in that area.’ It’s like security and limos and what the [expletive] is going on here? So Bruce is really an inspiration to be on that level and still be a good person is great.”

Fans can hang out with the Dropkick Murphys on Monday at the Trib Total Media Amphitheatre at Station Square in Pittsburgh. Finally, considering the Dropkick Murphys’ punk credibility and Warped Tour roots, it does seem out of place a DIY band would feel a connection to a classic-rock act.

“First off, maybe it’s not fashionable in the punk world to be a classic-rock fan but I really think that’s not true,” Casey said. “If you went by the textbook and the original rebellion against a stale world of rock like the Sex Pistols, that’s all [expletive]. Everyone I ever met in a punk band was a fan of classic rock.”

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