Elliott Murphy’s Tribute To F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Gatsby_1925_jacketThe Jay-Z-produced soundtrack to the new Great Gatsby film gave the opportunity to contemporary artists to pay tribute to one of the most acclaimed novels in literature.

But before the Great Gatsby was cool, singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy had already lionized the book by writing a song titled “Like a Great Gatsby.” The tune was released in his debut album Aquashow, in 1973.

The reason why he idolizes the book’s author F. Scott Fitzgerald so much he says, according to the culture site Critical Mob: “On one level there was just the tragedy of his life – he is really the Van Gogh of authors, in that when he died he was so unknown there were still copies of the first edition of The Great Gatsby in  Scribner’s [the book-publishing company] warehouse, it wasn’t very successful. And that he kept at it, I think I found that inspiring.”

Murphy is from Long Island, New York, where the novel takes places.  That’s only one of the few things he finds in common with what he calls “my favorite writer, my literary hero.”

“Also, Gatsby took place in Long Island; I was from Long Island, and I think he dealt with this question of what it is to be an American, and I identified with that as well,” Murphy explained.

To show how much he idolizes the book, in his debut album cover he is pictured with a white Gatsby-like suit at the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel, where some scenes took place in the novel.

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