The Dropkick Murphys band name has an interesting source. Apparently they adopted the name of an alcohol-detoxification facility which was named after Doctor John “Dropkick” Murphy. The group started in 1996 playing in the basement of a barber shop in Quincy Massachusetts. The band began to record and tour from there and made it big when they were selected to tour with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones as their opening act in 1997. From there they were signed by Hellcat Records. They released their first recordings on that label in 1998 and went on to record 5 albums with Hellcat. Currently they record on their own label and have released a total of nine albums. Their yearly St. Patrick’s Day outdoor music concerts, held in and around Boston are the stuff of legend.
Later in 1998, the lead singer, Mike McColgan left the band, allegedly, to join the fire department in the footsteps of his uncle. Members of the band were skeptical that what was McColgan really wanted to do, but he did eventually join the fire department in 2001. That was short lived, however, and he came back to the punk music scene in 2003 to perform with other groups. McColgan was replaced by Al Bar who continues with the Murphys.
The Dropkick Murphys most popular song is probably “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” which was featured in the 2006 Academy Award-winning movie The Departed. It became the band’s only platinum single and remains one of their best-known songs.