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Celtic Pride

Dropkick Murphys drummer Matt Kelly's Boston gems



he Dropkick Murphys started playing together in 1996 in the basement of a friend’s barbershop in Quincy, just for fun—a loud, raucous mix of punk rock and Irish folk that people turned out to like. A lot. Their “Tessie,” adapted from the early 19th-century fight song of a gang of Boston baseball fans, became the anthem of Red Sox nation, and the Dropkicks rode along in the championship parade after the team won the World Series in 2007. Featured in films including Fever Pitch and The Departed, the Dropkicks’ music has become closely connected with Boston. Here are Dropkicks drummer Matt Kelly’s favorite things about the city—in, he points out, no particular order. Kelly, shown here with the band (he’s on the far left) lives in Southie. Stefano


Sullivan’s on Castle Island: After a stroll and a view, you can get a hot dog and a drink for you and your missus, and it won’t break the bank.


The Middle East: Catch a great meal and see excellent bands in the same place!


The Boston Bruins: Tenacity, grit, and hustle.


The parochial neighborhood charm exhibited by locals: “Hey, you! Where’re you from?!”


June through September: All the students are back home, and we have our fair city back.


The wings at [fellow Dropkicks member Ken Casey’s bar] McGreevy’s: atypical and mouthwatering.


The slowly disappearing uniqueness of Boston: Old stations and kiosks left over from the “El,” the Boston Common (where the first football game as we know it was played), and various architectural feats of Beacon Hill.


All our friends, families and supporters, who have helped us enjoy the success we have: Without them, we’d be nowhere.