Like A Great Gatsby

Album: Aquashow (1973)
Play Video


  • Elliott Murphy was born on Long Island, just like the Gatsby character from F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby. The book is about millionaire Jay Gatsby, a furiously driven man who pulled himself out of poverty. It's still frequently taught in high schools and universities across the United States. The shared birthplace was just one reason Murphy felt a connection with the character.

    "I had always felt a connection to Fitzgerald as The Great Gatsby was set on Long Island where I grew up, and my own father, Elliott Sr. and his brother, Arthur, were Gatsby-like figures, poor boys who reinvented themselves," Murphy said in a Songfacts interview. "In fact, my Uncle Arthur lived in Great Neck, which is where the fictional East Egg of Gatsby was located in and where Fitzgerald himself lived for a while."
  • Murphy also drew inspiration for the song from his relationship with a young woman named Geraldine in 1972 in Montreux, Switzerland. Murphy was living in a hotel and had a very formal relationship with the finishing-school student, only allowed to see her for one chaperoned hour of tea a day. She's the "dream lover" he's waiting for in the song.
  • The line "too many pictures gonna make you sad" refers to Murphy's feelings regarding the death of his father, which happened when Murphy was only 16 years old.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Eric Clapton

Eric ClaptonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really write "Cocaine" while on cocaine? This question and more in the Clapton edition of Fact or Fiction.

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Band Names

Band NamesFact or Fiction

Was "Pearl" Eddie Vedder's grandmother, and did she really make a hallucinogenic jam? Did Journey have a contest to name the group? And what does KISS stand for anyway?

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple PilotsSongwriter Interviews

Stone Temple Pilots bass player Robert DeLeo names the songs that have most connected with fans and tells the stories behind tracks from their Tiny Music album.

Charles Fox

Charles FoxSongwriter Interviews

After studying in Paris with a famous composition teacher, Charles became the most successful writer of TV theme songs.