This Is My Favorite Obscure Artist

Her name is Lennon Anne Murphy (She recorded, and performed, as Lennon for a while). I can’t remember exactly where I discovered her; I know it was some late night hard rock show on either MuchMusic or MTV, however,  back in 2001. Whoever was introducing the video I was about to see introduced her as a 19 year old up and comer, recently signed to Arista Records. They billed her as a more hard rock version of Fiona Apple, who I’m also of a fan of. Here’s the video that sucked me in:

After the video, the DJ mentioned the release date of her CD. I took note, because I was gonna go out that day and buy it.

Well, her CD was released on September 11th, 2001… Obviously I forgot to pick it up that day… and prolly didn’t think of it for a couple weeks. But when I finally grabbed is and listened to it, I was instantly mesmerized by her voice.

She had a falling out with Arista and ended up leaving them for reasons including, I believe, the fact that they only released the above single, “Brake of Your Car”, and I think they tried to mess with her creativity and guide her songwriting; which is never good.

It’s also not good to leave a major record label and go independent, as Lennon did. Her next few releases were under a label she started with her manager. The first of those CDs was titled “Career Suicide”, which I believe she committed in leaving Arista. Regardless, all of her material is fantastic in my opinion.

Her final CD as Lennon, released in ’06, was titled “Damaged Goods” (she toured with Motley Crue & Aerosmith in support of this album) and included the awesome lead track “No One Knows”. Here is the video for it:

She still didn’t blow up!

In 2007, Lennon started a metal act, Devil’s Gift, that was also kick ass, though they only released one self titled album. Hold onto your guitar picks folks, this one’s pretty intense:

Again, being released under an independent label, Devil’s Gift went largely unnoticed. I noticed it though!!!

To make things worse for Lennon, back in ’08 Yoko Ono (yeah, that wacko!) filed a complaint with the US Trademark Board to prevent Lennon from using her own first name (she was named after John Lennon) for musical performances. Ultimately, Lennon prevailed, but I assume the months of legal wrangling busted her spirit.

Lennon Murphy is now co-writing and producing songs with a 12 year old girl, Camryn, who has a very promising career ahead of her. With Lennon’s influence, I bet this kid hits it big!

I leave you with my favorite live Lennon performance, “Jacob”:

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