Sam Murray : A Gentleman’s Scoundrel, Rogue & Genious…My Friend
Anyone got an update on Sam Murray these days..? I’ve read a few posts on other sites, and must admit, I am slightly disheartened… Sam lived facing me in North Belfast and we lived, drank and played in a small community …. especially nights in Kellys Cellars back in the 80s, when the likes of Leslie Bingham and Billy McCormack played or over in the Rotterdam.. and me only a teenager then…starstruck….56 now …what a magic to behold….
I remember him first setting up a shed out his back in Fairyknowe Park to make the flutes, my uncle Jimmy made his reamers. Jimmy and me Da where both IRA, as well as fitters & turners and reaming a flute was nothing to them…. But neither could understand or imagine what Sam was at, in those early days. Jimmy only charged £10 a pop per tungsten reamer…Courtsey of Ford..Where Jimmy worked….This was long before Sam left for Galway.
He made my first flute, and is a very witty and genuinely nice man… it’s sad to read some of the stories,but I also understand the anger of many. But we all have our problems in life, and perhaps if Sam wasn’t such a famous flute maker, his problems wouldn’t be so public now.. I would be more concerned for his welfare than anything else at the minute..
Sam is a big part of the tradition..especially in terms of Belfast flute playing. We all have our vices, and
sometimes they take over our lives, and lead us into spaces we can’t control…like many an Irish genius of the past… But yet, spare that judgment, because few of us make a mark in this world…especially from the area of North Belfast, where both Sam and myself grew up and walked the line… Sam’s flutes are talked off and respected worldwide, and that is an achievement in itself…
my encounters with him as a person were a magical wonderment of humor, craic, diversion and catastrophe…. like a tv program, never to be missed…. and that’s what makes a man…..