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All the best: Brendan Murphy on his favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 52-year-old is a guitarist in the Newry rock band The 4 of Us. He lives in Carlingford with his wife Cliona and their children Sarah (5) and James (3).

My best moment

It has to be the birth of the wee ones. It’s the one thing that puts everything into perspective. On the one hand you’re aware that it’s just nature and you’re a small part in it, on the other hand it’s about as close to a spiritual experience as I’ve ever had. It surprised me, even though everyone told me it would change everything.

My best way to relax

A walk on the beach, no matter what the weather is like. I live near the water and have always had an attachment to the sea. When I need to think or when I want to relax it’s a good place to go. It’s also a great place to bring the kids.

My best job

I trained to be a lawyer, but I got a record deal on the same week of my final exam in Queen’s University, Belfast, so I didn’t do the exam. I had no intention of practising law, so it didn’t matter to me. Most of my friends are now lawyers.

My best advice

An American professor of computer science, Randy Pausch, gave a talk called The Last Lecture after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer because it was the last academic presentation he would give. He said that you should ensure that you spend your time on the right things because time is all you have. For me that advice is great for any situation.

My best song

I love King Of The Road made famous by Dean Martin — this is the song that made me like music. The version I prefer, though, is by Roger Miller who wrote it. I think it had an affect on me because I heard it when I was 10 and before I bought my own music. My parents had some albums and I would listen to those, too — even if I didn’t particularly like the songs, I liked listening to music.

My best gift

My sister both imports and makes her own wine. I get two crates of it every Christmas that I don’t have to pay for; it’s certainly a great gift.

My best achievement

Making it to 52 and still doing what I love for a living. I don’t take for granted the fact that I’m around and it makes me more determined to keep doing what I enjoy doing. I love it.

My best buy

My Lowden guitar that I bought in 1997. I’m left-handed and it’s specifically designed for me. Many companies don’t make many left-handed guitars and only have a small selection. I picked that one and I’ve been playing it ever since.

My best film

My two are The Godfather and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Both films came out about the same time and I liked everything about both of them. They are very different films though. 

My best book

It’s a book called Good To Great by Jim Collins. It’s a business book and talks about what it is that makes some companies succeed and others not. I find books about business and personal development interesting.

  • The 4 Of Us will be appearing at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, on April 26. For tickets and information go to

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