Foreword by Al Barr of the Dropkick Murphys

Al Barr holding a copy of My Riot (Photo by Howie Abrams)

Happy St. Patrick’s Week! The Dropkick Murphys come up a lot in my new book, Celtic Punk Superfan, but here’s a story that didn’t make the cut.

At my last job, I was an editor for books about music. I worked on My Riot, the 2017 memoir by Roger Miret of the legendary hardcore band Agnostic Front, which included a foreword by Dropkick Murphys singer Al Barr. As a longtime Dropkick Murphys fan, I was glad to edit Barr’s piece.

Barr begins his foreword by describing his first Agnostic Front show, when he was fifteen. He calls it a “life changer,” and he learned “all about furious, sincere facial expressions” from Miret.

Fast-forward to Barr’s first tour as the singer of the Dropkick Murphys in the late ’90s:

On my first tour with Dropkick Murphys we opened for Agnostic Front, and I knew Roger better than the guys in my band. We were friendly, but friendships develop over time. Suddenly I was on a three-month U.S. tour with people I hardly knew followed by a month in Europe. Every day, there was a time when Roger and I talked about life.

Even though I had been in the punk scene and singing for 15 years, I struggled to find where I fit in with the Dropkicks. There was a learning curve, but I had to learn fast since we were on the road. Everyone in the band was frustrated, including me. Roger was encouraging, and that boosted my confidence.

Best wishes to both Barr, who is sitting out the Dropkick Murphys’ current tour while taking care of his ailing mother, and Miret, who recently battled cancer that’s now in remission. Don’t miss the Dropkick Murphys’ free St. Patrick’s Day livestream on Thursday!

Michael Croland and Roger Miret holding a copy of My Riot

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