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Kudos for Dropkicks’ good deeds | Boston Herald
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It was called Kudos for Dropkicks’ good deeds | Boston Herald
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Dropkick Murphys main man Ken Casey is not big on awards, but he’s pretty excited that the band is getting the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps’ Embracing the Legacy Award later this week because it will make his mother and grandmother so happy.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Casey told the Track. “My mother was a big RFK fan and so was my grandmother. So they’re really excited. I’m going to bring them, and they’ll love it.”
Like every good Dorchester house, Kenny’s had pictures of the Kennedys hanging on the walls. And so it will be a family affair Friday at the Kennedy Library when the band is honored for its work, “which parallels Robert F. Kennedy’s quest for social justice on behalf of society’s most vulnerable people,” the organization said in a statement.
Casey founded the Claddagh Fund in 2009 to raise money for children’s and veterans’ organizations, and drug and alcohol recovery programs in Boston and Philadelphia. The charity has supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, the Cushing House, a residential recovery center for teens, and William J. Ostiguy High School, a sober high school for children recovering from addiction.
Casey said the need is greater than ever now with the state in the grips of an opioid crisis.
“It’s such a brutally addictive thing,” he said. “And the game has changed. It’s not always the troubled youth. It can be the star athlete who has to have surgery and is over-prescribed painkillers. They go downhill so quickly and hit bottom so quickly. And with the rate of overdoses, it’s like Russian roulette. It’s mind-boggling.”
The band also does a lot of work with the kids at the Franciscan Children’s hospital, visiting and playing shows for the patients and helping to wrap gifts at Christmas.
“They are taking the kids that everyone else isn’t willing to help,” Casey said. “It’s heartbreaking. ... That’s always been a big thing for us. My father committed suicide when I was 8, so we always try to go over there and do stuff for those kids. We’ve played acoustic shows in the locked wards, and the kids are so open about showing that they are happy and grateful.”
The band has also funded services for homeless veterans or vets suffering from addiction. “The rates are pretty staggering,” Casey said.
The Dropkicks, who have sold more than 6 million records worldwide and are celebrating their 20-year anniversary, are currently 30 miles outside of El Paso, Texas, working on their new album, which will be released in either November or January.
“This guy has a huge residence and studio on a ranch,” Casey said. “He’s a pecan farmer. You can walk to the border from here.”
The band usually records in Somerville, but needed to get away from everything to finish the album, he said.
“When you have a band with seven guys and everyone has kids, everyone’s coming and going, taking kids to games, whatever. We needed to remove ourselves and go somewhere where there’s nothing to do, to get some work done.”
“When The Clash recorded in Jamaica, they had a little reggae sound,” he laughed. “So maybe our new record will have some mariachi.”