Mingering Mike

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Mingering Mike is a fictitious funk and soul recording artist created in the late 1960s as the subject of works of album art by a young Mike Stevens.[1][2][3] More recently, Mingering Mike was rediscovered by law firm investigator Dori Hadar and his friend Frank Beylotte, who came across the art work at a flea market. Mingering Mike had created a whole complex, yet nonexistent music career (including a Bruce Lee concept album), and had released more than 50 album covers in 10 years. When Mike was rediscovered, it was learned that he had yet more unreleased material from the same time period as his first releases and it is in the process of being released as a real album.[4] Mingering Mike at first refused to release his real name or allow a photo to be taken of him, because he's afraid his new celebrity status will cause him to lose his two-day jobs.[5]

In 2007, Dori Hadar released a book of Mike's work entitled “The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar,” published by Princeton Architectural Press.

Mike's original album covers were first exhibited at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, curated by David J. Brown (SECCA) in 2005, and then at Hemphill Fine Arts in 2007.

On June 17, 2008, the digital download service eMusic made the first Mingering Mike full length, Super Gold Greatest Hits, available to its subscribers. The album consists of tracks Mike recorded to reel-to-reel as a teenager.

In 2010 Mike's original record cover work was featured in the exhibition and publication The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum[6] in Washington DC acquired the Mingering Mike Collection in 2012. In July 2013 Mingering Mike was presented with a Ceremonial Resolution by the District of Columbia City Council, recognizing his contributions to art in the city.


[1], eMusic Selects feature: Mingering Mike
[2] Mingering Mike, Super Gold Greatest Hits

Mingering Mike, Swindle Magazine

  1. ^ The New Yorker on Mingering Mike
  2. ^ "The Home of All Things Mingering", mingeringmike.com
  3. ^ "Mingering Mike", The Kentucky Talent Foundation
  4. ^ Xeni Jardin, "Mingering Mike: Digging Up a Long-Lost Star", NPR's Day To Day
  5. ^ Neil Strauss. "A Well-Imagined Star", The New York Times
  6. ^ Smithsonian American Art Museum