Mingering Mike

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Mingering Mike (born 1950)[1] is a fictitious funk and soul recording and visual artist created in the late 1960s as the subject of works of album art by a young Mike Stevens.[2][3][4] More recently, Mingering Mike was rediscovered by law firm investigator Dori Hadar[5] and his friend Frank Beylotte, who came across the art work at a flea market. Mingering Mike had created a whole complex yet non-existent music career, including a Bruce Lee concept album, and had made more than 50 album covers in ten years. When Mike was rediscovered, it was learned that he had unreleased musical material from the same period. It was eventually released as a real album.[6] Mingering Mike at first refused to release his real name or allow a photo to be taken of him, because he was afraid that his new celebrity status would cause him to lose his two day jobs.[7]

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.[1]

In 2007, Dori Hadar's book about Mike's work, The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar, was published by Princeton Architectural Press.[5]

On June 17, 2008, the digital download service eMusic made Mingering Mike's album Super Gold Greatest Hits available to its subscribers. The album consists of tracks Mike recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder when he was 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.[8]

The Smithsonian American Art Museum[9] in Washington, DC acquired the Mingering Mike Collection in 2012.[10]

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. ^ a b "Mingering Mike - Artists - Hemphill Fine Arts". www.hemphillfinearts.com. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  2. ^ The New Yorker on Mingering Mike
  3. ^ "The Home of All Things Mingering", mingeringmike.com
  4. ^ "Mingering Mike", The Kentucky Talent Foundation
  5. ^ a b "Dori Hadar's Mingering Mike: The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar by Steven Villereal - BOMB Magazine". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  6. ^ Xeni Jardin, "Mingering Mike: Digging Up a Long-Lost Star", NPR's Day To Day
  7. ^ Neil Strauss. "A Well-Imagined Star", The New York Times
  8. ^ "The Record: Contemporary Art & Vinyl". Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  9. ^ Smithsonian American Art Museum
  10. ^ "Mingering Mike". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2019-02-14.

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