Mojo Nixon

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Mojo Nixon
Mojo Nixon (left) at Continental Club in Austin, Texas. Photo – Ron Baker (2006).
Mojo Nixon (left) at Continental Club in Austin, Texas. Photo – Ron Baker (2006).
Background information
Birth nameNeill Kirby McMillan Jr.
Born (1957-08-02) August 2, 1957 (age 63)
OriginDanville, Virginia, United States
Genres
Years active1985–2004
LabelsEnigma (1985–1991)
Needletime (1997)
Shanachie (1999)
Associated actsSkid Roper
Toadliquors
Jello Biafra
Pleasure Barons
Websitemojonixon.com

Mojo Nixon (born Neill Kirby McMillan, Jr.; August 2, 1957)[1] is an American psychobilly musician. He has retired from playing live and recording, although he does host several radio shows on Sirius Satellite Radio and has come out of retirement for one-time events, such as an event to support fellow musician Kinky Friedman's candidacy for Texas governor.[2][3][4]

Early career[edit]

Nixon was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.[1] He paired with Skid Roper in the early 1980s in San Diego. Roper mostly provided instrumental backup to Nixon's lyrics. Nixon and Roper released their first album in 1985 on Enigma Records, Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper. The song "Jesus at McDonald's" from that album was the duo's first single.[citation needed]

Nixon and Roper's third album, 1987's Bo-Day-Shus!!! featured the song "Elvis is Everywhere," a deification of Elvis Presley, which is probably his best known song (Nixon later declared his personal religious trinity was Presley, Foghorn Leghorn and Otis Campbell).[citation needed]

Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper were also recorded in San Francisco during these early years by producer Sylvia Massy at CD Presents for the "Rat Music For Rat People" compilation album. Throughout the late 1980s, Nixon and Roper produced several satirical pieces lampooning contemporary celebrities, such as MTV VJ Martha Quinn, in "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin," and Rick Astley and Deborah Gibson, in "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child" Nixon appeared in several promotional spots for MTV during this period, but the network's decision not to air the video for "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant ..." prompted him to sever ties with the network. Meanwhile, Nixon and Roper also lampooned contemporary American culture and social issues in songs such as "I Hate Banks," "Burn Down the Malls," and "The Amazing Bigfoot Diet."[citation needed]

Nixon and Roper parted ways late in 1989. The following year Nixon recorded a solo album on Enigma called Otis. On this album, Nixon continued his assault on pop culture, as in the song "Don Henley Must Die", which caused a fresh round of controversy, even to the point of Mojo's record company begging radio stations not to play it.[citation needed] (Henley himself was unfazed; on July 31, 1992 at The Hole in the Wall in Austin, Texas, the former Eagle jumped onstage and performed the song with Nixon, causing Mojo to praise Henley as having "balls as big as church bells.")[5]

Later career[edit]

Shortly after Otis was released, Enigma Records went bankrupt, which left much of Nixon's early catalog in legal limbo.[citation needed] In the 1990s Nixon released a handful of albums on several labels with a backup band known as the Toadliquors. These later albums included songs such as "You Can't Kill Me," "Orenthal James (Was A Mighty Bad Man)," and the controversial "Bring Me the Head of David Geffen," which was ultimately released on a B-side collection due to pressure from album distributors. Also among his later work was "Tie My Pecker To My Leg," which featured lyrics about bestiality, incest, and coprophilia.[citation needed]

In the mid-1990s Nixon collaborated on albums with Jello Biafra (Prairie Home Invasion), Dave Alvin, and members of the Beat Farmers, including Buddy "Blue" Seigal (Live in Las Vegas by the Pleasure Barons). Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, who was a close friend of Nixon's, was eulogized on Nixon's 1999 album, The Real Sock Ray Blue, after his 1995 death onstage of a heart attack. Before his death the two enjoyed poking fun at each other such as Country Dick saying on stage that he'd been "fucking Mojo's Mama" which led to Nixon to retort: "Country Dick can keep on fucking my mama, as long as he keeps on sucking my dick".[citation needed]

Nixon retired from the music business in 2004, playing his last live show on March 20 of that year at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas.[citation needed]

Acting[edit]

Nixon made his acting debut as drummer James Van Eaton in the 1989 Jerry Lee Lewis biographical film Great Balls of Fire!.[6] The film starred Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder, the latter of whom appeared in Nixon's video for "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child".[7] The B-side to the "Debbie Gibson" song, which was also the subject of a video, was "(619) 239-KING", a follow-up to "Elvis is Everywhere" in which Nixon, responding to then-active rumors that Presley was still alive, invited the singer to call and leave a message on what was, at the time of release, a legitimate telephone number.[citation needed]

The 1990s also saw Nixon appear in a further five films including Super Mario Bros. (1993) and Car 54, Where Are You? (1994).[8]

In 1997, Nixon voiced the character of Sheriff Lester T. Hobbes, a recurring enemy in the computer game Redneck Rampage. The game's licensed psychobilly soundtrack also features two of his songs.[citation needed]

DJing and other media[edit]

In the late 1990s Nixon worked as a radio DJ in San Diego (on KGB-FM) and Cincinnati (on WEBN-FM).[citation needed]

In 1998 he had a short run as an advice columnist with "Life Fixin' with Mojo Nixon". Only two columns were authored, and both ran in the short-lived Peterbelly Magazine. That year he was also the honorary captain of the United States luge team at the 1998 Winter Olympics.[9] In response to this, Nixon invited members of the men's doubles squad to work on a song for the Games: "Luge Team U.S.A.". The song was recorded by Nixon along with members of the Beat Farmers and luger Gordon Sheer playing drums under the band name The Arctic Evel Kneievels.[10]

In 2008, he was hosting three shows on Sirius Satellite Radio: The Loon in the Afternoon on Outlaw Country (channel 60), the NASCAR-themed Mojo Nixon's Manifold Destiny on SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) and the politically themed Lyin' Cocksuckers[11] on Raw Dog Comedy (channel 99). In October 2005, Mojo Nixon began appearing on the Sirius Howard 100 channel as the "General Manager." On Nov. 8, 2016, Mojo did his final "Lying Cocksuckers" show, saying he would be back next year with another show on RawDog Comedy on Sirius/XM.

"Unretired"[edit]

His first comeback was in 2006 when he came out of retirement in support of Kinky Friedman's bid to become governor of Texas. As Nixon said at the time, "If supporting Kinky for Governor is what it takes to drag my ass out of retirement, consider my ass dragged."

In October 2009, he announced his "unretirement" on his website with the release of his album Whiskey Rebellion, a collection of previously unreleased tracks he claims he had found in "an old shoe box full of cassette tapes" under his front porch.[12] To promote the CD, he announced the temporary free downloads of the CD tracks and several of his solo albums (and albums with Skid Roper) on Amazon.com, along with a tour of several Texas locations. In a press release, he stated,

Can't wait for Washington to fix the economy. We must take bold action now. If I make the new album free and my entire catalog free it will stimulate the economy. It might even over-stimulate the economy. History has shown than when people listen to my music, money tends to flow to bartenders, race tracks, late night greasy spoons, bail bondsman, go kart tracks, tractor pulls, football games, peep shows and several black market vices. My music causes itches that it usually takes some money to scratch.[12]

The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon[edit]

In 2013, Freedom Records & Films announced that they were producing a documentary film, The Mojo Manifesto, to be released in 2014.[13] The film was scheduled to have its world premiere at the 2020 South By Southwest festival.[14][15]

Politics[edit]

Nixon is an ardent supporter of free file sharing of recordings in MP3 and other formats. In July 2000, he publicly declared his support because he said that he is "not an asshole like Metallica."[16] In October 2009, several of his albums were available free on Amazon.com in MP3 format for a limited time as part of a promotion for his CD Whiskey Rebellion.

Nixon is a self-described "libertarian cynicalist anarchist"[17] and has supported the Democratic Party.[18]

In popular culture[edit]

Mojo Nixon is mentioned in at least seven songs:

In the final episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike Nelson has a suitcase monogrammed with the initials M.N., which he says he bought at Mojo Nixon's garage sale.

Discography[edit]

With Skid Roper

Solo

  • Otis (1990)
  • Mojo Nixon Live at The Casbah 12/28/2003 (2003) {MP3 Only Release}
  • Whiskey Rebellion (2009)

With the Toadliquors

Other

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart position Album
US Modern Rock
1989 "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child" (with Skid Roper) 16 Root Hog or Die
1990 "Don Henley Must Die" 20 Otis

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Mojo Nixon biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  2. ^ "Opinion | Outside of Alternative Radio, Who's Heard of Mojo Nixon?". NYTimes.com. January 22, 1993.
  3. ^ "Opinion | Might as Well Book Mojo Nixon". NYTimes.com. January 11, 1993.
  4. ^ "People Mojo Nixon taught me to hate". avclub.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Don Henley Must Die". www.austinchronicle.com. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  6. ^ Mendoza, Bart. Mojo Nixon Not So Quiet on the Set San Diego Reader. 2009-01-28. Retrieved on 2010-09-05.
  7. ^ "Mojo Nixon--King of Corn-Pone Grossness". Los Angeles Times. January 18, 1988.
  8. ^ "Mojo Nixon". IMDb.
  9. ^ "U.S. Wins First Luge Medals". www.washingtonpost.com. 13 February 1998. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  10. ^ Newhan, Ross (12 February 1998). "In the Trash-Talking Luge, U.S. May Finally Clean Up". LATimes.com. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Mojo Nixon's Lyin' Cocksuckers - cause that's what politicians are". www.lyincocksuckers.com.
  12. ^ a b Wolgamott, Kent L. "Get Mojo Nixon's new album for free" Journalstar.com. October 8, 2009
  13. ^ "'The Mojo Manifesto': Get your first glimpse of upcoming Mojo Nixon documentary". Slicing Up Eyeballs. Denver, CO. July 12, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  14. ^ "Mojo Nixon documentary 'The Mojo Manifesto' due out in 2020 — watch the trailer". Slicing Up Eyeballs. Denver, CO. January 20, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon". SXSW. SXSW. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Mojo Nixon & the Toadliquors 2000-07-07 Denver CO, Internet Archive. (accessed 4 November 2014)
  17. ^ Gettelman, Parry (1989-07-30). "Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  18. ^ "Neill Mcmillan Political Campaign Contributions". CampaignMoney.Com. Retrieved 5 February 2016.

External links[edit]