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Mojo Nixon, Unabashed Outlaw Cult Hero, Lifeless at 66

Mojo Nixon, the unapologetically brash musician, actor, and radio DJ, died of “a cardiac match” on Wednesday, Feb. 7, his circle of relatives showed to Rolling Stone. He used to be 66. Nixon used to be aboard the Outlaw Nation Cruise, an annual song cruise the place he used to be a co-host and common performer.

“August 2, 1957 — February 7, 2024 Mojo Nixon. The way you reside is the way you will have to die. Mojo Nixon used to be full-tilt, wide-open rock laborious, root hog, nook on two wheels + on fireplace…,” his circle of relatives shared in a observation to Rolling Stone. “Passing after a blazing display, a raging evening, remaining the bar, taking no prisoners + a just right breakfast with bandmates and pals.

“A cardiac match at the Outlaw Nation Cruise is set proper… & that’s simply how he did it, Mojo has left the development,” his circle of relatives’s observation endured. “Since Elvis is all over the place, we all know he used to be looking forward to him within the alley out again. Heaven lend a hand us all.”

Nixon loved a supremely bizarre but singular profession after he and his former spouse, Skid Roper, scored a bizarro leap forward in 1987 with their novelty hit “Elvis Is All over the place.” A deranged little bit of cowpunk/rockabilliy pastiche that venerated (and evenly skewered) the King of Rock and Roll’s diehard enthusiasts, “Elvis Is All over the place” and its captivating low-budget video become an sudden MTV staple. 

Nixon and Roper recorded six albums in combination all over the 1980s; once they cut up, Nixon launched into a profession of his personal, freeing a number of solo albums and a handful of collaborative LPs (together with one with the Lifeless Kennedys’ Jello Biafra). He additionally scored paintings as an actor and radio DJ, sooner or later changing into an ordinary presence on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Nation channel within the mid-2000s, the place he used to be referred to as “The Loon within the Afternoon.”

“We’re completely devastated,” stated Jeff Cuellar, CEO of Sixthman, which arranged the Outlaw Nation Cruise. “Our ideas and hearts are with Mojo’s circle of relatives and the Outlaw neighborhood.”

Unsurprisingly, for an artist all the time keen to push a little bit so far as imaginable, Nixon used to be a deeply dedicated suggest without spending a dime speech and opponent of censorship. He famously debated parental advisory warnings on CDs with Pat Buchanan all over an look on CNN’s Crossfire within the Nineties. 

In an interview with Rolling Stone closing yr, Nixon were given to the core of his credo, announcing, “I firmly imagine you’ll make a laugh of the rest so long as your comic story is humorous. And I additionally imagine that you’ll say the rest, so long as you’re keen to undergo the results. We don’t desire a concept police.”

Nixon used to be born Neill Kirby McMillan Jr. Aug. 2, 1957, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, however grew up in Danville, Virginia. The bio on his web site fittingly blurs the road between truth and fiction, however, extensively talking, paints a portrait of a early life enthralled via song (he cites listening to Arthur Conley’s “Candy Soul Tune” as the instant “Tune claims his soul and Devil crawls up his butt”). 

After graduating school within the past due Nineteen Seventies, Nixon in short moved to London to check out to make it within the punk scene, earlier than returning to the States and settling in Denver. There, he performed in a band referred to as Zebra 123 that allegedly garnered the eye of the Secret Provider for taking part in a gig referred to as the “Assassination Ball” that featured a poster with the exploding heads of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

In the end, Nixon moved to San Diego and met his “de-mentor” Nation Dick Montana (of the Beat Farmers). All through a cross-country bicycle travel, he had a revelation and got here up together with his level title, Mojo Nixon, described as: “Mojo=Voodoo Nixon=Unhealthy Politics.”

In 1983, Nixon and Roper teamed up and began making song, freeing their self-titled debut in 1985. The pair incessantly garnered a cult following because of common traveling and wild songs like “Burn Down the Shops,” “Jesus at McDonald’s,” and “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin” (about MTV VJ Martha Quinn). 

Their leap forward with “Elvis Is All over the place” (on 1987’s Bo-Day-Shus!!!) no longer simplest earned Nixon and Roper common play on MTV, however resulted within the community enlisting Nixon to movie a number of promo spots. Quickly, they have been showing on The Arsenio Corridor Display and getting Wynona Ryder to superstar within the video for “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Kid.” (MTV refused to play it.)

After splitting with Roper, Nixon got down to report his 1990 solo debut, Otis, linking up with Nation Dick Montana and X’s John Doe. His ambitions have been large, as he advised Rolling Stone: “I sought after to have a band and I sought after to compete with the Replacements and the Blasters and Los Lobos.”

The album garnered just right consideration and the music “Don Henley Will have to Die” reached Quantity 20 at the Trendy Rock Charts. (The famously prickly Henley even looked as if it would adore it, appearing it reside with Nixon in 1992). However Otis’ momentum used to be curtailed after Nixon’s label, Enigma Data, went bankrupt. 

Nixon stayed busy with plenty of song initiatives all over the Nineteen Nineties, whilst additionally branching into different nation-states. His first appearing function used to be the 1989 Jerry Lee Lewis biopic, Nice Balls of Hearth, through which he performed drummer James Van Eaton; his different appearing credit integrated the 1993 live-action Tremendous Mario Bros. film and the comedy Automobile 54, The place Are You?. He later picked up gigs as a radio DJ in Cincinnati and San Diego, earlier than securing his longstanding spot on SiriusXM within the early 2000s. 

Nixon used to be the honorary “captain” of the Staff U.S.A.’s Males’s Doubles Luge Staff on the 1998 Iciness Olympics, recording a theme music, “Luge Staff U.S.A.” underneath the moniker the Arctic Evel Kneivels. The 2 lugers he sponsored, Chris Thorpe and Gordy Sheer, received the the silver medal. 

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Whilst webhosting quite a lot of SiriusXM presentations become his primary gig within the 2000s, Nixon now and again returned to song, issuing an album of prior to now unreleased tracks, Whiskey Rebel, in 2009. An extended-in-the-works documentary, The Mojo Manifesto: The Lifestyles and Instances of Mojo Nixon, in spite of everything had its premiere at SXSW 2022 earlier than getting a large free up closing yr.

“Other folks disregard me as a novelty artist, or, ‘Oh, he’s a caricature.’ And that’s effective,” Nixon advised Rolling Stone, distilling the essence and attraction of his paintings. “I don’t wish to be taken significantly. I’m a cult artist.”

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