Listen to cowpunk legend Mojo Nixon talk with Rock & Roll Globe about his new box set and the rough and rowdy ways of his adventurous career in music
If you grew up in the days when MTV and college radio intersected in the wildest ways, you know Mojo Nixon.
Born Neill Kirby McMillan Jr in Chapel Hill, NC, the 62-year-old Mojo might be more renowned in 2020 as a DJ on Sirius FM with shows on Outlaw Country channel and the NASCAR channel. But for fans of the cowpunk and psychobilly scenes of the 1980s and 90s, Nixon gained popularity with the 120 Minutes crowd thanks to the videos for such off-the-wall singles as “Burn Down the Malls,” “Elvis Is Everywhere” “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child,” and “Destroy All Lawyers.”
Nobody loved to take the piss out of the last 35 years of American culture like Mojo Nixon. And the rabble he roused across 10 albums between 1985 and 2009 has finally been brought together in one brand new box set from Manifesto Records. The Mojo Manifesto: The Complete Album Collection spans the entirety of Mojo’s career as a recording artist. His early trilogy with washboardist Skip Roper are represented by the pair’s 1985 self-titled set, 1986’s Frenzy/Get Out of My Way!, 1987’s Bo-Day-Shus!!!,and 1989’s Jim Dickinson-produced Root Hog or Die.
Mojo kicked off the 90s with an album many still believe to be his singular masterpiece, 1990’s Otis, with Mojo backed by an all-star band featuring the Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana, John Doe, Bill Davis and Eric “Roscoe” Ambel of the Del Lords. Meanwhile, Mojo’s time with his Clinton era band The Toadliquors is featured in the form of 1992’s Horny Holidays and 1999’s The Real Sock Ray Blue. Mojo reteamed with Ambel for 1995’s Whereabouts Unknown, collected his odds and sods on 1997’s GADZOOKS!!! and put a fitting bow on his recording career with one final but potent shot on 2009’s Whiskey Rebellion.
But Mojo Nixon is about much more than a snappy song title. He’s a singular talent who sprang out of the college rock explosion of the ’80s, kicked it in the head, stomped on it, and went on to pave his own path to glory.
There’s a DVD too! And it features all seven of music videos, “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child,” which stars Winona Ryder as the Merrick, NY pop star.
VIDEO: Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child”
Additionally, there’s 40-page booklet with impeccably researched liner notes from one of the music journalists in the biz, Mr. Craig Rosen, as well as behind-the-scenes stories from many of the aforementioned people who played on these records.
What’s more is a new documentary, The Mojo Manifesto: The Life & Times of Mojo Nixon, celebrating the life and times of the singer-guitarist-madman set to screen at the SXSW Festival in March, this new set is the perfect companion piece.
“Mojo Nixon wanted to be Richard Pryor,” Mojo tells Rosen in the liners. “He’s like Richard Pryor’s stupid cousin if he was white and played in a rockabilly band. I’d say things that simultaneously shocked people and spoke the truth. I don’t have that much talent, but what I do have is an enormous amount of enthusiasm. As Mr. Rotten used to call it, ‘An unlimited supply!!!’”
The Rock & Roll Globe talks exclusively with Mr. Nixon about all this and much more in this exclusive interview you can check out below.
Listen to our exclusive chat with Mojo here: