Perhaps he'll get together with Glenn Frey while waiting for Don...
February 7, 2024 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Mojo Nixon has passed away at 66, while on the Outlaw Country Cruise.

Known for such classics as Elvis Is Everywhere, Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two Headed Love Child (with video featuring Winona Ryder as Debbie), and of course, Don Henley Must Die. Allegedly, Don once crashed a Mojo show at a small bar in Austin. When asked what he wanted, Don replied "I want to sing that song, especially the part about not getting together with Glenn Frey!" The documentary "The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon" finally released in 2022 after several years of delays.

It wasn't all about being funny, though. Mojo debated Pat Buchanan on Crossfire over content warning labels on albums. As he said to Rolling Stone last year, "I firmly believe you can make fun of anything as long as your joke is funny. And I also believe that you can say anything, as long as you’re willing to suffer the consequences. We don’t need a thought police."
posted by neilbert (76 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Well that sucks.

posted by caution live frogs at 7:57 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]

if it don’t got mojo nixon then this world could use some fixin
posted by bombastic lowercase pronouncements at 8:00 PM on February 7 [57 favorites]

If you don't got Mojo Nixon then your world could use some fixin'

posted by eustatic at 8:00 PM on February 7 [15 favorites]

posted by eustatic at 8:01 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]

We are all moving in perfect peace and harmony towards Elvisness
Soon all will become Elvis
Everything everywhere will be Elvis

posted by credulous at 8:01 PM on February 7 [12 favorites]

Dead Milkmen and Mojo fans' Venn Diagram is a perfect circle.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:03 PM on February 7 [11 favorites]

And I played the hell out of both albums in 1986. This sucks.

posted by JoeZydeco at 8:05 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]

Elvis needs boats

posted by HillbillyInBC at 8:05 PM on February 7 [14 favorites]

. I told my kid the news, and he immediately said “Oh, no, you mean OUT-LAWWWWW COUNTRY” man? That sucks.”
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:15 PM on February 7

posted by gentlyepigrams at 8:16 PM on February 7

Mr. Mojo Risin!
posted by clavdivs at 8:22 PM on February 7 [6 favorites]

Gotta be rich, gotta be white, gotta be Republican - I can’t even find the song that’s from but I will always hear it in Mojo’s gravelly voice. Saw him a couple of times over the years, every time an amazing show, damn another favorite gone too soon. Good way to die, though.

And Debbie Gibson will always be pregnant with his two headed love child.

posted by mygothlaundry at 8:32 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]

I just discovered that my wife only knows about Mojo Nixon from the Dead Milkman song ( which has been on every mixtape I have ever made a girl).

Looks like we need to watch that documentary.
posted by CostcoCultist at 8:42 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]

He is survived by Ms. Deborah Ann Gibson and their two-headed love child.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:47 PM on February 7 [23 favorites]

Jesus at Macdonald will always be his magnum opus to me. Yes, his songs were funny but they were amazingly catchy to and the energy he brought to stage was infectious.

posted by Joey Michaels at 8:47 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]

posted by EvaDestruction at 8:53 PM on February 7

His and Jello’s Prairie Home Invasion is a treasured album, although I rarely play it — it’s just that intense and relentless.

Godspeed, Mojo. TCB.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:13 PM on February 7 [6 favorites]

RIP. I just muted Classic Arts Showcase to watch the video for "Elvis Is Everywhere"... Followed by The Dead Milkmen's "Stuart".
posted by neuron at 9:17 PM on February 7

posted by chbrooks at 9:38 PM on February 7

Well fuck. Saw him with Skid Roper in some bar in Denver in 85. Just wandered in, had no idea who he was. And to think Don Henley outlasted him. Life ain't fair.

posted by evilDoug at 10:04 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]

posted by Kattullus at 10:57 PM on February 7

posted by brundlefly at 11:51 PM on February 7

While I never was into him, I sure did appreciate that he existed, larger than life.
posted by not_on_display at 12:05 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

posted by allium cepa at 1:07 AM on February 8

posted by talking leaf at 1:12 AM on February 8

posted by panglos at 1:16 AM on February 8

Elvis is in Nutty Buddies.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 1:21 AM on February 8

posted by dr_dank at 3:38 AM on February 8

He was slightly off base about Michael J Fox, in the end

Dog bless Mojo.

posted by apathy at 3:49 AM on February 8 [5 favorites]

His Christmas album is a holiday staple in our house. My wife’s been singing “Vibrator Dependent” ever since she heard the news this morning. A sad day, but we’ll choose to honor Mojo’s life with his kick-ass music.

posted by cheapskatebay at 3:56 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I guess Don Henley won that one.

posted by Aznable at 4:13 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

posted by dragonplayer at 4:22 AM on February 8

Be the cheez wiz in the caviar of life! Danville, VA's finest son will never once again come home.
posted by NoMich at 4:24 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]

posted by tommasz at 4:27 AM on February 8

Aznable: I guess Don Henley won that one.

Here's a fun story from the Austin Chronicle:
No memory boasts greater mythological status than the night of July 31, 1992, when Eagles singer/drummer Don Henley jumped onstage with Mojo Nixon & the Toadliquors to join in a version of "Don Henley Must Die."

"I don't know how many people can fit in the front room, 100 at the most, but about 5,000 people have told me they were there," chuckles Nixon, 22 years after the fact.

The cow-punk icon had gotten word from one of Henley's buddies, a regular at the Hole, that Don might show up that night, but he nearly shat himself when his road manager approached the stage and said, "Dude, it's fuckin' him!"

"There I was, the king of bullshit, completely flabbergasted," remembers Nixon. "I took my guitar off, put it back on, did that like three times, then got on the mic and said, 'Don, do you want to debate? Do you want to fist fight?' He was shit-faced and he goes, 'I want to sing that song, especially the part about not getting together with Glenn Frey!'"

The band launched into the track with Nixon singing the insulting verse: "Poet of despair/ Pumped up with hot air/ He's serious, pretentious, and I just don't care." When the chorus hit, Nixon let Henley take the lead: "Don Henley must die, don't let him get back together with Glenn Frey!"

"He was beltin' that shit out, screaming like he was Johnny fuckin' Rotten," says Nixon.

When the song ended, Henley shook hands with the band, who complimented his "balls as big as church bells." Then, says Nixon, he walked outside and failed to open his car door because he'd put his key into the wrong Mercedes. Everyone watched through the window as the Toadliquors covered the Eagles' "Already Gone."

The experience gave Nixon respect for Henley: "I was surprised he was so magnanimous and that he didn't punch me. That stage is so tiny, he could have knocked me out at any moment."
posted by Kattullus at 4:38 AM on February 8 [34 favorites]

posted by Kitteh at 4:38 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Dead Milkmen and Mojo fans' Venn Diagram is a perfect circle.

Most definitely. They toured together in the early 90s, as they shared an agent. Mojo told a story once of how they met; the Milkmen needed a place to stay, the agent said "I know a place," and Mojo came home to find four musicians sleeping on his living room furniture.

His political talk show, Lyin' Cocksuckers, also merits mention. At irregular intervals, he would discard the topics of the day and declare a show to be Turd Talk Day because "turds are funny and worth talking about."

He was a prince of the freak kingdom and a righteous man. Wherever he is now, may someone finally untie his pecker from his leg.

posted by delfin at 5:22 AM on February 8 [5 favorites]

posted by GenjiandProust at 5:27 AM on February 8

posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 5:33 AM on February 8

Farewell to the King of Sleaze!
posted by bwvol at 6:07 AM on February 8

Also, how does a large town like Danville, VA produce so much great talent? Heck, even Allah the Father is from Danville!
posted by NoMich at 6:30 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

After hearing a special, in the early 90’s, on a local radio station, KFJC, featuring his music, as a Subgenius, I adopted Mr Nixon as my Short Duration Personal Savior. A number of years later, he released all his music online for anyone to download. He and his attitude will be missed.

posted by njohnson23 at 6:43 AM on February 8


Saw him several times during his San Diego days.
posted by aenea at 6:43 AM on February 8

I still remember as a kid watching this promo on MTV and thinking "I don't know what I just saw, but I think I want to jump on a freight train and join some sort of revolution??"

posted by gwint at 6:44 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


He also hosted a political talk show in the '00s called Lyin' Cocksuckers. And was rad.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 7:00 AM on February 8

posted by calamari kid at 7:09 AM on February 8

We asked for Mojo Nixon
They said "He don't work here"

posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:19 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Back in the early 2000s, I'd just broken up with my long term boyfriend and had decided that my new singleness meant I should do a ton of things I'd never done before. So for the first time in my adult life, I went to a concert by myself. Of course, it was Mojo at this smallish venue in Murfreesboro, TN. There was no opener and I got to the bar slightly early but figured I could just have a few drinks and then chill.

At the bar, there were a couple of bro-sephs at the end and an older dude in a mechanic's work shirt. I chose to sit nearer the old dude. I ordered my drink and was just chatting with the bartender when the older dude says "Hey sweetie, you here for the show?" I said that I was and that I'd been listening to Mojo since I was a teen and was excited to finally get to see him. Dude then asked what my favorite song was and I happily stated "Are You Drinking with me Jesus" was the bomb.

Then the dude says "Hey let me buy you a drink, I ain't Jesus but I could drink with ya." He then asked the bartender what the kids these days are drinking and for some dumb ass reason the bartender said "Purple Hooter Shooters". So me and this dude do a Purple Hooter shot, chat a few more minutes and he pats me on the shoulder and says, "Enjoy the show hun."

And that's the moment I realized that the vaguely redneck older dude was actually Mojo Nixon. He did a shout out to me when he played "Are You Drinking with me Jesus?"

He was super sweet and nice and I did do a purple hooter shooter last night in his honor when I heard the news.
posted by teleri025 at 7:28 AM on February 8 [84 favorites]

Welp, that's it, close up the internet for the day. Mojo is dead and teleri025 told the best story and will not get bested for the next 13ish hours.
posted by NoMich at 7:50 AM on February 8 [13 favorites]


rest in peace, Foghorn Leghorn of rock'n'roll or psychobilly or whatever we're supposed to call it. You were very much there when we needed you, 1980s sometime, when only awful crap ever seemed to get airplay
posted by philip-random at 7:57 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

According to Mojo's math, Mick Jagger is over 400 years old.
posted by delfin at 8:01 AM on February 8

posted by drworm at 8:02 AM on February 8

RIP Mojo.

> He was slightly off base about Michael J Fox, in the end
> Dog bless Mojo.

One may note that the first name, middle initial, and last name of a certain, very orange, legally troubled, political figure may replace "Michael J. Fox": "Xxxxxx X Xxxxx has no Elvis in him".
posted by AbnerRavenwood at 8:11 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

for the record, it was verifiable that Michael J Fox did once have zero Elvis in him. But things change. People grow. Elvis does indeed eventually get everywhere.
posted by philip-random at 8:35 AM on February 8 [6 favorites]

Did Elvis ever get out of Joan Rivers?
posted by NoMich at 8:36 AM on February 8

posted by SonInLawOfSam at 8:43 AM on February 8


Probably my all time Mojo fav:
posted by 3j0hn at 9:35 AM on February 8

posted by SystematicAbuse at 10:27 AM on February 8

Well, dagnabit. You were a pistol, Mojo. Keep burning down those shopping malls in the Great Hereafter.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 10:30 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Always wondered what Debbie Gibson thought of Debbie Gibson is Pregnant. The most I've been able to was a quote from Mojo in 1993:
And what about Debbie Gibson? Has she hopped on-stage to join Nixon in a rousing version of you-know-what?

“Nope,” says Nixon, “but I did talk to her on the phone the other day—the first time I actually ever talked to her. She was on a radio station here in San Diego, and a friend of mine’s a DJ, and he called up and said, ‘Debbie Gibson’s comin’ on. I want you to call at three o’clock.’

“So I called up and gave her hell. And she was supposed to come to my show, but she didn’t, the little chicken. The little chicken-hearted Yankee witch from New York!”
FTR, I like both Debbie Gibson and Mojo Nixon, so I don't know what to make of that!
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:34 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Aw, jeez. Only the good die young, indeed.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:14 PM on February 8

if I am the tiniest bit weird still today, I can thank Mojo Nixon for a bit of that

good fun, weirdness. a dash of wild anger. the best

ain't gonna wash no dishes anymore (anymore!)
posted by elkevelvet at 12:44 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

posted by verbminx at 2:43 PM on February 8

Too bad he wasn't elected President. ("This Nixon's no dick!") There's a live album recorded at the Casbah which is a Mojo-pinnacle of magnificence. A friend of mine saw Mojo play the Winnipeg Folk Fest -- don't know how he got those Very Serious Folkies to invite him -- and partway through his first number, half the audience was laughing uncontrollably and the other half had walked out in protest.
posted by CCBC at 3:35 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]

posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:55 PM on February 8

posted by detachd at 8:16 PM on February 8

posted by The Manwich Horror at 3:31 AM on February 9

Two more links from my deleted double post:
  • "Where The Hell's My Money" video @ YT
  • WaPo obit gift link

    He had a windstorm of a voice, in the tradition of hollerin' roots music. I first heard him about the same time as George Thoroughgood & the Destroyers, and they stayed intermingled in my imagination for a while -- but Nixon's broad, middle-school-esque humor separated him from Thoroughgood's more serious guitar sound.

    Good music for the earphones when doing hot, summer yard work, with a beer at the end.

    🍺 and 🎤

  • posted by wenestvedt at 7:43 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

    Too bad he wasn't elected President.

    We missed our opportunity to Put a Sex Mo-Sheen in the White House.
    posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:09 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]

    At least he knows where the hell his money is now.

    posted by kjs3 at 10:15 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

    Mod note: [btw, this thread and teleri025's comment have been included on the sidebar and Best Of blog!]
    posted by taz (staff) at 1:30 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]

    posted by northtwilight at 5:27 PM on February 11

    posted by filtergik at 2:55 AM on February 12

    posted by Gelatin at 5:19 AM on February 12

    This story isn't as good as teleri025's, but how could it be?

    I saw Skid Roper and Mojo Nixon at Louisville, Kentucky's legendary Tewligan's Tavern. It was, of course, a memorable show, but the more so because the first of the two opening bands was one of the first gigs by a local act called One Red Romeo, which became my favorite local band for a while.

    I'll raise a Nutty Buddy to Mr. Nixon.
    posted by Gelatin at 5:35 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

    In the early 90s, I saw Mojo perform in Chapel Hill on the Otis tour. I noted on the way in that the concession area, along with T-shirts and the usual bric-a-brac, was selling inflatable love sheep. Mojo even hawked one from stage, with a little sign that said "Mojo sez: Fuck Ewe."

    The show proceeded as usual. Mojo seemed a bit perplexed at the mosh pit that broke out, but noted that as long as we weren't stomping on anyone, do what felt good, he figured. When they reached Don Henley Must Die, everything stopped on a dime when they realized that the keyboardist was playing Desperado.

    Mojo studied him with a baleful eye. "I think... he's a-gonna have to fuck the sheep," he declared.

    They took it away from him when he seemed to be enjoying the process a bit too much.

    On an unrelated note, the Mojo tribute shows they played on Outlaw Country on Friday were quite nice. The panel discussions from the cruise on such topics as "Alt Country: What the Fuck Is It, Anyway?" had such luminaries as John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X, Webb Wilder, Rosie Flores, Warner Hodges of Jason and the Scorchers, members of the Bottle Rockets and Beat Farmers, and others merrily discussing the state of the musical revolution. Definitely worth digging up.
    posted by delfin at 8:58 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]

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