Mojo Nixon

Mojo Nixon  (born Neill Kirby McMillan, Jr.; August 2, 1957) is an American musician, known for playing psychobilly music.  He has officially retired from playing live and recording, though 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.  (More from Wikipedia)

Mike Stax was born in England and had tried to interest locals in starting a 1960’s style R&B band without success.  Stax wrote Ron Silva in 1980, who invited him to join the band on bass guitar.  Numerous changes in the line-up took place over the next several years – even Mojo Nixon joined up on guitar at one point – and some are remembered by other bandmembers only by their first name.  Once the band tried to soldier on without a guitarist, and another time without a drummer; for a time, the band changed their name to the Howling Men, named for a Twilight Zone episode.  Eventually, the Crawdaddys basically squandered their reputation as one of San Diego’s greatest rock bands.  After just 6½ months in the StatesMike Stax returned home to England


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Dan McLain was probably the most active and most prominent musician among the former bandmembers in the Crawdaddys; his untimely death in November 1995 at the age of 40 was written up in Billboard magazine.  After drumming for the Crawdaddys and the Penetrators, McLain took the name Country Dick Montana and first formed a band called Country Dick & the Snuggle Bunnies.  The bandmembers included Richard Banke who is also known as Skid Roper, a long-time collaborator (mostly as an instrumentalist) with Mojo Nixon, who is a former member of the Crawdaddys


With his fractured vision and his frantic singing and playing style, Mojo Nixon perhaps best personifies what is meant by “psychobilly”; he is a native of Chapel Hill (real name:  Neill Kirby McMillan, Jr.).  Steve Huey provides a cogent synopsis of his mystique in his biography for Allmusic:  “One of the most out-sized personalities on college radio in the ’80sMojo Nixon won a fervent cult following with his motor-mouthed redneck persona and a gonzo brand of satire with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.  Nixon had a particular knack for celebrity-themed novelty hits (‘Elvis Is Everywhere’, ‘Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child’, ‘Don Henley Must Die’), but he was prone to gleefully crass rants on a variety of social ills (‘I Hate Banks’, ‘Destroy All Lawyers’, ‘I Ain’t Gonna Piss In No Jar’), while celebrating lowbrow, blue-collar America in all its trashy, beer-soaked glory.  All of it was performed in maximum overdrive on a bed of rockabillyblues, and R&B.” 


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Besides their own albums and popular concert appearances throughout Southern Californiathe Beat Farmers collaborated with numerous musicians; Allmusic lists Mojo NixonJohn Doe of XRosie Flores, the BanglesLos LobosKaty Moffatt, blues singer/pianist Candye Kane, and guitarist Dave Alvin, formerly of the Blasters.  For his part, Country Dick Montana had several side projects over this period, including the Incredible HayseedsCountry Dick’s Petting ZooCountry Dick’s Garage, and the Pleasure Barons.  


(January 2015/2)


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Last edited: March 22, 2021