He formed a new band at one point called the Toadliquors, and the fun never stopped. Even the end credits of the film are pure joy, as we appreciate the song Are you Drinkin’ with me Jesus alongside a slideshow of great Mojo friends and times. There is something gloriously wrong with him, to be sure. It’s depressing to imagine how much beautiful art and frenzied fun we’d have missed if Mojo had ever been properly medicated.
I met Mojo, decades ago, before a show in Atlanta’s old Cotton Club. We were early and he was sitting at the bar. I heard of him from a college friend in West Virginia, who played a track from an Enigma records collection of new artists. The song was Amsterdam Dogshit Blues (that’s what it’s about). I said hello and we chatted for a moment. He asked where we were from. When I told him about Tom from West Liberty college, he signed a napkin for us, writing: “Tom, you f**king hillbilly, Mojo.”
“…depressing to imagine how much beautiful art and frenzied fun we’d have missed if Mojo had ever been properly medicated.”
All these years later, he’s still Mojo-ing it up on a Sirius XM radio show called Outlaw Country, with the same bombastic energy he’s always had, and the world is better for it. His brand of crazy is a pure, wild-at-heart, sincere love of American freedom and disregard for rules. His punk rock sensibility isn’t an act: he is exactly what he appears to be. In a cynical world, he’s the real deal. Mojo is to music what Howard Finster is to painting: an unrepentant outsider artist making music for the masses.
Love of Mojo is something one fears is an isolated fandom. So many years have passed, and his MTV fame went by so fast. Eskey brings it all roaring back: The Dead Milkmen, MTV when it was good, growing up watching 120 Minutes, and so many cultural touchstones from the ’80s and early ’90s. This is not a celebration you can share with anyone who wasn’t there… it was a potent mix of elements, and being a certain age at a certain time was a key ingredient. Every generation has its moment. We had the Mojo Revelation. You can relive yours in this joyous documentary. The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon is a riot, especially for fans, or a good primer for those who don’t know him. Good fun in hard times.
Mojo brings us to Elvis and Elvis to Mojo. We are all moving in perfect peace and harmony towards Elvisness. Soon all will become Elvis. Thank you, Matt Eskey!
The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon was scheduled to screen at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.
"…Nobody was more psycho or hillbilly-punk than wild-eyed, carnival-barker-talking Mojo Nixon"