Written by: Alex Green
The irreverent psychobilly singer/songwriter Mojo Nixon has died.
Nixon, who was the alter ego of the North Carolina-born Neill McMillan Jr. was 66.
Nixon died of what is being called a “cardiac event” after performing on an outlaw country cruise in Puerto Rico.
The king of the indie folk diss track, in the ’80s Nixon was utterly unstoppable, calling out celebrities and cultural trends in real time. On albums like Frenzy and Get Out Of My Way! Nixon and his partner Skid Roper took hilarious shots at mall culture, MTV, Martha Quinn, Don Henley and Debbie Gibson.
Touring with everyone from The Beat Farmers to Camper Van Beethoven, Mojo and Skid were indie rock darlings, playing a hyper blend of punk rock, folk, traditional country and rockabilly.
They put out six albums from 1985-1990 and Nixon went on to appear in films like Great Balls of Fire and Super Mario Bros.
The Mojo Nixon character was a tricky one, because McMillan played him so convincingly. Although he retired several times, Nixon kept storming back throughout the last twenty years, even hosting several shows on Sirius Satellite Radio.
Nixon’s life was a pop culture everyman, collaborating with Jello Biafra and Country Dick of the Beat Farmers, working as a DJ in San Diego, campaigning for Kinky Friedman, being named the honorary captain of the 1988 U.S. Luge team, and working as an advice columnist.
Nixon was immortalized in the 2014 documentary The Mojo Manifesto.