Mojo Nixon, the eccentric and irreverent singer-songwriter who became famous for his novelty hit “Elvis Is Everywhere” in the 1980s, passed away on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at the age of 66. He died after suffering a cardiac event on the Outlaw Country Cruise, where he was performing with his band The Toadliquors.
A Life of Music and Humor
Mojo Nixon, whose real name was Neill Kirby McMillan Jr., was born on August 2, 1957, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He grew up in Danville, Virginia, where he developed a love for music and comedy. He started his musical career in Denver, Colorado, where he joined a punk band called Zebra 123. He later moved to San Diego, California, where he met his longtime musical partner Skid Roper, who played washboard and other percussion instruments.
Together, they released six albums between 1985 and 1990, blending rock, country, blues, and humor. Their most successful album was Bo-Day-Shus!!!, which featured the song “Elvis Is Everywhere”, a tribute to the King of Rock and Roll and a satire of his cult-like fans. The song became a hit on MTV and college radio, and earned Nixon a loyal following of fans who appreciated his outrageous and witty lyrics.
A Career Beyond Music
Nixon was not only a musician, but also an actor, a radio host, and a political activist. He appeared in several movies, such as the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire!, the Super Mario Bros. adaptation, and the comedy Car 54, Where Are You?. He also hosted radio shows in Cincinnati, Ohio, and San Diego, California, where he showcased his eclectic taste in music and his sharp commentary on current events. He later joined SiriusXM, where he hosted the show Loon in the Afternoon on the Outlaw Country channel.
Nixon was also known for his outspoken views on various issues, such as censorship, corporate greed, and environmentalism. He often expressed his opinions through his songs, such as “Don Henley Must Die”, “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child”, and “Destroy All Lawyers”. He also participated in several protests and campaigns, such as Rock Against Reagan, Rock for Choice, and Rock the Vote.
A Legacy of Fun and Freedom
Nixon’s death was announced by his family on his Facebook page, where they wrote: “Mojo Nixon. How you live is how you should die. Mojo Nixon was full-tilt, wide-open rock hard, root hog, corner on two wheels + on fire… Passing after a blazing show, a raging night, closing the bar, taking no prisoners + a good breakfast with bandmates and friends. A cardiac event on the Outlaw Country Cruise is about right… & that’s just how he did it. Mojo has left the building. Since Elvis is everywhere, we know he was waiting for him in the alley out back. Heaven help us all.”
Nixon’s death was mourned by many of his fans, friends, and fellow musicians, who remembered him as a unique and influential artist who brought joy and laughter to many people. He was also praised for his contribution to the outlaw country genre, which he helped popularize and diversify with his original and unconventional style. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and his two sons, Parker and Booker.