"I need to help my friend Kinky Friedman get elected governor of Texas," says Mojo Nixon, whose last live performance was at 2004's South by Southwest music fest. Friedman, the musician/politician who calls himself the "Texas Jew-boy," "has five weeks to get 50,000 people to sign his petition so he can get on the ballot," says Nixon, who plans to do a few shows in Texas. "I'm done touring five weeks or even two weeks in a row. I'm old and fat and gray."
Since 2004, from his Coronado home studio, Nixon has uploaded his daily alterna-country show for Sirius satellite radio. He says he left KGB/101.5 (Clear Channel's local classic-rock station) partly because of free speech.
"The word I wanted to say most on the air was 'bullshit.'... I got in enormous trouble for playing Loudon Wainwright's 'Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.' They said it wasn't on their playlist and that I didn't get permission. They also said it was too hillbilly.... [On Sirius], I play George Jones, Steve Earle, the Derailers, Son Volt, Waylon Jennings, and the Beat Farmers." Nixon and his partner Skid Roper opened a number of '80s shows for the Beat Farmers before Country Dick Montana died onstage in 1995.
Besides his Outlaw Country channel DJ program, Nixon has a talk show he launched on Sirius channel 103 six months ago. Since Howard Stern signed on with the satellite network, annual subscriptions have surged from 700,000 to 3.3 million. Yet, the satellite channel is losing millions of dollars.
"If [the Sirius job] works out, great," says Nixon. "I still make money off that song ["Elvis Is Everywhere"]. It just got played on German TV. I got $8000. They played a minute of it on TV."