Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Mojo Nixon, 1957-2024

Local musician was subversive and scathing

Nixon performs at the 1992 San Diego Comic-Con
Nixon performs at the 1992 San Diego Comic-Con

“I would say that 60 percent of the crowd liked him, and the rest were offended,” recalls Beat Farmers guitarist Jerry Raney about his initial meeting with Mojo Nixon at the Spring Valley Inn circa 1983. “But I liked him, and we became friends right off the bat.” (Nixon and Skid Roper had toured nationally opening for the Beat Farmers.) Their lifelong friendship grew familial, to the point where Nixon was entrusted with babysitting Jerry’s son Nathan when the opportunity arose for the boy’s mother Merilee to visit her husband in Amsterdam while on tour. “Mojo and his wife Adaire were the ones watching him when we arrived home,” says Jerry Raney. “Nate came running out to us in a little T-shirt that had ‘Mojo Nixon is My Babysitter’ written on it, with his finger in his nose! It was funny as hell, and we were sure that Mojo had planned it that way. So Mojo taught Nate how to pick his nose correctly, too!”

Nathan, then two years old, still has the shirt, and says that “Mojo drew up the shirt, and I wore it for a couple of days and just got it completely filthy. When my parents came to pick me up, I was wearing it with my finger up my nose, which I had learned from Mojo. My parents framed the shirt when I got home, and I’ve had it ever since.”

Nixon’s influence on the younger Raney extended beyond mining for mucus. “[He told me] be over the top. If you’re going to do anything, don’t be afraid to be who you are. He embraced my music and who I am for who I am, not what people expected of me, and told me to continue my musical journey and be true to myself.”

Nixon’s satirical narrative take on American culture spanned more than ten albums, and included both solo output and a collaboration with former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra. Subversive and scathing, his lyrics in songs like “Don Henley Must Die” and “Burn Down the Malls” commented on fame, capitalism, and cultural consumerism. After MTV hired Nixon to do announcement spots, the channel refused to air his music video for “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child,” and Nixon walked away from his new gig — but not before they filmed his wedding at a go-cart racetrack in Chula Vista, with Beat Farmer Country Dick Montana officiating.

Jerry Raney recalls the MTV filming. “The ladies in the wedding party were shooting off the ‘21 Gun Water Balloon Salute’ with these huge slingshots. They had to sit on their butts and use their arms and legs to fire off the balloons into the air. Things were going great, as their launchings were going about 500 feet across the landscape. Suddenly, one of the MTV cameramen walked blindly right in front of the launchpad, and the girls inadvertently creamed him right upside the head, sending him and the wildly expensive camera flying. It was funny as hell to witness, but at least he wasn’t really injured. I don’t think the camera fared very well, though.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Proximity to Nixon often gave rise to such moments. “About every year,” says Nathan Raney, “the Beat Farmers do a Hootenanny at the Belly Up Tavern, with guest stars and members of the Beat Farmers extended family. Mojo was a guest star a few years back, and he and I really wanted to watch the NFL playoffs, which were playing at the bar. We sat at a table and talked about life, football, music, and whatever else came up. No one approached us, and I always wondered why. But apparently Mojo, wearing his little Daisy Duke shorts, was giving fans quite an eyeful.”

Video:

Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper "Are You Alive?!" 1987 network promo



Nixon appeared on CNN’s Crossfire in the early ‘90s, speaking against the warning labels that resulted from lobbying by Tipper Gore’s PMRC. His opponent was none other than the archconservative Pat Buchanan, who was unable to maintain civility in the face of Nixon’s well-worded arguments. Retiring and un-retiring several times in the 2000s, Nixon’s resume grew to include actor (playing Jerry Lee Lewis drummer James Van Eaton in Great Balls of Fire) and disc jockey — both on satellite radio, where he hosted a political show called Lying Cocksuckers, and on terrestrial stations, including local KGB FM. He left the building at age 66 on February 7, while on the Outlaw Country Cruise, due to what has been reported as a cardiac event.

(For more, see Mojo Nixon Comix & Stories)

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Narco wars spill more blood in Tijuana

But no slow down in foreign investment
Nixon performs at the 1992 San Diego Comic-Con
Nixon performs at the 1992 San Diego Comic-Con

“I would say that 60 percent of the crowd liked him, and the rest were offended,” recalls Beat Farmers guitarist Jerry Raney about his initial meeting with Mojo Nixon at the Spring Valley Inn circa 1983. “But I liked him, and we became friends right off the bat.” (Nixon and Skid Roper had toured nationally opening for the Beat Farmers.) Their lifelong friendship grew familial, to the point where Nixon was entrusted with babysitting Jerry’s son Nathan when the opportunity arose for the boy’s mother Merilee to visit her husband in Amsterdam while on tour. “Mojo and his wife Adaire were the ones watching him when we arrived home,” says Jerry Raney. “Nate came running out to us in a little T-shirt that had ‘Mojo Nixon is My Babysitter’ written on it, with his finger in his nose! It was funny as hell, and we were sure that Mojo had planned it that way. So Mojo taught Nate how to pick his nose correctly, too!”

Nathan, then two years old, still has the shirt, and says that “Mojo drew up the shirt, and I wore it for a couple of days and just got it completely filthy. When my parents came to pick me up, I was wearing it with my finger up my nose, which I had learned from Mojo. My parents framed the shirt when I got home, and I’ve had it ever since.”

Nixon’s influence on the younger Raney extended beyond mining for mucus. “[He told me] be over the top. If you’re going to do anything, don’t be afraid to be who you are. He embraced my music and who I am for who I am, not what people expected of me, and told me to continue my musical journey and be true to myself.”

Nixon’s satirical narrative take on American culture spanned more than ten albums, and included both solo output and a collaboration with former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra. Subversive and scathing, his lyrics in songs like “Don Henley Must Die” and “Burn Down the Malls” commented on fame, capitalism, and cultural consumerism. After MTV hired Nixon to do announcement spots, the channel refused to air his music video for “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child,” and Nixon walked away from his new gig — but not before they filmed his wedding at a go-cart racetrack in Chula Vista, with Beat Farmer Country Dick Montana officiating.

Jerry Raney recalls the MTV filming. “The ladies in the wedding party were shooting off the ‘21 Gun Water Balloon Salute’ with these huge slingshots. They had to sit on their butts and use their arms and legs to fire off the balloons into the air. Things were going great, as their launchings were going about 500 feet across the landscape. Suddenly, one of the MTV cameramen walked blindly right in front of the launchpad, and the girls inadvertently creamed him right upside the head, sending him and the wildly expensive camera flying. It was funny as hell to witness, but at least he wasn’t really injured. I don’t think the camera fared very well, though.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Proximity to Nixon often gave rise to such moments. “About every year,” says Nathan Raney, “the Beat Farmers do a Hootenanny at the Belly Up Tavern, with guest stars and members of the Beat Farmers extended family. Mojo was a guest star a few years back, and he and I really wanted to watch the NFL playoffs, which were playing at the bar. We sat at a table and talked about life, football, music, and whatever else came up. No one approached us, and I always wondered why. But apparently Mojo, wearing his little Daisy Duke shorts, was giving fans quite an eyeful.”

Video:

Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper "Are You Alive?!" 1987 network promo



Nixon appeared on CNN’s Crossfire in the early ‘90s, speaking against the warning labels that resulted from lobbying by Tipper Gore’s PMRC. His opponent was none other than the archconservative Pat Buchanan, who was unable to maintain civility in the face of Nixon’s well-worded arguments. Retiring and un-retiring several times in the 2000s, Nixon’s resume grew to include actor (playing Jerry Lee Lewis drummer James Van Eaton in Great Balls of Fire) and disc jockey — both on satellite radio, where he hosted a political show called Lying Cocksuckers, and on terrestrial stations, including local KGB FM. He left the building at age 66 on February 7, while on the Outlaw Country Cruise, due to what has been reported as a cardiac event.

(For more, see Mojo Nixon Comix & Stories)

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Bluefin disappear but should soon return – Good yellowtail bite down south

Lake level lowered at Lake Jennings for repairs
Next Article

Tasting the beers and the food around the Ensenada Beer Fest

A comprehensive assessment proves impossible, but fun to pursue
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.