June 27, 2006

Mojo, Martha's Face, And Me At The Spirit Club - or - A Midnight Moment From 1986

A band I was "managing" in 1986 played fairly often at a dark little place called the Spirit Club in San Diego, sometimes headlining and sometimes slotting in midweek, mid-lineup. One night Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper were playing there too.

This was around Summer 1986, and I'm guessing we opened for them, as usually two or three acts did 40 to 60 minutes each leading up to the headline at 11 pm.

A few college buddies of mine came to the show and while we were at the bar in the back, watching Mojo jump (successfully) from table to table and rant and ramble, one of our party pulled out an MTV studio ID Badge and handed it to me.

It was not his ID Badge, exactly, not legally, but he was really proud of it and thought Mojo ought to see it.

This guy with the purloined badge was the younger brother of my college buddy's girlfriend and was visiting from New York. He worked at the ever-growing MTV studios checking the right people in and throwing the wrong people out.

And this guy currently, inexplicably, owned Martha Quinn's official-but-obviously-lost MTV studios ID Badge. In all its purty young smiley Quinnish glory.

Mojo had performed "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin" minutes before, and was probably in the middle of his Elvis is Everywhere tirade, but in any case this was a coincidence too cool to pass up. (Despite the fact that I didn't also have a matching Fake-Beard-and-Sunglasses Elvis Presley Stuckey's Cafe Busboy ID, which are slightly less difficult to come by than Martha Quinn's MTV studios Badge.)

As an aside, Mojo claims that the Elvis is Everywhere schtick came to him in 1987, and he may be right. Meaning, maybe I've incorporated my later memories of it from its annoyingly constant MTV presence after that. Elvis is everywhere in the time space continuum too.

So after Mojo's calisthenic set I walked up to him and flashed Martha's ID.

Mojo says in his online bio that he was rendered speechless for the first and only time in his life in 1992 when Don Henley unexpectedly jumped onstage with him in a small club in Texas to sing along with Mojo performing "Don Henley Must Die".

But I beg to differ. At least in that case in Texas he had a song to finish. Words already prepared.

In the Spirit Club that night in 1986, he looked exactly like he might if he was trying to determine if his own picture was on the driver's license he was about to hand to a police officer: Can't. Quite. Make. Out. The. Face.

When he finally realized what he was holding he blasted out with "No f*-- way, f*--- dude *--! *---- where the *--- did you mother*-- *--- get *--- *--, mother*---! *--!"

Something along those lines. And so another round of 1 a.m. rock dive-bar guzzlry broke out and a good time was had by all, as always.

This was early in Mojo's career and I'm sure the momentary sheen wore clean off since not long after even he became an MTV-badge-holding personality. I'll have to send him a note or an email and see if he remembers jumping around the Spirit Club in San Diego with Martha Quinn's ID about 20 years ago.

This little incident is not in his bio and that's a little dissappointing, is all. Understandable, to be fair, because looking back over the blur of a rock-tour career probably only allows so many details to resolve.

Details like:
"11-8-95 Country Dick Montana joins Elvis in the great beyond on stage in the middle of a song at a sold-out show in Whistler, British Columbia. It could have only been better if he had been getting a hand job from the club owner's wife at the same time."

The 1980s were ridiculous.


At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Mike Sheffler said...

So I can't definitively say if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I have no idea who Mojo Nixon is. Surely, the name sounds familiar, but ... It sounds like the '80s were ridiculous indeed.

At 6:32 AM, Blogger Don Sheffler said...

Mike, that is great. Hey, I saw the guy perform and I still had no idea who he was.


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