Mojo Nixon, the esteemed alternative musician, actor, and DJ, famed for his 1987 hit “Elvis Is Everywhere,” passed away at the age of 66. Neill Kirby McMillan Jr., known professionally as Mojo Nixon, was discovered deceased today on the annual Outlaw Country Cruise.
A beloved regular on this cruise, Nixon had captivated the audience with a performance just the previous night.His family revealed that the cause of death was a cardiac event. In a heartfelt Facebook statement, his family memorialized him: "August 2, 1957 - February 7, 2024 Mojo Nixon.
Living life full-throttle, Mojo embraced every moment with fervent intensity. His passing, following a night of electrifying performance and joyful camaraderie with bandmates and friends, was as spirited as his life. A cardiac event on the Outlaw Country Cruise seems almost fitting for Mojo's grand exit.
He has indeed left a void, and we imagine Elvis, omnipresent as he is, waiting to greet him. Heaven brace itself for Mojo's arrival."
Musical Beginnings Unfold
Nixon's journey in music began in Denver with the punk band Zebra 123.
His approach, as he described in a 2020 interview for "The Mojo Manifesto" box set, was to infuse roots music with punk rock's raw energy and excitement. Post-Zebra 123, Nixon moved to San Diego and became associated with Country Dick Montana's pre-Beat Farmers band, the Snuggle Bunnies.
He then teamed up with Skid Roper, a multi-instrumentalist. This duo's talent led them to win a Battle of the Bands contest in San Diego, earning them studio time which they maximized to produce three songs. Their partnership led to a deal with Enigma Records, and their 1985 debut album "Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper." Nixon's prominence soared with the 1987 album "Bo-Day-Shus!!!," featuring the hit "Elvis Is Everywhere," which gained MTV exposure and a memorable performance on "The Arsenio Hall Show." Post "Elvis Is Everywhere," Nixon observed a shift in his audience demographics, with more women attending his shows independently.
His subsequent career spanned several albums, collaborations, and satirical songs targeting various pop culture figures. Nixon also explored acting, with roles in the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic "Great Balls of Fire," the "Super Mario Bros." movie, and the "Car 54, Where Are You?" film adaptation.
In his later years, Nixon transitioned to radio, working in Cincinnati and San Diego before joining SiriusXM. Reflecting on his career, Nixon likened himself to a wild, less polished version of Richard Pryor, driven more by boundless enthusiasm than by sheer talent, echoing John Lydon's sentiment of possessing "An unlimited supply!!!" Nixon's legacy remains as a figure who combined audacity with truth, leaving an indelible mark on the world of music and entertainment.