Best known for his hilarious 1987 MTV hit "Elvis Is Everywhere," roots-rocker Mojo Nixon, 39, has moved beyond Presley pantheism to more gonzo works, including "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child," "Don Henley Must Die" and now "Bring Me the Head of David Geffen," from his 10th album, Gadzooks!!! The Homemade Bootleg (Needletime). When Nixon's Mojo isn't working on the road, he resides quietly in San Diego with his wife and two kids. Nixon—real name Neill Kirby McMillan Jr.—spoke with senior writer Steve Dougherty.
Mojo came from where?
The key event was, unfortunately, the death of my father. He ran a radio station in Danville, Va., that played soul music—"WILA: the black spot on your dial." He died about 20 years ago. Then I didn't feel so obligated to go to law school, as he and my mother had drilled into me from the womb. I have a big mouth—I could take on Johnnie Cochran—but I hate school, so I didn't go.
How did "Don Henley" happen?
In 1990 my wife made me watch the Grammys. Don Henley, who was in the Eagles—the country Monkees—was being hailed as Bob Dylan Part Two because he got a subscription to The Nation. I felt a need to say something about this.
Ever hear from any of your subjects?
Debbie Gibson took it with good humor. A friend of mine on radio interviewed her and had me call her on the air. She went, "Ooooh, it's that guy."