Mojo Nixon, the unpredictable rock and roller behind the 1987 MTV-favorite novelty song “Elvis Is Everywhere,” died Wednesday (Feb. 7) at age 66.
According to a statement on his Facebook page, Nixon (real name: Neill Kirby McMillan Jr.) died after suffering a “cardiac event” during an Outlaw Country Cruise on which he was a performer.
“How you live is how you should die,” the Facebook post reads. “Mojo Nixon was full-tilt, wide-open rock hard, root hog, corner on two wheels + on fire… Passing after a blazing show, a raging night, closing the bar, taking no prisoners + a good breakfast with bandmates and friends. A cardiac event on the Outlaw Country Cruise is about right… & that’s just how he did it. Mojo has left the building. Since Elvis is everywhere, we know he was waiting for him in the alley out back. Heaven help us all.”
Nixon had left on the Outlaw Country Cruise with his band The Toadliquors out of Miami on Sunday (Feb. 4). Other performers on the cruise include Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams. In addition to performing, Nixon also recorded a SiriusXM Session at Sea with the band 49 Winchester, in his other role as a SiriusXM host on the show Loon in the Afternoon on Steven Van Zandt’s Outlaw Country channel.
Born in North Carolina in 1957, Nixon made his way to California in the early ’80s and teamed up with musician Skid Roper, with whom he released six albums between 1985 and 1990. Roper played washboard while Nixon played guitar and sang his own lyrics. Their 1987 project Bo-Day-Shus!!!, which included “Elvis Is Everywhere,” peaked at No. 187 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Nixon also hit the Billboard charts with “Don Henley Must Die” — a savage song that takes aim at the Eagles frontman from his 1990 solo album Otis — which was a No. 20 hit on Alternative Airplay.
In an interview with the Austin Chronicle, Nixon recalled the night when Henley himself showed up at his gig at Austin, Texas’ Hole in the Wall venue in 1992 and asked to join him onstage. “He was sh-t-faced and he goes, ‘I want to sing that song, especially the part about not getting together with Glenn Frey!’” Nixon said. “He was beltin’ that sh– out, screaming like he was Johnny f—in’ Rotten.”
In addition to his music career, Nixon also worked as an actor, appearing in the 1989 Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire! and starring as Toad in the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie.
A documentary about Nixon, The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon, debuted at the 2022 South by Southwest film festival and was released digitally in March of last year.
First appeared on www.billboard.com