Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper - Elvis Is Everywhere

Every now and then, MTV would highlight something bizarre -- as in straight out of Dr. Demento bizarre.  (Weird Al immediately comes to mind).  One of these unlikely success stories was the psychobilly craziness of Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper.

Mojo Nixon (born as Neill McMillan) and Skid Roper (born as Richard Banke) began working together in San Diego in the early 1980's.  Nixon was the hyperactive hillbilly, while Roper provided the accompaniment (mostly the washboard, I believe).  Although the duo had "novelty band" written all over them, Nixon's manic monologues and the band's rockabilly/cowpunk/psychobilly sound generated some airplay on college radio.

For some strange reason, MTV got behind "Elvis Is Everywhere" from the band's third album Bo-Day-Shus!!!  Even better, the video music channel used Nixon as a part time VJ and ran a few short clips between videos ... well, just because.  The results led to some short-lived success, as the album charted (#189) and the song received some airplay.  [We're particularly partial to the claim that Commodore Elvis needs boats.]

Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper continued releasing albums through the 1980's before breaking up in 1989.  Nixon continued working, but was hampered when his label went bankrupt.  However, he remained in the industry as a musician and personality (though there have been several retirements) to the present day.

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