Reversing the Numbness

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mingering Mike

I get a lot of press releases, but this one, for a book that's being promoted by a music company called Girlie Action, caught my eye:

Mingering Mike
The Amazing Career of An Imaginary Soul Superstar
Publication Date: May 1, 2007

One cold December morning in 2003, Dori Hadar - DJ by night, criminal investigator by day - was digging through crates of records at a Washington, D.C., flea market. There he unknowingly stumbled into the elaborate world of Mingering Mike - a soul superstar of the 1960s and '70s who released an astonishing fifty albums and at least as many singles in just ten years. But Hadar had never heard of him, and he realized why on closer inspection: every album in the crate - as well as the records themselves - were handmade of cardboard. Each package was intricately crafted, complete with gatefold interiors, extensive linear notes, and grooves drawn onto the "vinyl" - some albums were even covered in shrinkwrap, as if purchased at real record stores.

Hadar put his detective skills to work and soon found himself face-to-face with Mingering Mike nearly thirty years since his last album. Their friendship blossomed and Mike revealed the story of his life and the mythology of his many albums, hit singles, and movie soundtracks. A solitary boy raised by his brothers, sisters, and cousins, Mike lost himself in a world of his own imaginary superstardom, basing songs and albums on his and his family's experiences. Early teenager songs obsessed with love and heartache soon gave way to social themes surrounding the turbulent era of civil rights protests and political upheaval - brought even closer to home when Mike himself went underground, dodging the government for years after going AWOL from basic training during the Vietnam War.

I'm going to have to pick up this book. Meet Mingering Mike.

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