On Passing in Passing
Psychobilly legend Mojo Nixon died yesterday. Psychobilly was a sort of punk rock Rockabilly revival movement.
I'm sure a few people are out there reading this and thinking, "What does this guy mean was? Ain't no was about it. Psychobilly...IS."
But it really isn't. Psychobilly is no more a thing today than rockabilly, punk, or ragtime are actually a thing today. Artistic and social movements codified and ossified into genres to be aped by generation after generation like a Stairway to Heaven at Guitar Center.
I don't mean to walk to school in a blizzard uphill both ways on you, but I was a hardcore punk in a blue-collar city in '83. Various silly haircuts and everything. It was different. I moved through many music scenes over the years. They're different now, too. A good music scene has five years or so of pure energy, begets a few genres, and then the energy moves on to make a new kind of sound. Punk had a good run, but it petered out halfway through the third wave. It was overdue. A truly great music scene only lasts the summer.
At any rate, now that you're riled up, I should tell you that I never got much into Mojo Nixon. His brand of rebellion struck me as . . . safe. That said, I've been singing Gonna Put My Face on a Nuclear Bomb for almost 40 years. Y'know, because I was there at the time, walking uphill to and from school. Thanks for the giggles, Mojo.