Mingering Mike - an IMAGINARY record collection?!

Secret_ChimpSecret_Chimp 915 Posts
edited March 2019 in Record Collecting
Okay, so I hit the flea market last Thursday in the freezing cold and came upon this dope soundtrack collection - Melinda, Sweetback's Badass Song, The Marketts Play Batman, Mannix, More Mission Impossbile, etc.., when I came upon this box of... fake records!!

That's right- about 35 or 40 hand-drawn and hand-painted album covers made between 1969 and 1976, some complete with fake cardboard records inside them. Apparently some guy who called himself "Mingering Mike" put together all of these albums as if he were the musician.. the covers are complete with hand-drawn barcodes, track listings, lyrics, drawings of the band(s), and in some cases, liner notes. He did soul and funk albums and blaxploitation soundtracks (for movies that never existed), and even a christmas album!

Now, I wouldn't say that it's the artwork is what's so cool about these things (though some of em are pretty cool in their own way)- it's the mystery of it all! Who is Mingering Mike? Was he a musician here in DC who actually played out in clubs? Or was he some kooky guy who sat at home and fantasized about being a soul star? Whoever he was, I'm intrigued.

There's definitely a theme among some of them regarding heroine and drugs.. some of the liner notes and lyrics are very personal (and moving) accounts of friends he's lost to drugs, etc. The records are kind of like a diary, I guess you could say, due to their personal nature. I feel kind of weird posting pictures of them on here, but I thought you guys might appreciate them. Needless to say I bought all of em (and all of the soundtracks!), as I knew that I'd never come across anything like this again.

Here's a long shot: anyone happen to know Mingering Mike? This stuff came out of an abandoned/forfeited storage unit here in DC, they probably mean a lot to the guy.. I guess he could be sick, down and out, in jail, or worse.

Anyways, here's a sampling of some of my favorites- I'll post some more photos if there's any interest (check out the photo with the quote from James Brown at the very bottom!).



  • Dude, be aware that you probably got some one of a kind records or better yet covers...your story is touchy man...makes me wanna wonder too..

    Big up Chimp for showing some humanity when it comes to records unlike most people out here...

  • gibla74gibla74 182 Posts
    I genuinely think these are amazing. Visually they are similar to a style of illustration which is very popular at the moment but more than that I really want to know this guys story.....

  • Trully Amazing.They say so much but at the same time so little. Thank you very much for sharing.

  • Those are really cool. Thanks for posting them. I'd like to see more.

  • Whoa Chimp! those are some nice pieces. i'd imagine they'd fetch a pretty peny from a folk/outsider art collector. You need to go to antiques roadshow with that haul.

  • soulmarcosasoulmarcosa 4,296 Posts
    Definitely the find of the year. Not only are these incredibly personal, but they're an amazing time capsule of what was influential in pop culture around 1974. I guess he was a Syl Johnson fan, judging by his quoting "I'm Talkin' Bout Freedom."

    Post more - these are incredible.

    But it's weird.. isn't "minger" UK slang for an ugly girl or a generally ugly, unpleasant and/or stanky person?

  • wow chimp. cool find. thanks for sharing it. good luck finding the guy. Are there any clues on any of the other records (real or fake) that might give you his last name? with that, you'll be able to find out what became of Mike. If you see the flea mkt seller again, ask him what else was in the storage unit.

  • RaystarRaystar 1,106 Posts
    Heres the one that didn't show...

    This is really interesting...

  • Birdman9Birdman9 5,417 Posts

    nice find, and serious props for having the prescence of mind to actually snap them up...because in the heat of the chase many of us would have let those go only to think later "oh, shit, those were pretty great...why did I pass?"

    So I guess now all us DC folks should be on the look out for any other Mingering Mike pieces...and ask around if anyone has any info. I am just amazed by the detail- I mean drawing ONE fake sleeve is dedication, but coming up with themes, titles, credits and LINER NOTES? that's a dude who is seriously into what he's doing. And I think we have all seen where someone has lost the sleeve and attempted to replicate the original sleeve, but this is another dimension completely.

  • PlantweedPlantweed 394 Posts
    Some Raw Vision types would wanna see these, they are genuine outsider/naive/folk art pieces.

  • tripledoubletripledouble 7,636 Posts
    thats a testament to creativity. maybe in the days before television completely ruled the world??
    that would be really thorough if you found mingering mike. maybe you should ask around in some older record stores. but if they came out a storage unit, theres a strong chance that the covers arent foremost on mikes mind right now. i hope he's doing ok, cause thats a dude with some heart.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    Wow! I'm not usually jealous of other peoples finds, but these are really, really cool.

    Wait a minute, I didn't mean that. I am jealous of other peoples finds.

  • crazypoprockcrazypoprock 1,037 Posts
    How much did you pay for these?

    a very important find...i want to somehow "sample" that artwork. can mpc's read jpegs?

  • Damn! That's an ill find. That's a wall of fame in one box. That would be my house art for real.

  • pacmanpacman 1,114 Posts
    Dude, that is absolutely incredible. I'd be framing those jawns and puttin them up on my wall. Props for picking those up.

  • drewnicedrewnice 5,465 Posts
    WOW, these are all incredible, amazing find! This collection belongs in a museum somewhere. Is the picture of that kid actually the artist? What do you think?

  • drewnicedrewnice 5,465 Posts
    tripledouble said:
    thats a testament to creativity. maybe in the days before television completely ruled the world??
    that would be really thorough if you found mingering mike. maybe you should ask around in some older record stores. but if they came out a storage unit, theres a strong chance that the covers arent foremost on mikes mind right now. i hope he's doing ok, cause thats a dude with some heart.

    I agree, you should definitely do some asking around about this cat. There is a great story behind this, I promise you.

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    Damn Chimp! I was diggin in that same collection and found a ton of some fake 45s! I wasn't man enough to buy them though and I was too cold to realize WTF was going on...


    I'm going back right now to get that shit!

  • mannybolonemannybolone Los Angeles, CA 15,025 Posts
    Hey, you should seriously think about doing something on this for Wax Poetics - maybe track down this cat (if he's still around).


  • what the hell

  • mylatencymylatency 10,475 Posts
    Equal parts Raymond Pettibone and Chris Johansen.... plaese tell me this guy is still around so the Whitney can worship him? Surrious...get him in a magazine STAT.

    gotdamn that imaginary DJ made my day....

  • CosmoCosmo 9,768 Posts

    dude, whats rilly dude?

    fucking MINGERING MIKE!

    dude brought THEE ALIEN out of hiding to challah about this man...

    chimp for real thats the find of the decade - i am not kidding - HOLLER!!!

    i need to know more asap... my mind has been officially blown.

    dude, i been rationing these very last posts by i could NOT HOLD THIS IN.

    "PEOPLE... HOLD ON" (in a major way!)

    you in DC? im on the way holmes. the snow just might tie me up, but ill be there by saturday. think im lying when im not? CHALLAH!!!

    okay, back to the hiding/formulating/transforming/wilding/(staying warm)/g.e.t.t.i.n.g.r.e.a.d.y.f.o.r.t.h.e.u.b.e.r.b.l.a.s.t.o.f.f.f.i.n.a.l.p.o.s.t.s.o.n.s.o.u.l.s.t.r.u.t.a.s.A.I.

    stay tuned

    7 down

    3 to go

    whats really good?

    (mingering mike!)

  • dCastillodCastillo 1,963 Posts
    mannybolone said:
    Hey, you should seriously think about doing something on this for Wax Poetics - maybe track down this cat (if he's still around).


    I second that. This is honestly one of the best threads I've seen on here. Thanks for sharing.

  • GaryGary 3,982 Posts
    Wow man....

  • pacmanpacman 1,114 Posts
    The more I read this thread, look at the pics, and think about this whole thing the more I'm amazed and blown away. You basically have someone's whole life story for a certain time sitting right in your hands done in a way that all of us on this board can relate to. That is some truly amazing junk right there.

  • TREWTREW 2,037 Posts
    "they socked it to him , they must've not had known what they were doing"

    -hot rod ost

    all this talk about putting them in a gallery.. would art folks be into this or is only cool to us records nerds?? second (or third the magazine jump off)

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    soulmarcosa said:

    But it's weird.. isn't "minger" UK slang for an ugly girl or a generally ugly, unpleasant and/or stanky person?

    Yeah, I think you're right, but I also recognize as a term regarding (cover your ears, Marco) meat processing. One of my dad's uncles used to work at a slaughterhouse in Pittsburgh, and I distinctly remember him mentioning a guy who either was a minger or worked the minger--can't remember if "minger" referred to the guy or to the machine. But anyway, maybe Mike worked at a packing house or something. Does much of that industry go on in or around DC?

    Whatever the case, though, I'll add my voice to the chorus, Chimp: those are some pretty effin' remarkable artifacts. Like you said, they obviously represent a lot of Mike's time and effort, and you get many many extra points for your impulse to reunite them with their creator. That shit will definitely come back to you.

  • djdazedjdaze 3,099 Posts
    nah...a lot of people would find this just as amazing as we do, I'm sure. I know this kind of thing would go over great at a spot like La Luz De Jesus in Hollywood. You really need to track this dude down and do a story in Wax Poetics and/or some type of a gallery opening with these (with his consent of course, given that you actually track him down)

    seriously though, you unearthed something very cool.

  • Agent45Agent45 451 Posts
    The factory has been built since 1980 around the city of KARAJ for processing the meat (Beef and Mutton). The factory has been controlled under the mines try of hygiene, treatment and medical training and also the standard office of Iran. The measurement of the land of factory is about 5000 S.Meters and the measurement of building is about 2000 S.Meters. The factory has different automatic machines for slaughtering - mingering - mixing raw materials ö producing Different kinds and sizes of Burgers - Kababs - Pizzas and etc.. The capacity of storage for raw materials is about 600 Tones and the capacity of cold storages (-20 Cen) are about 400 tons and capacity of freezing tunnels are about 20 tons per day. The capacity of productions is about 20 tons per 16 hours.The factory has four refrigeration trucks for transporting , the frozen production to all parts of Iran. The factory has large electrical generator for emergency cases and also a large laboratory with different department for chemical and microbiological tests and also a section for reseach and development for preparing new production. The staffs of factory are about 50 persons including specialists - Technologists - Employees - and workers. The manager of the production is able to produce any kinds of meat production by the test of customers. The factory has a head office at Tehran with computer section and commercial department with qualified staff to transfer all information to customers.

    Start making phone calls.

  • I have to agree with everyone here that this is an amazing folk-art find. Stylistically amateur but really on target for the kind of thing people are collecting nowadays.

    For some reason it reminds of me of Chicago artist Henry Darger.

    Oliver is right. Your top priority now is to track down Mingering Mike. Find out what locker these came out of and secure the original owner's telephone number at any cost. Who knows what you'll find.

    Too bad there is no original music to go with them. But who knows what you'll find if you keep digging. If a person went to such great lengths to make album covers, there is almost near certainty that they did some kind of recording. It may never have been pressed, but tapes must have existed.
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