Mingering Mike - an IMAGINARY record collection?!

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  • jinx74jinx74 2,287 Posts
    best find in a few years from what ive heard. this is amazing.

    research-wise.
    1)photocopy the picture and some of the jackets (never walk around the ogs) and show them around.
    2)talk to old record store owners...not the kids that work there
    3)run the old black bars and ask bartenders.
    4)theres gotta be old jazz and soul singers/musicians still playing in the area. ask! ask! ask!
    5)any real deep deep collectors in that area? ask them.

    this is something that needs to be preserved man. ive never seen anything like it. would love to hear tracks. shit i would buy cdrs of this shit. congrats!

  • Man, I'm so glad you guys are as excited about these as I am- I showed em to everybody in my office after I found em and everybody thought I was a total freak!!

    I'm busy at work right now, but I promise to answer your questions and post more pix and details from the covers as soon as I can. A lot of the covers are unfinished and are only penciled in, but they're still pretty cool. Just wait until you see the lyrics!

    I actually work as a private investigator, so I'll do my best to track Mingering Mike down. Shouldn't be too hard- I know the dealer who I bought these from, and I know which storage facility they came from.

    Fatback, I hope you find those 45's! We can combine them all and come up with a full discography!

    Btw, some of the covers are by another dude called "Joseph War". I don't know if this was a buddy or musical partner of Mike's, or an alter ego or what. I'll post those, too (the artwork is definitely by the same guy).

    Peace!

  • djdaydjday 2 Posts
    I gazillionth what everyone has said on here. Incredible stuff.
    Getting a glimpse into someone's soul like that is raer. Shit is touching for real. You should see what's up with the article jump off with the quickness.

  • DocBeezyDocBeezy 1,918 Posts
    Yeah man. Fresh shit. I really would like to see the outcome and full article detailing this. Amazing.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    jinx74 said:
    best find in a few years from what ive heard. this is amazing.

    research-wise.
    1)photocopy the picture and some of the jackets (never walk around the ogs) and show them around.
    2)talk to old record store owners...not the kids that work there
    3)run the old black bars and ask bartenders.
    4)theres gotta be old jazz and soul singers/musicians still playing in the area. ask! ask! ask!
    5)any real deep deep collectors in that area? ask them.

    this is something that needs to be preserved man. ive never seen anything like it. would love to hear tracks. shit i would buy cdrs of this shit. congrats!

    I am betting, this guy was not a musician, and never showed his art to anyone. I bet he went to work, then went home and created his alter egos. And I guess he went to the record store some too.

    Dori these are incredible!

    So did any one see "The Throne" at the National Portrait Gallery. I don't know if it's still on display somewhere, but I saw it there in the 80's. The story, as I recall, was this postman went home every night for years, and worked on this incredible alter he was making in his garage. He had a whole religious world view that was driving his work. As I recall it was not discovered until his death.

    Dan

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    indiana45s said:
    If a person went to such great lengths to make album covers, there is almost near certainty that they did some kind of recording.

    You think so? To me, it seems like all of this is obviously the handiwork of someone trying to get as close as possible to the music they love and the lifestyle that said music represents. But, the heightened degree of the mimicry (as well as the approach taken) makes me suspect that the guy was a non-musician--that, had he had the resources to at all reproduce anything approximating the musical content, he wouldn't have focused so intensely on the packaging. Plus, though I can't exactly pinpoint why, the fact that he painted right on the vinyl makes me think that the actual music was a very small part of the equation for Mike. All of the depictions are pretty literal: nightclubs, concert halls, shows in the park, fights, drugs. It seems like here he's reaching more for an emulation of the attitude, of the lifestyle; that, in his mind, the central creative act--the act of producing the music that would actually gain him entree into that world, that lifestyle--was probably relegated to the role of bothersome middle-man.

    That being said, I sure hope I'm wrong. Any transmissions from this guy would almost certainly be nothing short of revelatory.

  • LaserWolf said:
    So did any one see "The Throne" at the National Portrait Gallery. I don't know if it's still on display somewhere, but I saw it there in the 80's. The story, as I recall, was this postman went home every night for years, and worked on this incredible alter he was making in his garage. He had a whole religious world view that was driving his work. As I recall it was not discovered until his death.

    Dan

    I went last year to see the The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly, but the Gallery's closed until 2006. It was kind of a pilgrimage for me - the poet denis johnson wrote a long poem about the Throne. It's maker, James Hampton, worked as a janitor for the appropriately generic GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION in D.C.

    When this thread came up, the first thing I thought of was the throne. good call Dan. Would be strange if James Hampton and Mingering Mike were somehow connected.

    Chimp, it couldn't have fallen into better hands... I mean, a PI!

  • johmbolayajohmbolaya 4,472 Posts
    Amazing pieces of work. It kind of goes back to that time when we were all kids and wanted to be the people we saw on the record covers. If you can't find this Mike guy, maybe someone can find a family member. It would be nice to attach a story to this.

  • Keep this one rising to the top.

    He is not a Black Imaginary Funk Superstar Folk Artist,

    but an Imaginary Funk Superstar Folk Artist Who Happens To Be Black.

    anybody know what make/model of portable he's got in
    that picnic in the park jumpoff?

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    Just got back from that spot Chimp and only found 4 more Mingering Mike 45s to add to your collection. Hit me an email. There're yours.

    It's a Boy's Life/Two Way Traffic
    A Love Song for Minger/A Brand New Key
    Be Yourself (and Nobody Else)/Just Not Made for One Another
    and...

    Everybody's Out of Town/Mingering Mike--performed by Big Dynamic "D"

  • DCarfagnaDCarfagna 983 Posts
    That's some real magical stuff there.

    Mildly reminds me of the guy who did that Pavement LP cover and would sell his
    wares at the WFMU swap, only Mingering Mike is much realer and much more
    human. Geez, this is astounding stuff.

    There was a blind couple in Kansas City who would remove all of the jackets from their LPs and replace them with new covers. The back cover would be all braille describing the songs, etc., while the front would have a certain type of tactile material (say sandpaper or felt) that would let the couple know what kind of music was inside the jacket. Country was felt, rock was sandpaper, jazz was this construction paper material...really interesting system of classification.

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    Also, Chimp you should go back because there are 2-3 boxes full of tapes--some have "MM" on them and others are unlabled . Feel me? Could be the demos for "Brother of the Dragon."

    FUCK!

  • jinx74jinx74 2,287 Posts
    ummm maybe im reading the post wrong but what do those 45s sound like?

    buy any paper stuff too like pictures, letters, anything that deals with this stuff. envelopes, or anything that is associated with this. as cool as this is i love paper stuff and that is sometimes cooler than the actual music itself.

    tip: never leave anything. take it all. tapes, reels, photos, 1 sheets, stationary, music, everything.

  • Unbelievable. I haven't looked at the board for awhile and was floored when I saw this stuff. You should seriously consider hooking up with the excellent Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, they will flip over this. I have an anthropologist friend in DC who happens to have a strong soul music/collecting background, and he is very interested in talking with you about the whole thing...if you're up for it please get in touch with me: hakenig@earthlink.net

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing this with all.

    -Haim K.

  • pj4533pj4533 481 Posts
    Fatback said:
    Also, Chimp you should go back because there are 2-3 boxes full of tapes--some have "MM" on them and others are unlabled . Feel me? Could be the demos for "Brother of the Dragon."

    FUCK!

    Are you even joking? Dam.....ya'll must've not had known just what you were doing! Someone go get that shit!

    I wanna be able to buy the Best of Mingering Mike in the two-double-oh-quattro!

    -pj

  • Fatback said:
    Also, Chimp you should go back because there are 2-3 boxes full of tapes--some have "MM" on them and others are unlabled . Feel me? Could be the demos for "Brother of the Dragon."

    FUCK!

    Yeah get back on your bike dog and go ghet them tapes.

    E.T. phone home!

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    Chimp's taking care of it, Gentlemen. Calm down.

  • vicariousimaginaryrecordscoregiddyupgochimpgoraer!

  • Fatback said:
    Chimp's taking care of it, Gentlemen. Calm down.

    I can't calm down.

    Unlabeled cassette collecting is the last refuge of the damned thing.

    "Only one copy known to exist in all of mankind"

  • RaystarRaystar 1,106 Posts
    Secret_Chimp said:




    Wow... this ones still in its shrink!...

  • TREWTREW 2,037 Posts
    jumping the gun:

    soulstrut field trip to wherever the damn things get displayed..yay!!

  • DocBeezyDocBeezy 1,918 Posts
    TREW said:
    jumping the gun:

    soulstrut field trip to wherever the damn things get displayed..yay!!

    Jump that gun though! Everyone is mad giddy over this shit!

    Mingering Mike Represent!

    I got my dollars stacked up to by some copies of original recordings.

    Although in a way I would be disappointed if there were recordings. I kinda like the mystery of there being only fake record covers.

    This ish is BONKERS!

    I am just floored by all of this.

  • chrischris 287 Posts
    somehow he got that joseph war into the shrink of a b.j. thomas lp!

    Attached files

  • dollar_bindollar_bin I heartily endorse this product and/or event 2,312 Posts
    Secret_Chimp said:


    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!

    this isn't ment to be a nit picky thing, but just as a help to figure out who Mingering Mike is--Just when did Barcodes start appearing on records? Might help nail down when these things were actually made, I can't imagine bar-codes were being printed on records before 1976. Surely one of the record nerds here has the earliest known bar codes. Looking at the records I have lying around here at work, the earliest one with a barcode is dated 1979, an environmental sounds recording on the Syntonic Research Inc. label

  • djdazedjdaze 3,099 Posts
    dollar_bin said:
    Secret_Chimp said:


    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!

    this isn't ment to be a nit picky thing, but just as a help to figure out who Mingering Mike is--Just when did Barcodes start appearing on records? Might help nail down when these things were actually made, I can't imagine bar-codes were being printed on records before 1976. Surely one of the record nerds here has the earliest known bar codes. Looking at the records I have lying around here at work, the earliest one with a barcode is dated 1979, an environmental sounds recording on the Syntonic Research Inc. label

    I think 1979 was the year...I have the first Mad Magazine with a barcode and I'm pretty sure it's from that year, I'd have to get home and look though. The issue has a huge barcode for the cover and it says "we hope this issue clogs all the cash registers" or something like that.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    djdaze said:
    dollar_bin said:
    Secret_Chimp said:


    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!

    this isn't ment to be a nit picky thing, but just as a help to figure out who Mingering Mike is--Just when did Barcodes start appearing on records? Might help nail down when these things were actually made, I can't imagine bar-codes were being printed on records before 1976. Surely one of the record nerds here has the earliest known bar codes. Looking at the records I have lying around here at work, the earliest one with a barcode is dated 1979, an environmental sounds recording on the Syntonic Research Inc. label

    I think 1979 was the year...I have the first Mad Magazine with a barcode and I'm pretty sure it's from that year, I'd have to get home and look though. The issue has a huge barcode for the cover and it says "we hope this issue clogs all the cash registers" or something like that.

    Yeah, I don't know exactly, but I'm sure there were no barcodes before late 70's

    This is starting to remind me of the golden ticket part in the beginning of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory

  • CosmoCosmo 9,767 Posts
    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    dude fucking for real

    it took mingering make for me to say:

    i might just have to supercede this whole "out at 500" thing i had planned. this deserves my utmost attention.

    fatback, chimp - dudes for real STAY ON THIS!!!

    im like hollering at all my peoples up here in NY because this is so fucking large...

    dude whatever you guys need - $$$$, time et al. - you know theres mad resources up on this board. fucking holler at me for WHATEVER you need meng ("i really mean it"!!!)


    yo man... this shit... my mind



    fucking for real.

    mingering mike = the only motherfucker in the world who can make the alien do an about-face on his convictions and promises to himself.

    THE BIGGEST SPIDERHOLE I HAVE SEEN YET

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    hcrink said:


    Yeah, I don't know exactly, but I'm sure there were no barcodes before late 70's

    This is starting to remind me of the golden ticket part in the beginning of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory

    The first commercial UPC code ever scanned was on a pack of gum in 1974. I saw something about it on Food Network this past weekend. Word to Wrigley.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    Cosmo said:
    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    dude fucking for real

    it took mingering make for me to say:

    i might just have to supercede this whole "out at 500" thing i had planned. this deserves my utmost attention.

    fatback, chimp - dudes for real STAY ON THIS!!!

    im like hollering at all my peoples up here in NY because this is so fucking large...

    dude whatever you guys need - $$$$, time et al. - you know theres mad resources up on this board. fucking holler at me for WHATEVER you need meng ("i really mean it"!!!)


    yo man... this shit... my mind



    fucking for real.

    mingering mike = the only motherfucker in the world who can make the alien do an about-face on his convictions and promises to himself.

    THE BIGGEST SPIDERHOLE I HAVE SEEN YET

    Mingering Mike is man! First the raers, now he's bringing the Alien back!

    Hey, have reporters been calling anyone else about "the Soulstrut phenomenon"?

    Oh yeah, Thanks but I got my houseboy runnin' to save-on to pick up a copies of the mag before it sells out. I hear Mingering Mike will be Time's man of the year if he ever comes outta his spiderhole.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    james said:
    hcrink said:


    Yeah, I don't know exactly, but I'm sure there were no barcodes before late 70's

    This is starting to remind me of the golden ticket part in the beginning of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory

    The first commercial UPC code ever scanned was on a pack of gum in 1974. I saw something about it on Food Network this past weekend. Word to Wrigley.

    Damn! I didn't know they went back that far. Mingering Mike was clearly one cutting edge mofo!
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