Never Sold Out – RIP Mike Hudson Of The Pagans
When I got the news that my friend was going to transition this weekend I was sad but I knew it was only a matter of time. I had met my friend Mike in 2011 at The Cleveland Confidential book tour and punk reunion show here in Portland. Mike from the Pagans, Cheetah Chrome from The Dead Boys and Bob Pfeiffer from Human Switchblade.
I always gravitated toward the original punks and rockers of the days you know starting back in the 70’s, when I was just a bit too young but had admired the wave of bands that were all lumped under some underground label punk, new wave etc. I loved the Pagans. I knew that Mike and I would have a brother/sister like connection as I respected not only his works in bands but as a book writer.
I had spoken to him on the phone shortly before their arrival to Portland and looked forward to buying all his books at the show, having him sign them and starting a friendship. We bonded and I knew he would be a good mentor for writing. I had my music mentor Greg Shaw in the 80’s until he passed, it always felt great when souls would meet and you knew there was a reason.
I kept in touch with Mike through the last 6 years, he had left Ohio and relocated to Los Angeles. I had started writing small pieces here on FB to which he felt I had a strong writing of my life stories and encouraged me to write every day. I started writing 5 years ago a memoir of sorts that I had wanted to blog but Mike told me not to make it public and to use the real names. He told me if it is the truth then nobody can sue you and not to worry.
Mike Hudson was pure punk, a rock n roller through and through. He often said we picked a hard life to live. I know Mike had demons as we all do and for that I felt a kinship. The artists and musicians who struggle are the true artists.
Hudson instructed me on all of the ways I could publish either myself or how to shop publishers. He even told me the format I should use called a trade paperback. He told me in the end it would be more financially productive to self publish my memoir. He believed in me so much so I had sent him my first draft manuscript to read and get his thoughts and to do the first line edit. He really hated my long run on sentences and commas…that’s something I can laugh about. When I lose someone close I start writing, so this was just the kick in the butt I needed to finish the project Mike and I will make you proud !
I last saw Mike a year ago, he was wearing Johnny Thunders snake skin cowboy boots, a rock mount western shirt and I introduced him to Chris Wilson and Cyril Jordan. Mike had idolized the Flamin’ Groovies and didn’t want to come off as a fan boy but as it turned out the three of them had a camaraderie that night. Bad ass mother fuckers who didn’t sell out.
Of course with many true artists drugs, alcohol some kind of coping vice comes in to play. Mike was a gentle soul beneath his exterior of a disheveled self but was always able to pull his shit together and create art. He had new records and videos in the works and he kept writing.
I loved Mike “warts and all”, I had his back and that is a true friend. I knew the soul he had was good. Later I found out the time Mike passed yesterday October 27th, which happened to be the same time I lit a candle for him and started writing this piece. I know you are in a better place, called rock and roll heaven. Rest well my friend. I know you’ll hate the grammatical errors but I can hear you laughing too.
The last thing he said to me just a couple of days ago was that he was saving up money so we could all meet for dinner in LA, as the Flamin’ Groovies will be returning to LA for NY’s Eve. We’ll toast to you brother! Until we meet again….