Flipping though the new entries on my Bloglines RSS reader, a throw-away reference to Mojo Nixon on Drink at Work sent me down memory lane. Reading through his bio, which is beyond funny got me started stumbling through more than a few memories of Mojo shows at Tipitina's and other venues.
Even better, it lead me to Mojo's Bootleg Shack where there's a 1987 recording from Baton Rouge. I wasn't at that show, but I was at Tip's a few days earlier to see Mojo and Skid Roper. If I recall correctly, the opening acts were The Dick Nixons and Too Much Joy, but that might have been a different bill.
The thing that stands out was that during "Mushroom Maniac" (a call-and-response ode to psychedelic mushrooms) Mojo decided he wanted to jump off the stage into the crowd to try to throw the water bottle he was using to pound out the rhythm through a basketball hoop. He started by working the line "Y'all gonna part," which the crowd parroted back to him, "Like the Red Sea." It took two or three times and much arm waving before we in the audience got the hint.
After leaping to the floor, Mojo took a few throws at the hoop, and then went to jump back on to the stage. He slipped and hit the floor hard. Skid leaned over the stage and quickly said "Uhm, show's over."
After a little confusion, a quiet call is heard: "Who the fuck?" A few voices in the crowd provided the response: "Who the fuck?" "Spilled their beer?" "Spilled their beer." "I think I broke." "I think I broke." "My leg." "My leg." Pretty quickly after that Mojo was back on stage for the rest of a very raucous show.
Two other Mojo memories:
Another evening at Tip's, I got the chance to talk briefly with Mojo before the first act started — he was waiting by the bar for food or a drink or something when I was trying.
And I saw Mojo's with the Toadliquors backing him up during South by Southwest in 1991. He had the audience do the "Magic Mushrooms Dance," which turned out to be the MC Hammer "Hammertime" shuffle.