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Mike Hudson Of The Pagans Passes At The Age Of 61

Mike Hudson on mic with the Pagans, 1979


It is not untypical of journalist, novelist, and punk master of the Pagans Mike Hudson, that even on his Facebook last night, word of his death at the age of 61 was met with disbelief in some quarters. No information except a cryptic “Pray For Mike Hudson,He’s Not Doing Well” baffling his many friends, was followed by the less cryptic “Mike Hudson passed away tonight in his Los Angeles area home at 8:40 pm. As stubborn as he was handsome…Whether behind a typewriter or fronting The Pagans, he was a force to be reckoned with. He will be dearly missed by many. Rest In Peace Mike!” The “stubborn as handsome” is a little on the odd side. His significant other, or perhaps former other  it’s hard to keep up, Evita Corby, posted the “Niagara Falls Reporter,”  the paper he founded, report (here), without comment.

The thing is, faking his death is something you can easily imagine the mercurial leader of the Pagans doing. So is dying. According to the Niagara Falls Reporter “He died of sepsis from a recently torn bowel.” He also had advanced colon cancer and as little as two months to live. He decided to forego an operation and died at home yesterday at 840pm PST.

I hope he did fake it, they simply don’t make them like Hudson anymore. His 2014 Hollywood High  was a typical reason why he will be sorely missed, no nonsense late 1970s punk rock, fast, loud, simple, and then more, from the Lou Reed like spoken word art pop of “Fame Whore” to the punk blues Stones-y “Death Letter” which coulda made its way off Metamorphosis replete with Ry Cooder slide guitar soundalike. I loved the album, still do, wrote a rave, and became friendly with Hudson.

Mike and his brother, drummer Brian Hudson, formed the Pagans in Cleveland, Ohio in 1977. His brother died in 1991, and Mike went from band to band, and pursuit to pursuit, including six books, and much political journalism. Always one step ahead of an eviction, Mike’s life in L.A. seemed to dissolve the world’s from Cleveland and New York punk and transplant them in one piece to an LA underground rock scene that measured up in drugs and alcohol to 1979, from timeless Peter Pans running out the clock. Mike was always hustling, always hungry, missing fame and fortune in the punk whirl that took off around his close friends Peter Laughner and Stiv Bators. With no future, he grabbed his own fortune, but like a gunslinger in the early 1900s, he fell out of time.

To know Mike is to be barraged with horrendous stories of his treatment of friends and lovers, and himself, he almost killed himself in a drunken car crash two years ago: another incident we assumed was mythmaking till pictures of a seriously injured Hudson in a hospital emerged. But all those stories you heard, yeah, probably all true.

Mike once wrote a devastating putdown of a rock star for rock nyc and then decided not to print it. He also planned to co-write my Rolling Stones novel with me, and we decided to include fictional characters based upon ourselves. After he bailed, I wrote it alone and decided not to include the person based upon me but kept the one based upon Mike.  I am currently posting the novel here on a weekly basis and Mike loved that he was in a work of fiction (for a second time).

If he loved you, and if you didn’t cross him, he was a true friend, and kept promising to visit the East Coast after missing us on the Pagan’s tour of Europe last year. When Alyson Camus was threatened by Tom Verlaine, it was Hudson who cut through to the heart of the matter and threatened Verlaine with physical harm. He performed in LA and Alyson Camus reviewed it for us with nothing but pleasure while other people claimed he was very drunk, Alyson didn’t think inebriation affected his performance. But that’s Hudson’s spirit, so reckless that even now we don’t know if he has truly passed, remains the stuff of legend. He thought of himself as a legend and he was more legendary than he thought himself. I sure hope Mike is just trying to bail on some bad checks, I for one would be fine with it. “Some of us were messed up, some of us kept looking up.” Let that stand as his epitaph.


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