Mullen: Some Foreign Bastard

Dreams don’t come true by themselves.

We had bands, and Brendan Mullen let people hear them. We hacked out a culture, and Brendan put it in books and museums; now it’s History. We owned records by Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor and Clifton Chenier and Alex Chilton and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Brendan brought their physical, radical sweat to drip on us.

Here’s Brendan, knocking around behind his drums with the Satintones in 1977, amateur energy incarnate. Here’s Brendan on the phone in 1987, cajoling Guns N’ Roses to attend the first L.A. Weekly Music Awards. Here’s Brendan at 10,000 parties, behind the turntable or bending your ear, spinning out the subtle interconnections of every rock, jazz and blues artist, waving his hands around, gnawing his points home with comic, beaver incisors — stories, stories, stories. Here’s Brendan in some obscure temple of knowledge, challenging the mysteries of Theosophy. Here’s young Brendan with hair, on a Hollywood hilltop, shrugging a perspective for a film camera. Here’s middle-aged Brendan, sheltering his shaved dome with a porkpie and favoring his contrary neck bones. There will never be an old Brendan.

Who’s going to sit up with us all night talking about Captain Beefheart and the Beach Boys? Who’s going to infuriate and entertain us? Who’s going to be right there for us with a loving hand, in the best times and the worst?

Some other Scottish-English refugee, journalist, visionary, musician and restless omnivorous intelligence, I suppose.

Or not.

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