A rabble-rousing guitarist, singer, songwriter and radio host, Mojo Nixon called himself the voice of “the doomed, the damned, the weird.”

He was a gleefully irreverent musician, recording anarchic joke songs like “Elvis Is Everywhere” and “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child.” He was also a staple of SiriusXM, going on a “redneck rampage” each weekday as the host of the Outlaw Country channel’s “Loon in the Afternoon” show.

Nixon, who died Feb. 7 at 66, managed to be a rock-’n’-roll rebel as well as a music-industry jester. Hooting and hollering with a voice that could slip into an good-natured growl, he sang rowdy songs about sex, alcohol, celebrities and politics; took aim at conservative lawmakers as well as “mealy-mouthed do-good politically correct fools”; and showed a talent for the unexpected lyric, rhyming “lawyers” with “evil weasel poseurs” in a song about his hatred of the legal profession.

His death, aboard a country music cruise where he had performed the previous day, was confirmed by Matt Eskey, who played bass with Nixon and directed a 2022 documentary about his life, “The Mojo Manifesto.”

In an email, he said that Nixon was asleep when he had “a cardiac event” – believed to be a heart attack or a stroke – while the Outlaw Country Cruise was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Nixon, who described himself as a mix of Foghorn Leghorn, Elvis Presley and Otis Campbell (Mayberry’s town drunk on “The Andy Griffith Show”), came to national prominence in 1987, when he released his third studio album, “Bo-Day-Shus!!!,” with washboard player and multi-instrumentalist Skid Roper. The record featured the duo’s signature fusion of rockabilly, blues and punk, and was buoyed by the rollicking novelty song “Elvis Is Everywhere,” which catalogued the omnipresence of the King.

“Elvis is everywhere / Elvis is everything / Elvis is everybody / Elvis is still the King,” he sang.

Nixon went on to locate the singer in jeans, cheeseburgers and Nutty Buddy snacks; in the young and in the old; in “the fat, the skinny, the White, the Black”; in comedian Joan Rivers and even in the Bermuda Triangle. The only person who didn’t have Elvis in them – “the evil opposite of Elvis, the anti-Elvis” – was actor Michael J. Fox, then known for playing a young Republican on the sitcom “Family Ties.”

A music video for the song went into heavy rotation on MTV, which enlisted Nixon to make short videos for the network even though he had lampooned one of its original video jockeys, Martha Quinn, in an earlier novelty track.

Nixon went on to perform “Elvis Is Everywhere” on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” to a studio audience wearing paper masks of Presley’s face, and gained additional exposure by sparring with conservative commentator Pat Buchanan on CNN’s “Crossfire.” (“I gather Mojo is not your baptismal name,” Buchanan said, before kicking off a debate about music-industry censorship.)

According to Nixon’s website, the Elvis song erupted out of him “nearly intact” during a concert at the I-Beam nightclub in San Francisco, where he began ranting about the King in the middle of a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Tulane.”

Other songs had more prosaic beginnings: Nixon said he was often inspired by articles in his favorite supermarket tabloid, the Weekly World News.

His repertoire included tongue-in-cheek story songs like “Put a Sex Mo-Sheen in the White House,” a James Brown parody in which he urged President George H.W. Bush to “push the love button, not the nuclear button.” There was also “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child,” in which he sang of having a fur-covered “bigfoot baby” with Gibson, a teen pop sensation whom he claimed to have secretly married in Las Vegas, in a ceremony officiated by actress Joan Collins.

The song’s music video featured actress Winona Ryder as Gibson, performing alongside stand-ins for British singer Rick Astley (whom Nixon called “a pantywaist”), Bud Light’s canine mascot Spuds MacKenzie (“hate that dog, he must die”) and the mononymous pop star Tiffany. The lyrics were apparently too much for MTV, which refused to play the video, according to Rolling Stone.

Nixon later ran into trouble promoting his song “Bring Me the Head of David Geffen,” which was nixed from his 1995 album “Whereabouts Unknown” after his manager and producer feared that Geffen, one of Hollywood’s more feared film and record executives, would take legal action. He had more luck with “Don Henley Must Die,” a sardonic swipe at the Grammy-winning drummer, singer and co-founder of the Eagles, which were then on hiatus.

“He’s serious, pretentious, and I just don’t care,” Nixon sang. “Don Henley must die! / Don’t let him get back together / With Glenn Frey!”

The song became one of his biggest hits, reaching No. 20 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1990 and surprising critics who questioned how Nixon ever ended up on MTV and commercial radio.

As Nixon told it, he was “not that talented” but instead had “an enormous, irrational amount of confidence.”

“People dismiss me as a novelty artist, or, ‘Oh, he’s a cartoon.’ And that’s fine,” he said in an interview last year with Rolling Stone. “I don’t want to be taken seriously. I’m a cult artist.”

The oldest of three children, he was born Neill Kirby McMillan Jr. on Aug. 2, 1957, in Chapel Hill, N.C. He grew up in Danville, Va., on the North Carolina border.

His father owned a local radio station, which turned Nixon on to music after he heard a broadcast of Arthur Conley’s song “Sweet Soul Music.” He later embraced experimental rock bands, including the Velvet Underground and the MC5, and began drumming in his basement.

After studying political science and history at Miami University in Ohio, he briefly lived in London while trying to get involved in Britain’s underground music scene. In 1980, he moved to Denver to work for the national service program VISTA, now part of AmeriCorps. There he formed a punk band, Zebra 123, which was visited by the Secret Service, according to Nixon, when the group tried to organize an “assassination ball” on the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s killing in Dallas.

“They thought we were raising money to shoot the president, and they took a very dim view,” he told the entertainment website the A.V. Club.

Nixon soon moved to San Diego, where he befriended musician Country Dick Montana, whom he described as his “de-mentor,” and began playing with Roper. He said he came up with his stage name during a cross-country bicycle trip in the early 1980s, while drinking cocktails on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

“I decided I should do what I do best, which is to make front-porch boogie-woogie saying things that will hopefully make grandma blush in two or three different ways,” he recalled in a 1990 interview with the New York Times. “I chose the name Mojo Nixon because it’s two words that shouldn’t go together.”

Nixon split up with Roper in 1989 and released his debut solo album, “Otis,” the next year. He later performed with a backing band called the Toadliquors; partnered with former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra for a 1994 album, “Prairie Home Invasion”; and ventured into acting, playing drummer Jimmy Van Eaton in the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic “Great Balls of Fire!” (1989) and portraying a guitarist version of Toad, the Nintendo character, in “Super Mario Bros.” (1993).

Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Adaire (Newman) McMillan; two sons, Rafe Cannonball McMillan and Ruben McMillan; a sister; a brother; and a granddaughter.

Nixon began working in radio in the late 1990s and joined SiriusXM around 2005. He continued to perform intermittently, and often recalled the summer night in 1992 when an audience member at an Austin club joined him onstage for “Don Henley Must Die.” To Nixon’s surprise, it was Henley himself.

“He was drunk out of his mind,” he told the A.V. Club, “so I said, ‘Whaddya want? You wanna fight? You wanna debate?’ And he said, ‘I want to sing the song, especially the part about not getting together with Glenn Frey.’ And it was great. For once in my life, I had nothing to say.”

The Toadliquors went ahead with the song. Henley joined in, then shook hands with the band and went out the door, according to Nixon. On with the show. Next up: a cover of the Eagles’ “Already Gone.”

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