One of Mikey’s final creations prior to his passing was Crushkill Recordings, the indie label dedicated to distributing his and his friends’ music. This collective of like-minded artists has grown over the past few years primarily due to the relentless efforts of Brady O’Rourke, a friend of Mike’s as well as the occasional tour manager for his various projects. The current state of Mikey’s merch, promo and all around legacy is being preserved and furthered by Brady’s maintenance of a concept crafted by Eyedea, and it does not go unnoticed. Fans worldwide continue to purchase, listen to and support both Eyedea’s music and philosophy.
While my conversation with Brady lasted almost three hours and still barely broke the surface, one section that has especially stood out to me today is his take on Mike’s sense of humor. Check out the snippet below.
Micheal was a super goofy guy. He had weird jokes and a really weird sense of – like the writing on shirts thing. A lot of people say it, but he was one of the people who actually embodied the, ‘I really don’t care what you think’ mentality. ‘I’m going to be me. Yeah, I could sell 40,000 copies if I released another hip hop album, but I want to do this rock band thing and learn guitar.’ A lot of that ambition and unfiltered approach to music came through him as a person. Cracking weird jokes and buying shots for people, it didn’t matter that he didn’t have that money to spend. He was with friends and had some money in his pocket. That was really his thing, just being in the moment with situations. ‘This is what I’m doing. I don’t really care what you think about me, but I won’t break your personal space.’
I think he was a lot goofier than people realize. My favorite picture of him is at Soundset when he has really big women’s sunglasses on. He snapped off half of his front tooth on a mic stand at First Avenue, but he’s owning that. He’s owning the shit out of the fact that it happened. Most people that I know who have bad teeth or braces never smile in photos or when they talk to you in public. Mike embraced it. I have that picture framed. That picture to me – more so than the great live photos of him screaming into the mic hunched over or super sweaty – embodies how I knew him as a person. I remember on the road – I can’t remember where it was – he traded somebody a cd for this pair of sunglasses without the lenses in them. They were really weird and aqua plastic frames, and he only wore those for like a day and half. There’s probably photos of him on stage somewhere with those lenseless sunglasses on [laughs].
But it’s not like he didn’t take performing seriously; he was both. He was that guy with the really goofy sunglasses on, but he also was sweating through whatever he was wearing on stage. The fact that he wasn’t just that way up there guy – he was willing to more or less not purport an image.