There's Nothing Wrong With You Baby, Part 1
There's Nothing Wrong With You Baby, Part 2
There's Nothing Wrong With You Baby pt. 1 & 2
(Limited edition 45 rpm 7" single)
There's Nothing Wrong With You Baby
(Parts 1 and 2)
(Limited edition, hand-numbered, picture sleeve cover printed on post-consumer waste paper. Quality vinyl. Includes custom labels and an insert. Profits go directly to Mingering Mike.)
Mingering Mike is alive and well, living in Washington D.C., enjoying the newfound interest in his art. While this 45 marks the first ever release from Mingering Mike, there's plenty more in the works.
OTHER OPINIONS ON MIKE
There's Nothing Wrong With You Baby
Vanguard Squad is very proud to offer the first ever Mingering Mike release, "There's Nothing Wrong With You Baby (parts 1 & 2)." The name Mingering Mike is slowly seeping into the awareness of the general public. The man behind the name chooses to remain anonymous, but his art, his fake albums, his multiple musical personas, his oeuvre is revealing itself decades after his fantasies of becoming the next big soul superstar were born. And now, 38 years later, you can actually hear Mingering Mike.
Mingering Mike grew up in Washington DC, as an introverted young man influenced by the soul groups of the day, he dreamt of becoming the next James Brown or Marvin Gaye. In place of having real albums to release, Mike started making fake records out of cardboard--something to use as a place marker until he had a real record. Mike's teenage imagination found him producing hit single after hit single, on numerous unreal record labels with a host of other imaginary stars sharing his company. He constructed covers, labels and records from cardboard and craft paper. In addition, he wrote thousands of poems as well as lyrics, and would record himself and his cousin, The Big "D", singing.
When Mike was drafted for service in the military it looked like his fantasy world would be shattered. After boot camp, Mike went AWOL, hiding from the military police and the troubles of Vietnam. Living underground pushed Mike further into his imaginary world, and his art of the time reflected the new set of troubles that faced his adult life: the war, money, sadness, the growing rate of drugs in the African American community.
When President Carter established a program for amnesty for war resisters in 1977 Mike was free to live a regular life and come out of hiding. With his newfound freedom, adult life and a full-time job, Mike had less time for art. The fake albums, reels of recordings, and his poetry all went into storage. And there they sat for years, lost to the world. That is, until one cold winter morning in 2002.
Dori Hadar, a record collector, was pawing through stacks of stuff in a Washington DC flea market when he stumbled upon Mike's fake records. Confused by their artificiality, but intrigued by their ingenuity, Dori knew he had found something, he just didn't know what. He bought everything and brought it home for further inspection. Dori realized this collection was, at worst, something to have. At best, he hoped to find Mingering Mike and get a better understanding of the artist.
Fortunately Dori works as a criminal investigator in DC, so finding Mike wasn't troublesome. After meeting, the two set out to realize Mike's dream of releasing his art to the world. Acting as a liaison to afford Mike his privacy, Dori negotiated articles in newspapers and magazines, curated shows in art galleries, and wrote a book that contains beautiful reproductions of all the Mingering Mike covers and assorted ephemera. Not to mention allowing us to release Mike's recordings.
It is with great honor that Vanguard Squad is pleased to release the first ever Mingering Mike record. Billing themselves as The Freedom Stompers, Mike and his cousin The Big "D" recorded "There's Nothing Wrong With You Baby (parts 1 & 2)" on a reel-to-reel recorder in Mike's bedroom. The song is a tender appeal to a young woman, encouraging her to be unique and stay in school despite the jeers and ridicule of her peers. While the tapes laid dormant for 38 years, neither time nor the changing world could make the song less engaging. Mike's unique way of looking at life, his endearing optimism, and his ear for sweet soul are all apparent on this record.
In 1969 the standard medium for most music, and especially soul, was the 45 rpm seven-inch single. Mike designed the record--with it's picture sleeve, it's classic parts one and two, and hand-drawn labels--to be released as a 45 single. We realize things may be different today, with digital downloads and portable mp3 players, but this is Mike's dream, so we are releasing it exactly as he dreamt it. The songs come packaged in a picture sleeve with custom full color labels, both designed by Mike. The limited edition record contains an insert with a special message from Mike, each hand-numbered.
The monophonic reel-to-reel tape held up quite well through the decades, and very little had to be done to transfer it to a lacquer master for vinyl release. There is minimal tape hiss and some distortion on the more exuberant vocals, both are indicative of two gentlemen completely engaged in what they were doing. We decided to leave the recording as it is rather than trying to "fix" it to conform to any of today's standards. What you hear is Mike and The Big "D" just as they were. Think of this record like a time capsule, and by listening to it you are opening a small portal to a private world.
Vanguard Squad considers it a privilege to release this record. And so, all profit from this recording will be a benefit to Mike. We admire his endurance and his faith in humankind. It seems only right that he should reap the full reward of his patience.
Peace & Power to All Man Kind,
--Bambouche of the Vanguard Squad