the man, the myth...mingering mike.

in the late 1960s a teenager named mike stevens imagined himself as a soul-music superstar named mingering mike. he created his own hand-painted album jackets - each intricately crafted, complete with gatefold interiors, extensive liner notes, and cardboard "vinyl" records with labels and painted-on grooves. some albums were even covered in shrink-wrap and included price stickers, as if they were purchased at actual record stores. between 1968 and 1977, he painted some 50 lp covers and nearly as many 45s picture sleeves.

these albums were discovered at a D.C. flea market by dori hadar, a soul record collector who subsequently tracked down stevens. hadar wrote a book with him called mingering mike: the amazing career of an imaginary soul superstar. check out his website for more info on this crazy story and to hear a few real recordings of mike's songs.

{found via the morning news}


  1. so many good posts today! people like these fascinate and inspire me. i barely have the gumption to talk to anyone about my creative life, so to see someone come do everything themselves like this, to really OWN it...

    people are doing fascinating things everywhere, all the time. sheesh.

  2. yeah people who can just CREATE really blow my mind because i can't really work that way, but it's so wonderful to see.

  3. That might be the coolest thing I've ever seen. That's why I keep coming back to your blog - I would hate to have missed out on that one.

  4. what a strange coincidence! i work for the press that published this book. you should check out some of our other books: