Mickey Avalon might just be a figment of your imagination (Photo: Vector Management)
For about three days, Mickey Avalon and I played phone tag. I was supposed to interview him as a preview piece for his upcoming show at Whiskey Creek, but something always seemed to come up. I wasn’t too upset. I knew that either way, be it out of morbid curiosity or actual love for his music, people would show up …and they did.
When I first heard that Mickey Avalon was performing here in Mammoth, I recalled the first time I had experienced a Mickey Avalon song, which was about 3 years ago. My buddy Keith handed me his headphones on the chairlift here in Mammoth, “Wolf you gotta here this song.” I place the earbud, “My di*k VIP, your di*k needs ID. My di*k bigger than a bridge, your di*k looks like a little kid’s.” The song continues that rhyme scheme for about 3 minutes. The song, “My Di*k” was entertaining three years ago and has witnessed some longevity since being featured in films like “The Hangover” and “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.” The subject matter of that song doesn’t stand alone. Most of Avalon’s lyrics bounce around themes of juvenile delinquency and an uncomfortable disdain for women.
His rap style evokes a sigh from seasoned hip-hop heads, but brings rebellious teenage girls and sexually confused boys to joyful tears. He doesn’t quite belong in rap and yet he doesn’t fit in rock. Perhaps a hybrid of David Bowie and Vanilla Ice, he truly is alone in his genre … appropriately called “Glam Rap.”
Instinctively you want to hate him, but who can blame the guy? His childhood resembles a Lifetime original movie mashed with “Requiem For a Dream.” In a very brief nutshell, Avalon’s story starts like an episode of HBO’s Weeds. His mother sold pot to pay the bills and when she caught the then 14 year old Mickey selling weed outside her house, she decided to bring him into “The Biz.”
Eventually Avalon became a successful drug dealer, and even began to raise a family. But things turned sour when he began dabbling in heroin. His mother fired him from “The Biz” and Mickey left his wife and daughter to pursue heroin, paying for it through male prostitution and porn.
After a chance meeting with ex-MTV VJ Simon Rex (aka Dirt Nasty) Mickey Avalon was inspired and thus began to work with Rex in developing his unique rap style. In a recent story in LA Weekly, Avalon claims he’s been clean from drugs for some time now.
It’s been more than 4 years since Mickey Avalon’s first and only self-titled album Mickey Avalon. For many artists, this would undoubtedly put them in the one-hit wonder category. But somehow Avalon stays relevant with non-stop touring highlighted by over-the-top performances. The subject matter of Avalon’s first album floats around themes of drug abuse, prostitution, themes of male dominance and criticism of “fake” Hollywood culture. These themes are evident in his live shows. If you attended his performance at Whiskey Creek last Monday then you know what I’m talking about. Avalon rarely travels without his two stripper/dancers that he routinely smacks around on stage.
Given Avalon’s checkered past, it’s easy to argue that Avalon’s lyrics and stage performances are something of a therapeutic exercise, a way to move past his demons. But I’m not sure if Avalon has ever actually done that. Several sources at the Monday night show told the Sheet that it was “blatantly obvious” that Avalon was too messed up to finish the show, and that during a few parts, Avalon actually pulled the microphone away from his face and yet, somehow, the lyrics continued.
Initial reactions from Avalon’s performance are a mixed bag of “awesome,” “too messed up to remember,” and “possibly the sh*ttiest show I’ve ever seen.” However, no matter the opinion of his act, people unanimously had a good time. The fact that people loved the show even if they hated Avalon, don’t remember it because they were too drunk, and don’t seem to care that Avalon probably lip synced most of the show is evidence that no one seems to really care. I think it’s safe to say that Avalon has now become more of a spectacle than a musician.
Do we have to be blackout drunk to enjoy an Avalon show? Does Avalon have to be blackout drunk to make it through a performance? One thing is clear, Avalon is an entertainer, not a rapper. The question is, for how long?