Thursday, April 26, 2012


"When I wasn't working on the road, coaching Richie's baseball team or fishing for wild brown trout in one of the small limestone streams that flowed nearby, I'd take long walks through the woods and fields behind my house..."

Mike Hudson was the Anti-Clark. Kent, that is.

For a period during the Mach II (or III, possibly IV?) era of Cleveland's mighty Pagans, he toured and worked as a reporter at a small Western PA newspaper. But instead of being a champion of good a la Clark Kent, Hudson (whose body may not have been impregnable to bullets but was impervious to seemingly any combination of pills, dope or kryptonite margaritas) spread more noisy mischief than a dozen Mr. Mxyzptlks while making merry rock 'n roll anarchy on the road.

Hudson would then return to his typewriter at a newspaper office on virtually no sleep and still, with enough residual chemicals in him to bring down a charging rhino, proceed to tap out an op-ed piece on the local lady's auxiliary.

DIARY OF A PUNK (subtitled LIFE AND DEATH OF THE PAGANS) is a swel read. Sure, you get your share of distant-purple-majesty Cleveland scene history/gossip, first hand recollections of punk rock surfacing like a Plesiasaur from the brackish waters of the Cuyahoga, even the stats on all the releases for those of you scoring at home.
This guy...he wrote it!

But what I keep coming back to, what I can barely wrap my brain around, is Hudson's latter day schizophrenic existence as punk rock frontman and taxpaying citizen. Sure, Iggy put away his share of substances (and your share too) but he didn't have to bang out an above-the-fold story on deadline, or come up with a bunt sign for his kid's little league team. This requires a bit more effort than sprawling in a couch and discharging the blood from your syringe at the ceiling tiles.

Oh yeah. On that walk in the woods behind his house, Hudson dispatched a dangerous feral dog with the firearm he always carried with him. After reading this memoir, I'd have given him odds-on chances of offing the beast with his bare hands.

They don't make punks like these Cleveland punks anymore, and you know the Lois Lanes of the world go for the Anti-Clark every time.

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