Thanks to the very cool Raatz family for supporting the team through Patreon and for sharing these great photos of Roland and Adelynn getting some unexpected Mikey and his Uke merch in the mail.
bonzo goes to bitburg
Instagram Series: LYRICS
Alternative Music Blog
August 14, 2021
The article linked below was written by an independent music journalist who has been following ‘Mikey and his Uke’ throughout the pandemic. She recently shared her thoughts about the series on her music blog, and was kind enough to let us re-post.
Holly created the Alternative Music Blog as a place to share critical reviews, personal anecdotes, and analyze the cultural importance of alternative music. She covers a wide range of topics including “the alt-rock of the 1990s, the garage rock of the early 2000s (“classic” alternative), punk rock and hardcore.”
It’s probably no surprise that I read every comment on every video. I love that people take time to share their thoughts and feelings about the music, and sometimes even personal memories of particular songs or artists. Certain comments have brought tears to my eyes while others have made me smile, taught me something, or made me laugh out loud (you know who you are Aidan Stark!)
What follows are a few of my favourite Youtube comments on one of the most popular videos in the series, ‘Bonzo Goes to Bitburg’. These comments reflect the enthusiasm of fans, the power of great songs to bring people together (in spirit if not in person) and the overall positivity of these collaborations during the dark days of the pandemic.
DISCOVERING MIKEY AND HIS UKE
a famiLy affair
By Jessica Wright
My family and I are HUGE fans of the series, and of Mikey in general, so I thought I’d share how we came across the videos and got involved as Patrons.
We actually didn’t hear any of the videos until the cover of NOFX - It’s My Job to Keep Punk Rock Elite was released. My husband Russell sent it to me one morning and I watched it and was just blown away! We are huge fans of Belvedere, Less Than Jake, NOFX, and No Use for a Name and everything about this video was just perfect. I can’t even tell you how many times we watched that video that day and thereafter. YouTube then shuffled other MAHU videos, starting with Bonzo Goes to Bitburg (which blew me away again). I don’t know how we missed seeing any of the videos before, but it was fun to go back and discover all of them.
We have 2 little boys and both of them also got really into watching the videos; my 4 yr old Percy would try to strum along on my husband’s bass guitar. He asked for his own “widdle guitah” like Mikey’s, so we put in the request to Santa (aka grandparents). It was a difficult year for us, as it was for everyone. We’d felt quite isolated, as we don’t have family living close by and with winter starting and therefore more time indoors for the boys, the videos were definitely a bright spot for us.
The year took a tragic turn for us when my Dad passed away on Dec. 12. He lived in Illinois, and sadly there couldn’t be a traditional funeral due to the pandemic, but I made the trip to be with my stepmom while the boys stayed with grandparents. It was one of the worst times in my life, to bookend an already difficult year. The kids and I came home in time for Christmas and honestly, it was a little difficult to try to stay cheerful for their sake.
Santa did bring ukuleles for both boys, though, and they went right back to watching the Mikey videos. Percy would ask for “his favorite song”, which is the NOFX cover, over and over on repeat and strum along on his uke. It was just so funny and cute, so I snapped pictures and video to send to my husband and Mom. I sent them to the MAHU Facebook page too, thinking he might also get a kick out of them. He sent me a very kind message back and a video for the kids and it made me smile, which was a hard task at the time. My husband messaged with him after that, thanking him for the kind words and telling how much we love the music. They chatted back and forth, and Mikey set up a couple of surprises for the boys.
Russell told me to watch the cover of The Middle the day he released it as soon as I got up because there was a surprise. I thought the surprise was the lineup because it was another great one ! Russell had joined the Patreon account and you can choose to have your name listed as a top supporter at the end of the videos. Mikey wanted to put all of our names up (his first surprise) so that the boys would see their names on the videos they love so much. To say this made them happy is an understatement! Their reaction was epic.
A little bit later, we received a package in the mail from Mikey filled with Mikey and his Uke and Fairmounts goodies, including stickers for the boys, and another sweet note from Mikey. They loved all of it and put their stickers on their ukuleles immediately. Charlie, my 10 yr old, said “I can’t believe he likes us enough to send us all this stuff!” So sweet. He’ll probably never forget that. He requested that I make him an all Mikey playlist, so I did - it’s all of the Mikey and his Uke covers that are available and all of the Fairmounts and Inner City Surfers. He’s a super fan for life, for sure.
I really can’t measure how much joy overall our family has gotten from our discovery of Mikey and His Uke and what an impact Mikey’s kindness and thoughtfulness made at an especially dark time for us. We’ll all be super fans for life.:)
Much love from Tennessee,
Aside from being Mikey’s younger brother, Danny is also a dyed-in-the-wool kid of the 90s and a huge fan of all things punk. I asked him to share his thoughts about the collaborations so far, and this is what he had to say:
THOUGHTS ON THE SERIES
By Danny Unpossible
It was March of 2020, a time which will undoubtedly go down in history as a pivotal period. In that moment of imposed loneliness and uncertainty my Facebook feed offered a glimmer of hope, something fun to distract me, if only for a moment. I wasn’t the only one. I could see by Likes and Shares that others were finding solace in these videos as well. Every day a short video of Mikey (clearly as bored and lonely as the rest of us) playing his Uke would appear on my Facebook feed. Over time, the short videos of Mikey alone with his ukulele evolved into far bigger, far cooler, collaborations.
If, like me, you grew up punk in the 90’s, you will understand very quickly what these videos became. Every week, members of the bands I grew up idolizing (i.e. Bad Religion, The Offspring, Goldfinger) would come together to produce a “Quarantune”. What Mikey began when he was isolated and alone became social and collaborative. It came to represent the journey we have all been on for more than a year now - the injunction to stay apart combined with the deep human desire to be together. Under these strange conditions, these collaborations have made things a little less lonesome and a little more bearable. The ties that bind us together have become strained over this last year but the band(s) played on, I am so thankful they did.