It was there that Mugger became acquainted with Greg Ginn and Black Flag. Ginn put Mugger to work at his SST Electronics company. Eventually, not only did Mugger become Black Flag's trusted roadie, but he also started his own band, the Nig-Heist. Despite coming from the scene, Mugger, like the rest of the Black Flag crew, grew disenchanted with a scene that was quickly becoming close-minded and clichéd and sought to bring some humor to, as well as antagonize, the scene.
Not surprisingly, many didn't get, or didn't care for the joke. On stage, the bald Mugger would don a long-haired wig (and often nothing more) and taunt the postcard punks and skinheads in the audience who didn't want to see any "long-haired fagg*t" on stage. Mugger often baited the crowd with statements like "I know your kind, you want to overthrow the government" and "if you think I'm a fagg*t, why don't you come up here and let me buttf*ck you" while also asking female concert-goers for sexual favors. The rest of the band usually played in disguise and under fake names, or behind their amps.
Band members generally included Black Flag tour party members and featured such players as Greg Ginn, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, Chuck Biscuits, Bill Stevenson, D. Boon, soundman Spot, Dave-O (another BF roadie), SST hanger-ons Merrill Ward and Tom Troccoli, and even Ian MacKaye. The Nig-Heist's songs always revolved around sex, as evidenced by song titles like "Put My Love in Your Mouth, and "Balls of Fire", and dealt with their topic in purposely explicit and immature ways. Predictably, this angered most not in on the joke and the biggest cheers for the Nig-Heist came when they announced they were playing their last song, if they got a chance to do so.
The band often had the plug pulled on them by club managers or were attacked by outraged audience members. If they weren't attacked, Mugger often got the last laugh by leaving stage, taking off his wig and moving through the audience, unnoticed. In 1983, the Thermidor label released a one song 7" called Walking Down the Street (sometimes referred to as the "Elvis" record because of the Raymond Pettibon cover art) and a year later released the group's only LP, Snort My Load. Also in 1984, the Nig-Heist did their most extensive tour, opening for Black Flag and the Meat Puppets. By then, Mugger had also taken on an important role in running SST Records, splitting control of the label with Ginn, Dukowski, and co-owner Joe Carducci.
Despite Mugger's position at the label, no Nig-Heist material was ever released on SST. In 1998 Drag City, of all labels, released the Nig-Heist's discography on CD. The disc includes both of the Nig-Heist records as well as some demos and a disc of live shows. Mugger, one of punk rock's greatest success stories, left SST sometime in the late '80's, and became a computer industry mogul and a millionaire.
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