Mike McPadden R.I.P. 1968-2020
I barely knew Mike McPadden outside of the world of movies, books, podcasts, and all that he contributed but I felt like he was one of the few that really was into all the decrepit and sleazy shit I was into, as well as appreciating the finer aspects of the arts within film, books, and music.
I remember that first time I saw him at the Music Box Theater as we both were attending a 24 Hour Movie Marathon. It was my first one and I remember seeing this dude with an epic battle vest filled with not metal patches but with horror and cult film patches. I was a novice. I had never seen anyone with mostly patches of horror movies. It was a whole new world opened up to me. I distinctly remember this dude as being gnarly AF.
I saw him again at the Vic Theater and just shouted out his name like a nerdy fanboy at ComicCon. He acknowledged that I recognized him and walked over to me and handed me his business card (Mr. Skin) and calmly made his exit as if I had blown his cover and he had to vacate the premises before more annoying fanboys identified him. In my mind, he was a total celebrity on the Chicago horror movie scene.
When I ran into him again, I was leaving Dimo’s Pizza and he was walking with another fellow who I recall was the artist on his HEAVY METAL MOVIES book. Introductions were made (at this point he had his publishers send me a copy of his book for review on my website) again and he basically only stopped because I was carrying 3 large pizzas and had an equally impressive battle jacket on with patches of some of my favorite metal bands. He said something like,
“You have boxes of delicious pizza in your hands and have a heavily patched denim vest of metal bands. We are kindred spirits.”
Shortly after that encounter, he messaged me on FB and asked if I was in the neighborhood (Wicker Park) because he had a giant trash bag of metal and horror shirts he thought would fit me and wanted to meet so he could give me them all. We met 10 minutes later on Milwaukee at the intersection and he pulled up with the giant said trash bag full of shirts. They all fit me. I wear them all the time. They are so metal. I thought that was quite possibly the coolest thing a celebrity (in my mind he is a fucking rockstar celebrity) had ever done for me. He gave me the fucking shirt (metaphorically of course) right off his fucking back.
The little that I knew of him still told me that this guy was a most righteous and stellar dude…and man could he write. If you haven’t read any of his books or articles over the years on the various websites and publications he has written for, it is quite a delicious literary experience. He had a way with words I could only ever aspire to use in my writing and speech. I looked up to him as an individual that made it in writing on his own terms and wrote about what he wanted to and managed to get a rad publisher like Bazillion Points to publish his epic books. He also hosted one of the few podcasts I actually listen to. I did my own podcast and actually don’t listen to many but he was everything in Crackpot Cinema I wish my podcast could have been. He reminded me how cool MAD Magazine was. He reminded me what it felt like to truly be passionate about things the general populace took for granted and he most certainly reminded me how fun it was to hear someone really hate so many films that the general masses felt were awesome. Sorry Mike, but I dig Star Wars. I actually dig a lot of movies you have nothing but vitriolic hatred for. At times, I found it unbelievable that he hated some of the films I loved so much but that is what makes personal tastes for a film so unique and splendid.
Mike will be missed. Some will remember the pandemic of 2020. Some will remember the holidays of this month. Some will remember a douchebag whose presidency ended this term and year. I will remember that 2020 sucked so much because Mike ‘McBeardo’ Padden was taken from us way too early. He had so much more joy to bring to cinephiles and film geeks around the world. And he was just a really nice guy that was really cool to me and always made some time for me when he only knew me as a big, bearded guy with horror movie tattoos and denim vests that looked like he loved a lot of the same shit that he did. I looked up to him as a writer, as a podcaster, and as a badass, die-hard cinephile and connoisseur of all the trash and filth that I was into, but elevated to a great level of respect with each new book published. I was hoping to make more room for upcoming books of his. I will cherish the books he wrote, though, forever though and try not to lament on the books he never got to write.
Rest in Power,
Please consider donating to the memorial gofundme page if you ever enjoyed his work: