By Frank Parlato
Mike Hudson, 61, passed away in his home in Los Angeles at around 8:30 pm Pacific time, Friday, October 27, 2017. He died of sepsis from a lacerated bowel. He did not appear to be suffering from any illness, and had no pain until about 24 hours prior to his death.
On the day prior to his death, Mike had written an article for the Niagara Falls Reporter. He had written six articles during the last week of his life.
After experiencing intense abdominal pain on the afternoon of October 26, he was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital where reportedly the physician told him he needed immediate surgery or death would ensue from sepsis. The doctor also informed him that he appeared to have advanced colon cancer, and that, even if the operation were successful, he might have only two months to live.
Mike declined surgery, saying he did not want to die on the operating table, and chose to return home. He was given pain medication; hospice was called, and within 24 hours he succumbed, surrounded by several friends and his two dogs.
He had lived an active life up until the day before his death. He asked his friends to cremate him and to throw his ashes over the Malibu Pier into the Pacific.
Mike Hudson co-founded and was lead singer of the American punk rock band, the Pagans. His brother Brian co founded the group and was its drummer.
Originally from Cleveland, the Pagans toured with the Ramones, Patti Smith, the Heartbreakers, the B-52’s, the Dead Boys, Devo and Pere Ubu.
Between 1977- 1979, The Pagans released several enduringly popular 45’s: “Dead-End America”, “Street Where Nobody Lives, and “What’s This Shit Called Love”.
These have taken their place in the history of punk rock. By 1984, the Pagans disbanded. Today, the band is considered one of the seminal American punk rock groups.
Although never a major commercial success, over the decades, The Pagans gained increasing respect as one of the authentic Punk Rock bands of the era. Their original recordings have been included in anthologies in North America, Europe and Asia. Some Pagans’ original vinyl records fetch hundreds, to thousands of dollars, a copy.
He sang in the avant-rock band the Styrenes for a time. In 1991, his brother Brian, his drummer and Pagans co-founder, died.
Mike started hitting the bottle harder than ever before.
In 2011, he reformed the Pagans. Playing as a legacy band, he performed on tour in Europe and the United States, He headlined in Spain in Punk Rock festivals and had offers to tour in Japan not long before his death.
During the last years of his life, demand for old Pagan recordings in collections increased. He released 18 career retrospectives and 45s around the world.
In sort of a swan song, the Pagans returned to Los Angeles punk rock at the Echoplex. It was a fit finale for Mike Hudson’s many years as a singer.
He released three dozen records over five decades.
Mike worked as editor for the Cleveland Sun, crime reporter at the Corry Evening Journal, literary critic at the Irish Echo. His work appeared in Radar, Field & Stream, Rolling Stones, Hustler, the Associated Press, Master Detective and the New York Post.
By 1998, he moved to Niagara Falls with his wife, Rebecca Hudson. He worked as a staff reporter for the Niagara Gazette. In 2000, he was fired for repeatedly coming in drunk. He disputed his firing, since he continued to produce the same output drunk or sober. His publisher disagreed and would not let him return.
With a few thousand dollars, he started the Niagara Falls Reporter. Its first edition was June 28, 2000. With his hard hitting and muckraking style of reporting, the newspaper grew and attracted advertisers. Mike remained editor in chief, until he sold his share and moved to Los Angeles in 2012.
During the interim, he wrote groundbreaking stories on politics in the Falls. A series of articles critical of a local labor union resulted in Hudson getting beat up by three of its members. His stories led to numerous convictions and the bust up of the mob-controlled union.
Mike Hudson was author of six books including a memoir of the American punk rock movement, ‘Diary of a Punk,’ and ‘Mob Boss’, the biography of Mafia chief Stephano Maggadino. Mob Boss was his most commercially successful book. He made enough to live on from royalties for several years when the book enjoyed brisk sales.
“Diary of a Punk,” became a historic document of the Punk Rock scene. First editions have sold for more than $1,000.
In 2014, in Los Angeles, he wrote “Fame Whore” which he dedicated to, and based it on his longtime girlfriend, ‘the love of his life’, Evita Corby.
He was born in Cleveland, spent some time in Niagara Falls and the last seven years of his life, he lived in Los Angeles, California.
For many years, Mike Hudson was a hard drinker and a heavy smoker.
When his son, Ritchie died in 2004, Mike hit the bottle harder than ever.
In 2005, he was hospitalized and given last rites. He swore if he got out alive he would never drink again. He got out and stayed sober for several months.
In 2007, after several months of hard drinking, he landed in the hospital again for liver failure. He was given last rites, but somehow pulled out of it.
This time he did not bother to quit drinking. He drank until the last day of his life.
In Los Angeles, Mike spent time with his on again, off again, girlfriend, Evita, recording songs, writing books and articles and rescuing dogs.
He made a final home show with the Pagans in Cleveland last year and, he had a last chance to see his old fans and friends of four decades past.
On the day of his death, the priest came and gave him last rites for the third time.
He died about 15 minutes later.