Near Wild Heaven
Jesus Christ Interviews a Woman with a Mike Mills Tattoo, In Honor of R.E.M.’s Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I sometimes hop back into human form all incognito and check out a what's happening down there with My peeps (that's not Me using clichéd hip hop slang, that's Me referring to humans as the popular Easter marshmallow treat... inside joke between Me and Noah). Anyway, I decide to head to Atlanta in ’99 to see the three R.E.M. shows there, when I literally bump into a woman with a tattoo of Mike Mills staring right at Me… from her chest. I am immediately in awe of her clear undying love for Mike Mills. I see tattoos of Me all the time, but R.E.M. basest Mike Mills... this is something special.
Jump to a few weeks ago, when I posted a clump of random photos of band tattoos, and I ended it with a shout out to the interweb if anybody knew this woman or had pictures of her insanely fascinating tattoo. Sure, being God I could have figured this out on My own, but I love watching you guys show your work… like your Jr. High math teacher. Next thing I know, I get an email from the Mike Mills Chest tattoo lady! She was kind enough to let Me interview her and post some of her pics up on the blog. Enjoy.
Jesus Question 1: The question everyone is dying to know, why a Mike Mills tattoo?
Mizz Mills: Because my friends always said I wear my love of Mike like a medal of honor. So the tattoo is my medal.
Jesus Question 2: Now, is there a story that goes with it? What year did you get it? Where'd you get it? Was anyone with you? We'd love it if you could paint us a picture of the event.
Mizz Mills: It was in September 1998. Got the tattoo by my home at this place called "Bad Dog Tattoos" on Colonial Ave. here in Orlando. My friend Doreen went with me. I had recently broke up with my boyfriend and the UP cd came out. The more I listened to the songs it made me feel that I have a level of admiriation for the band and Mike. Found a picture of Mike that looked nice and went to the place to have it done. Took over a hour and I don't feel needles it was no pain at all for me. The artist who did the tattoo his name is Mike.
Jesus Question 3: Oh, to be a fly on the wall… have you had a conversation between you and Mike regarding him forever on your chest?
Mizz Mills: Mike and I have never talked about the tattoo. What I do know that when I went to Athens in 1998 some people who knew Mike took photos of the tattoo and gave it to him. And I think it was featured in Flagpole because people knew me from it.
Jesus Question 4: How many times a week do you have to explain to people who Mike Mills is?
Mizz Mills: Ha ha at least 3 or 4 times a day. Most people thought it was John Denver or John Lennon. So far as I know I'm the only R.E.M. fan with a band member tattoo. After I explain who it is it makes people remember me in a odd good way.
Jesus Question 5: What has been the most awkward situation your tattoo has put you in?
Mizz Mills: I think it has made dating hard for some time. Because while guys like women who have tattoos, imagine trying to kiss or being intimate with me and seeing Mike looking up and smiling. Funny but in a way sad.
Jesus Question 6: After the aneurysm incident, were you relived you picked Mike and not Bill and thus have had to explain that you have a tattoo of a farmer in Georgia?
Mizz Mills: Don't get me wrong I do the the whole band and in the begining I did thought Bill was and still is cute. The reason I fell for Mike was in 1981 I saw a picture of Mike (geek phase) and what got me hooked is that his left eye is bigger than his right. Then after that I found out he was a musician and have been his loyal fan since then.
Jesus Question 7: Mike's look changed significantly once Monster hit the airwaves, have you thought about updating the tattoo by adding the new hair and maybe put him in an orange suit?
Mizz Mills: No because I do have the 3 phases of Mike. The tattoo is Green Tour Mike. I have a shirt that I don't wear at shows but sleep with it that was made for me of Mike when he was growing his hair out by Monster Tour time. And last I have a custom air brushed jacket of Mike with blonde hair. The sleeves say on the left " Dreams They Complicate My Life" the right has " Dreams They Compliment My Life". Above Mike's head it has Mike Mills fave fan. All 3 member have signed my jacket so it is my pride and joy as with the tattoo.
Jesus Question 8: Do you categorize your life as pre-Mike Mills Tattoo and post-Mike Mills Tattoo?
Mizz Mills: Yes pre tattoo I was just Francisca, but post tattoo I am know all over as Miz Mills loyal Mike Mills fan.
Jesus Question 9: When was the most joy your tattoo has brought you?
Mizz Mills: Oh that is easy! I have made lots of friends and my tattoo in a way helped a band called Elf Power when their van broke down. And knowing when Mike is playing and as he scan the crowd and sees my tattoo it brings a smile to his face.
Jesus Question 10: Finally, you think I'm the only way to get a ticket to Heaven, and if so, do you think I'll let Mike in?
Mizz Mills: I think that if you was in a mood for a good conversation and music you would let Mike in. While no one is perfect except you of course Mike is a good person and these days we need more good people here on Earth and with you in Heaven. Besides how else will I get my chance to sing with him eh?
Thanks for your time, Mizz Mills. I ABSOLUTLY love that you would get a Mike Mills tattoo! And seeing you at the '99 Atlanta show, then telling other R.E.M . Superfans about it, and then being able to track you down via the internet has just been a surreal blast! You are neato.
For more R.E.M. goodies, make sure to hop over to I Am Fuel, We Are Friends and grab a bootleg from a 2003 show. Worth it for the “So Fast, So Numb” mp3 alone.