Mikey Borens died recently. Some will recognize his name from his time in The Romans or maybe his part of the LA music scene over the past 35+ years, but for many Phoenicians, Mikey was best known for his role as the bass player from The Consumers, the first punk rock band in Arizona. Borens’ death is a stunner for us here at Slope because without his work with the Consumers, as well as his influence on his fellow musicians in the early years, the Phoenix punk rock scene would have been very different.
Dan Clark of Exterminators/Victory Acres/Feederz said: “Wouldn’t have ever played music without him.”
Borens, a Navy vet, would have turned 60 years old in 2017 and was part of Victory Acres in the early stages as well, according to Clark. The two would spend time in the early 1970s searching for empty swimming pools to skate, as well as riding the fabled “Pink Sidewalk” which is still up there on the south side of the Squaw Peak (or Piestewa Peak, for some) recreation area. Borens was a talented painter and illustrator and even had his work featured in a book about picking psychedelic mushrooms in Mexico. According to those who knew him, there really wasn’t much he couldn’t do.
A few years ago, Mikey Borens told us a little bit about the old days and it’s amazing how the importance of his message still rings true for us today as he talked about the spirit of the early punk scene.
“There didn’t seem to be (at first) the rules that were being handed to us—the rules that you had to have a certain haircut or shoes or whatever. We could be us and we then had a freedom to just play music, no strings attached. The punk rules came later, that’s for sure. That’s what people should know. We (the Consumers) hung out a lot, we played music a lot, we worked on art and talked about books and stories. We had so many interests. And the guys in the Consumers brought a lot of thought and energy to the band. When we played, we played for keeps.”
At Slope Records, we will keep Mikey Borens and those who loved him in our thoughts, that’s for sure. We’re going to put on our copy of the Consumers’ All My Friends Are Dead (which Borens did the cover art for as well) and turn it up. You should do the same.
RIP Mikey Borens. You are truly missed.
Viktoria Byczkiewicz Cutler
November 17, 2016 (20:46)
Rest in peace, Mikey Borens.
November 20, 2016 (12:02)
I met Mikey just once at Dan & Mary Clark’s place in the early days of Joke Flower. I remember a quiet, humble guy. RIP.
November 25, 2016 (15:28)
November 27, 2016 (08:01)
Mike I would have loved to gotten together one more time to discuss the funny memories (Gloria Ward, Bob and the strobe boxes, the Three in the Morning Club, Art Club Mr newton didn’t like you because you were a better artist….Buzzy stuck in the box at the slide on acid and the tale of 48 Mangled Wee Wees (we thought for sure John Wayne Gacey had nabbed you). I have the Neeb Hall flyer for the Desperate Living premiere framed and hanging in my garage. The only artwork I have left you did. The last time I saw you was at the Canterbury after the Whisky show where Danny Bonaduce got stomped by Joan Jett’s body guard for pogoing on her foot. Sorry you didn’t make it to Clarks for the KP show at the Hong Kong Cafe. Any Palo Verde alum will appreciate this…Mike and I had long hair in 8th grade and Mrs Basinger collared us for hanging around in the breezeway instead of standing out in direct sun light baking like the rest of the kids. I don’t know which one of us smarted off to her but next thing I knew we were in her classroom (and we didn’t even have her for classes) looking up and writing definitions down from the dictionary. Mike suggested some words I was not yet familiar with. I had no idea she would wig out so bad when I turned in the paper with Felatio and Cunninlingus defined. Good thing Mr Pierce was the principal then. I am pretty sure Mrs Basinger learned a valuable lesson about punishment back firing. RIP my friend. Glad you were part of my life.
December 24, 2016 (22:46)
What a great memory to share. Thank you. Susan (Mikey’s wife)
December 24, 2016 (22:43)
What a great memory. Thank you. Susan (Mikey’s wife)