Biography

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Mike Enright, taxi driverMichael Enright hails from Columbus, Ohio, where he organized his first band just in time to play a party on New Year's Eve of 1969, the last day of the Sixties. He's still playing the '63 Fender Strat he bought while working the slicer at Arby's in the winter of 1971.

After graduating from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati in 1976, he walked away from rock and roll long enough to become a founding member of the media artists collective We're Just Like You. Their ambitious performance pieces, Porta-Pack videos, and 16mm films, especially the "Alternate Pieta" series, led to a series of club, gallery and museum dates throughout the Midwest.

In 1977 WJLY performed "Dinner Without Will at Dot and Bill's Video Grill" in the "9 on the 9th" series at Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center, where they managed -- despite bound naked performers and gratuitous S/M iconography -- to avoid the same legal destiny as the Mapplethorpe exhibition that opened in the same museum years later. Other artists in the series included the Mayseles brothers and Cecil Taylor.

The "Third Variation on the Alternate Pieta", the final chapter of WJLY's massive performance series, called for a rock band to play during the opening segment. Mike put together an ensemble called The Ed Davis Band for the show, and the band's subsequent success as Cincinnati's first (and at the time, only) punk band led to a 45 RPM single, "Keith Richards' Dead" backed by perennial punk-audience request "Asshole." A copy of the single offered by a collector in Singapore recently sold on eBay for more than the cost of the original studio session.

Mike Enright, taxi driverThe Ed Davis Band backed The Patti Smith Group in 1977 at small club called Bogarts; within a year three of the four band members had relocated to the Lower East Side of New York. Mike re-formed Ed Davis as Desi, Desi, and Desi which quickly became a virtual house band at the notorious A7 Club in 1980 and '81. He also played with early Soho faves Cult de Ghoul (famous now only for one unforgivably tasteless 45) and later, art-rockers Salon Bon Ton, who haunted the same long-departed East Village venues as the Desis. At 8BC, Tin Pan Alley, Danceteria, CBGB, Limbo Lounge, ABC No Rio, and other obscure spaces, both bands managed to find a small following and enough money on any given evening to buy some of the beer.

Mike served as producer for two Bon Ton singles, the Linn-drum flavored "Chili 2 + 4" and the better-known "Firesale", which shipped as a flexi-disc in a 1984 edition of High Performance magazine. He also produced many studion sessions for the Desis, including their vocal version of the Joe Meeek classic "Telstar", recorded in 16 tracks for a 45 project that immediately ran into legal difficulties and remained unheard for almost twenty years.

In 1985 the Desis disbanded, victims of the neglect, poverty, and hard times that wait for many on the Lower East Side. Within a year Salon Bon Ton was also gone. Mike continued to compose and record, however, and over the years slowly drifted into instrumental composition and later, soundtrack work. In 1989 he bought his first Mac and a copy of Mark of the Unicorn's Performer and left the analog world behind.

Mike Enright, taxi driverA hitherto unsuspected talent for programming prompted a stint at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he earned a Master's in 1991. Mike later returned to teach in the same program for six years, while his growing immersion in software led to five years' steady income as a producer of reference CD-ROMs for Macmillan Publishing. He produced over forty award-winning CDs including "The War In Vietnam" with CBS News and the New York Times, and the American Kennel Club's "Multimedia Guide to Dogs." As a partner in Bedrock Design, Mike also created the early and influential "Criterion Goes to the Movies" for the Voyager Company, and "America Remembered" for Boraventures Publishing.

After another year at AOL Time Warner as Senior Producer of Time Magazine's web site -- which included a gig as The Obsessionist, a featured column on Time.com -- Mike left the corporate embrace to strike out on his own as a composer and multimedia consultant. He has completed contract gigs for clients as diverse as MTV, Verizon and The American Museum of Natural History, and has just completed the score for the independent documentary "As We Sow" for New York filmmaker Jan Weber.

Mike has posted a brief history of his musical career on his website, www.menright.com, which includes mp3s, reminisences, posters and photographs. His music is now available on three independently-released CDs: "What You Want: Cuts from the 90s", "Menright: Contract Music", and "Desi Desi Desi: The Best The Best The Best". Three of his Obsessionist columns can also be found through menright.com: a tribute to Joey Ramone, an analysis of Phil Spector and the Ecstatic Moment, and an autobiographical dissection of the 1933 "King Kong".