Today is my favorite singer’s birthday. His name is Mike Patton, and he has a bit of a cult following. He’s best known as the lead singer of Faith No More—which is best known for the 1989 hit “Epic“ where Patton continuously asks the question “What is it?”—but he’s sung for countless other bands and musicians, including his most famous side projects Mr. Bungle and Tomahawk. The people who frantically follow him from project to project are die-hard, and when they recognize one another in public, the image is lasting.
An example: The other day I went into a Mediterranean place near work for lunch. The guy behind the counter who was about to cut some lamb for me looked in my eyes and said, “Hey, weren’t you the guy who likes Mr. Bungle?“ He knew that because about a year ago (or more), I wore a Mr. Bungle T-shirt while ordering lunch from him and we spent a good 10 minutes talking about Mike Patton. I hadn’t seen him since. But we remembered.
On New Year’s Day, I was looking at Twitter, and a baseball writer I follow named Al Mechior announced a new project. I guess he’s a big fan of the Grammy-winning rock band Toto, so he opened a new Twitter account called @ThoughtsToto, where he’s in the process of drowning himself in each of the band’s albums and writing about each song in the band’s catalog. I thought that was a good idea. So, I kind of borrowed it. But I’m not opening a new Twitter account. Instead, I’m writing it here at joshkatzowitz.com.
For the next year or so, I’m going to write (most) every weekday about Patton’s songs and why we love when he sings them. Maybe there will be some anecdotes. Maybe there will be some history. Maybe there will be explanations on the ridiculousness of Patton’s vocal range.
Anyway, today is Patton’s 51st birthday, so today is the day I’m unveiling my 365 Days of Mike Patton. I’ll write about his songs. I’ll probably post some videos. I’ll talk about why I love them both. These won’t be long posts. I’ll get in and get out, so you and I can move on with our days. We love Patton, but goddamn, we don’t have to obsess about him for more than a few minutes at a time. I’ll plan to go for 365 days, but honestly, I don’t even know if he has 365 recorded songs. I guess we’ll figure it out as we go.
If you’re a die-hard Patton fan (and really, why else would you be here?), maybe you don’t love the idea of brevity. Maybe, like Patton sings in “Epic,” you want it all. But true to form, you can’t have it.
To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.