The metal scene prizes people who take time to become experts on niche subjects. Mike “McBeardo” McPadden was the expert’s expert—and by all accounts, one of the true good guys. Over the course of his legendary zine Happyland and two well-received books for Bazillion Points—Heavy Metal Movies and Teen Movie Hell—he explored the finer points of niche cinema with a dedication and passion that few could muster. McPadden also spent time working for Larry Flynt Publications as a staff writer. His attention to exhaustive detail is something everyone at a magazine that writes 5,000-word stories on albums the rest of the world forgets can appreciate.
Sadly, McPadden died in his Chicago home this week. A cause of death was not released but McPadden apparently passed in his sleep. Bazillion Points will donate proceeds of all sales of a box set of both of his books and Daniel Ekeroth’s Swedish film omnibus to a fund for Mike’s wife Rachel and his family. A GoFundMe is also raising money for Rachel.
While the coronavirus has been difficult on many families, the past few months were good ones for McPadden and his family as they had become foster parents in October. “I cannot express how special this baby is,” Rachel McPadden said via social media. “We had one of these group hugs after an emergency bath at 11:30 Tuesday night. We had our family.
“A few very short hours later, I became a single foster mother. This sweet baby (and all of you, all our family, anyone wishing well and sharing stories and sending love—all of it is felt) is saving me right now. Neither of us knows what comes next, the uncertainty of foster care. Uncertainty of loss, grief, starting over… We were loved to the max by this guy.”
McPadden’s passion for strange and unusual cinema, his love for family and his dedication to one particular corner of our universe will not be forgotten. Decibel sends sincere condolences to McPadden’s friends and family and anyone moved by his work. Rest well, Mike, and thank you.