The Man Behind the Mick

Richard McColl published ‘The Man Behind the Mick’ on MarxRand about his interview with Christopher Kavanagh, which he talked about on his Colombia Calling podcast.

Richard gives interesting insights as a more removed observer — as opposed to a friend — than me.

If you’re a fan of the book or a fan of The Mick, check out his article here:

There is a significant revelation in the article about Christopher which I did not know. But you’ll have to visit to see that.

Here are some excerpts:

I am sharing a beer or four and discussing the poetry of Oscar Wilde and Guy de Maupassant with the one who went from this old school world of pleasantries – in a world when even the cartel thugs were gentlemen – to the manic, hyperbole-driven never-off land of the Reddit AMA and the Kickstarter campaign. As if to illustrate the thought, The Mick suddenly enters into a rendition of Emerald Dealer Blues after enunciating his latest ambition: to top the music charts. The old Irishman claims that Emerald Dealer Blues is an original song that he wrote which is based on an emerald dealer he knows downtown. That may be so, but I’m not so drunk I’ve lost the capacity to note how similar it sounds to a hotch-potch amalgamation of several hits from the 8os, power chords designating the standard impact collision of the bridge and the chorus which have worn down gradually since and somehow collated into this precious sonic gem.

Every time I talk to Christopher on Skype — without failure — he tells me of the latest song he’s practicing with his latest live music partner. And he asks “what can be done with that.” As if there’s something more than publishing it to languish on YouTube. Whiskey in a Jar is his latest obsession. I’m sure it’d be interesting to a few who know him or like his stories, but it’s not going to make him any money or sell any books.

Here’s an interesting take from Richard:

But it takes only a little fuel to get that Irish temper flaring. Randomly, he launches into a sharp criticism of Post’s book – the one that was successfully funded on Kickstarter last year. He says that he wanted it to focus more on his scrapes and japes, that there’s too much of a gangster element in the content and that the narrative is far too centred on his life in Bogota’s La Modelo prison to be considered an accurate portrayal of his journey on earth this time round.

This is another interesting quirk to Christopher. It’d be unbelievable to anybody who has read the book, but he wanted it to be a kind of comedy like Old School or The Hangover. A hilarious affair with the goofy drunk Irishman falling into all these different adventures. Parts were certainly funny in a dark humor kind of way, but I wouldn’t call the book a comedy.

He’s still jealous in a way over this lost love. It’s obvious.

That is in reference to Anne Marie, the Irish girlfriend he came to Colombia with but who went back only with their baby.

While Kavanagh claims to have lived for long periods of time in the well-heeled and leafy district of Rosales, he would today by any conventional yardstick considered to be someone down on his luck.

The last chapter of the book details the change in economic fortune an independent English teacher would have seen in Bogota over the last 30 years. Long story short, salary halved while property values tripled.

But up here in his current digs, with uninterrupted views over his stomping ground, he is somebody and he is respected. In Catholic Bogota, where Christian virtues are deeply prized among a society torn between socialist political idealism from around its borders and the ever-powerful lure of American greed beyond the horizons, Kavanagh goes by the name “El Cardenal” – the Cardinal. The name was gifted him by locals for his ability to forgive those who have wronged him.

This nickname was news to me.

See McColl’s entire article here:

Buy Mad Outta Me Head.

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  1. I ran into “the Mick” walking to work around 6:30am on a weekday in Chapinero Alto. I immediately recognized him and introduced myself. He was very polite and said that he was already coming from an English lesson. Said that you (Colin) were coming into town soon to show some guys around or something. It was cool to meet the man behind your book.


  2. Especially on the Mick articles there needs to be a paypal donate button.

    I did buy the e-book a year or so ago and have been reading your site for many years (if you remember I offered to send you blackberrys)

    Contact button. Donate button. You maybe don’t realize it but you have some readers like myself who you really strike a nerve with. 20 years ago I’ve travelled to crazy places and did crazy shit but most likely I never will again and you really have a knack for bringing those memories back.


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