Colorado writer and musician Adam Perry hosts a weekly podcast called Mile High Stash. Each Monday he drops a new episode featuring an interview with a Colorado musician or artist.
Recently, Mile High Stash interviewed Munly J Munly, who for years has worked as songwriter and co-front man for Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, in addition to leading the bands DBUK and Munly & the Lupercalians.
Working most often under just the name “Munly,” he’s been a Denver music icon for decades – writing, recording, and performing fascinating stories and songs that have connected with audiences around the world.
During their interview, Adam and Munly talked about songwriting, friends doing interviews for him on the phone, stealing his father’s banjo to start his life in music, hating hugs, whether he still loves music, and wishing musicians could just play and not have to do promotion or post on social media.
Below are some highlights from the interview:
On his introduction to playing music:
“There’s certainly no pinpoint moment I can recall. It just somewhat happened. There’s certainly that story out there that I stole my father’s banjo, which I did. I didn’t steal it, but I would borrow it without them knowing, after being told not to touch it. My father had that banjo because he was very interested in the American Civil War for some reason. Somehow he gleaned that a banjo represented the Civil War. I’m not sure where he came to that conclusion. So he had a banjo sitting between our bookshelves. He had it tucked in there and it never came out. I just found it one day and took it out and kept messing around with it. I think I still run my life this way, but I don’t particularly think things through sometimes. I just grabbed it and started making noise. I think I spoke even less then than I do now. That certainly gave me something to do.”
“I write stories. Very few of my songs are autobiographical. I won’t sit down and write a song specifically and say, oh, ‘I’m going to write one for Slim [Cessna].’ But once I’m well down the path, I can usually tell where it’s going and where it would be best fitted.”
On his relationship with Slim Cessna:
I used to babysit his kids. I was the Easter Munly, so I stayed there over Easter and I don’t think they were quite familiar with American, not that I am, but how America celebrates Easter. It’s more of a Hallmark holiday. So I bought them…I couldn’t find baskets. I remember I bought them these archival boxes and filled them with Peeps and Reese’s and other things that their parents did not allow them to have. So I always remind them of how good I used to be to them every time I see them.”
Listen to the full Mile High Stash interview with Munly here or on your favorite streaming service. You can also visit Mile High Stash for past episodes and more information on the show and host Adam Perry.
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