Actress Winona Ryder has starred in a number of high-profile, iconic films over the course of her five-decade spanning career. She was won industry accolades, including a Golden Globe Award and two Academy Award nominations. With her breakout role in Lucas, her gothy take in Beetlejuice and her dark comedic turn in Heathers under her belt, Winona appeared alongside Dennis Quaid in the somewhat-underappreciated biopic Great Balls of Fire. Psychobilly madman Mojo Nixon was also cast in the picture, playing Jerry Lee Lewis’s drummer James Van Eaton. At the time (1989), Mojo was starting to gain momentum among the college-radio crowd with his unique brand of gritty, raunchy, garage rock-rockabilly hybrid. He asked Winona to appear in a short promotional video for the single from his current release Root Hog or Die. The song — “Debbie Gibson is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child” — was Mojo’s loving ode to supermarket tabloids… four years before Weird Al Yankovic addressed the subject in his parody “Headline News.” In the video (shot in glorious black and white), Winona plays the title role in a wedding gown and later in the delivery room giving birth to a fur covered, two-headed Bigfoot spawn. Along the way, she wrestles in Jell-o with a “pseudo” Tiffany and shares a bed with Budweiser spokes-dog Spuds MacKenzie. She dances, smokes and gobbles a fried chicken sandwich. It’s a frenzied two minutes and eleven seconds and she appears to be having the time of her life.
The video, planned for broadcast on MTV, was rejected by the music network fearing backlash and possible legal action. Curiously, Mojo had been a spokesperson for the fledgling network. He was angered by the decision, and despite singing the song live on MTV’s “120 Minutes,” he severed ties with the network shortly after.
Winona Ryder — a veteran of iconic films like Dracula, Little Women, Edward Scissorhands, Girl Interrupted — spoke fondly of her appearance in the Mojo Nixon video. She even acknowledged that it was her favorite role of her career.
Mojo Nixon passed away suddenly on February 7, 2024 aboard the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship. He was a featured performer during the week-long Outlaw Country Cruise sponsored by Sirius XM radio. Mojo performed the evening prior to his death. He was 66 years old. If there is an afterlife, Mojo is in a place where there’s barbecue sauce in the waterslides and the only banks are made of Fender twin-reverb electric guitar amplifiers.