Mick Trackside Interview

DH: When did your obsession with trains, and hobo monikers begin?

MT: In 2000 I really started getting heavy into photographing hobo graffiti/boxcar art along the sides of north American freight cars.

DH: How long have you been documenting the lifestyle and monikers of Freight Train Riders?

MT: 2001 is when I officially started Faded Glory Magazine. It has pretty much been since then. I took a break in 2005…but have always been looking. I think once this bug bites you, that is it! It is not just riders, most of the constant marks that have been left through the years are RxR employees, factory workers, and Yard Dwellers…but yes, some riders have been phenomenal ! Such as John Easley…Iowa Blackie…etc.

DH: You’ve interviewed some of the greats like, POOH, Steamroller ED, Colossus of Roads, and Iowa Blackie. How do they live up to the monikers and myths?

MT: Good and bad…Good, because now I know them and most likely have a cool friendship with them, but bad, because now I know them…and there is no more mystery.

DH: How do you feel about graffiti covering monikers on freight cars?

MT: I hate it…

DH: Do you think the aerosol epidemic will be the death of chalk art?

MT: No, because there is always newer generations learning about it…putting their handle out, and some even writing on top of aerosol work-in order to last being up longer.

DH: What is your favorite moniker and why?

MT: That’s a hard question…I like them all equal.

DH: Do you think America will ever have high speed rails? Are you for or against them?

MT: We need more factories that use railroad service and manufacture more goods here in this country! I think we are all just worried about how FAST things are…the constant change in technology shows us that…good or bad…I guess we will find out later.

DH: You contributed many of the facts, stories, and photos that went into making the book, “Freight Train Graffiti”, yet are not credited or mentioned. Do you have anything to say about that?

MT: Ha! Well they know that! Got the apology note somewhere! Never got the promised free copy too! I learned that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get credit. I don’t respect any of those two anymore.

DH: You’ve published “Faded Glory Magazine” since 2001. What inspired you to interview, document, and publish monikers in the Zine?

MT: I don’t know…I like to create things with my hands…possibly seeing my mother do the cut and paste year books from my elementary school, when I was attending. Maybe from the comic books I used to make when I was a kid.

DH: Recently there seems to be a cult like interest in the hobo lifestyle. Documentaries like, “Catching Out”, “Who is Bozo Texino”, and “Ramblin” are big news. You recorded a documentary over 11 years ago. What’s next for Mick Trackside? Do you have anything in the works other then the Zine?

MT: I’m just going to stay focused in documenting the traditional RxR graffiti done by “whoever”… not going to play any favorites, but will always tell it how it is! My friend Bill Daniel is sharing the fruits of his labor…and credit is due! His video is great! My documentary was more like a time capsule … it really wasn’t even planned! As for Ramblin, looking forward to seeing what they can bring to the table!

DH: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

MT: Thank you for these questions! Good luck with your website.

The above interview with Mick Trackside took place in 2011 for Digital Hobo.

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