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I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

But rather than let them sit on a hard drive forever I thought I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Mark Borchardt"

Mark Borchardt

I first “met” Mark Borchardt (over the phone) in 2000 when I interviewed him for Tastes Like Chicken (which, at the time, was named Chickenhead). The interview ran that July here.

A few months later—that December to be exact, while I visited my family for the holidays—Mark and I finally met in person at a screening of American Movie at the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse in Wauwatosa. We had both seen (or in Mark’s case, had lived) the movie before, so after he did a little speech at the start of the film we wandered across the street for a few drinks at Walters’ on North.

Fast-forward to 2004. I’m living on Milwaukee’s East Side (literally in the Tastes Like Chicken headquarters). In those four years since we last spoke, a group of friends and I had somehow managed to turn our monthly alt-weekly in Columbus, Ohio into an internationally-distributed, real-life magazine.

Yet we still weren’t making money. I don’t get it! How did Tastes Like Chicken ever fail?!? Hmmm….

But I digress….

After launching blindly with a “Best Of” issue for the magazine’s debut, we soon found ourselves in contract with multiple new distributors. While this was a great problem to have it was also extremely stressful. We now had to create another issue, and so we scrambled to line up interviews for what would become our second (and Summer 2004) issue.

We did pretty well, managing to nail down interviews with the band Teargas & Plateglass, Troma Films’ Lloyd Kaufman, and musicians Mike Doughty and Melissa Auf der Maur. Our cover interview—which was always considered to be each issue’s main feature—was an interview with Kiss’ Gene Simmons. To this day, this is the only issue of Tastes Like Chicken to ever sell out every copy.

To be read: If you own a copy of this issue, sign up for eBay now.

To round out the issue, I decided to contact Mark for a follow-up interview. Unlike our first interview, which was conducted over the phone, Mark invited me into his parents’ home for the follow-up. Having seen American Movie a million times before, I was already very familiar with this house.

We sat in his parents’ living room and talked for about an hour. Sadly, the interview that took place would become lost forever (the reason for this can be found at that previous link), but when the interview was over I shot a few images of Mark sitting in his dad’s recliner. The best frame of these photos is what you see above.

An interesting side-note: Mark had recently gotten sober, so the beer in his hand was an NA beer. Still, most likely in an attempt to keep some amount of beer-drinking cred, he asked me to shoot a few images with the bottle turned around so no one would know what he was drinking.

After the second interview came out, Mark and I saw each other a couple more times before I moved to Los Angeles in November 2008. He made an amazing cameo in our 2005 Tastes Like Chicken Video Christmas Card. (NOTE: He’s at the very end.) He (and Ken Keen) also showed up at a house party we threw after moving into our new house in Riverwest. Mark ended the party asleep in the middle of our staircase between the first and second floor, an uneaten cheeseburger still sitting on his paper plate.

He was also completely sober at the time. That’s 100% true.

I haven’t seen Mark since we moved, but lately I’ve been thinking about getting back in touch with him. Maybe the next time we’re in Milwaukee I’ll call him up and offer to take him out for a beer. NA, IPA, or otherwise.

Wishing I also had an old image of Mike Schank,


…in The Hagstone Demon!

Jesus told me so,


Old Poop!