EPISODE SHOW NOTES
Episode 40: Hollywood Park featuring Mikel Jollett
Mikel Jollett, frontman of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event and author of the new memoir, Hollywood Park, spent his early years with his brother in an orphanage at the Synanon cult not knowing he had a mother and father of his own.
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Then, one day his birth mother returned to take them away from Synanon and give them a home. Unfortunately, this new arrangement created a further level of harm for the brothers and they suffered emotional abuse and deprivation at her hands. Over the next few years they would endure poverty, isolation, and constant uncertainty about their future and safety. The only bright spot was their father, a recovering heroin addict who became part of their life when he got out of prison and whose new wife Bonnie became the mother they had always needed.
In this episode, Mikel joins Ronit to talk about early trauma and it’s lasting legacy, the search for family, and who we invent to survive; how for years though he tried to undo the abuse and absence of his childhood he wasn’t able to make lasting changes until he faced his fears head-on. Hollywood Park is his memoir and also The Airborne Toxic Event’s new album, the story of how Mikel not only survived but became the person he was meant to be.
Mikel Jollett is the frontman of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event. Prior to forming the band, Jollett graduated with honors from Stanford University. He was an on-air columnist for NPR’s All Things Considered, an editor-at-large for Men’s Health and an editor at Filter magazine. His fiction has been published in McSweeney’s.