RIP MoJoPo

mojoIf you were around long enough, you probably knew MoJoPo from one of a few places including his astrology column, Planet Power, or his music. Or maybe you knew him as the guy with that wonderful beard.

Though his given name was Michael Joseph Pryor, he went by MoJoPo, a nickname created by his initials. Most knew him simply as MoJo. Sadly, he died of a heart attack according to multiple sources on Facebook.

He was definitely an Omaha icon.

Pryor loved music and was often found taking his harmonica onstage to play with various bands. MoJo also played in Omaha bands such as Bumpy Action, MoJo Risin’ and Blue Valentine, and he had a space, MoJoPo’s Studio, used by local musicians as a practice space.

He attended Creighton Prep, and later played football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers (where he was clean-shaven and had a buzz cut). It was a time he called his “warrior days.” (Check out this image from the July 10, 1964, edition of The World-Herald.)

Pryor always had a strong interest in astrology, and he got into art after taking classes at Creighton University. He believed strongly in astrology and mysticism, and said he once lived in a forest for 10 months.

I met him back when I worked for The Reader and he’d come in and type out his astrology column. I don’t know that he had a computer, but someone would clear a desk and let him get to work. I’ll always remember him as a very kind man.

Please add any stories or remembrances about MoJo in the comments below.

UPDATE: This comes from MoJo’s official obit in The World-Herald: A Memorial Celebration and Tribute to the earthly life of Michael Joseph Pryor will be held at 5pm tonight at The OM Center at 1216 Howard Street in Omaha.

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9 Responses to RIP MoJoPo

  1. KEVIN MICEK says:

    you were a great man. very kind and caring.
    you will be missed.

  2. E L Zorko says:

    MoJo was playing his Blue Valentine show the night I met my husband, Kent (King Dick). I didn’t want to go, but a friend dragged me out (thanks, Keefer!). Blue valentine seemed appropriate for where I was in my life at the time. Kent was videotaping the show, but he and I were so interested in each other that on the video there are long sections where KD forgot to pan along with MoJo’s movements and so he disappears completely from the frame leaving an empty chair or unattended mic stand while the music plays on somewhere off screen. When I apologized about the quality of his video, I remember him saying something wistful and philosophic about the power of love. And that’s how I always knew him ever after. Always kind. Always calm. Always philosophic. Always with a heart full of love.

    You seemed so indestructible, MoJoPo. The loss of you is shocking. To say you will be missed is an understatement.

    The least we can do without him is try to live a little more with our hearts full of love….

  3. Kent (King Dick) Pendarvis... says:

    I had been a long time friend of Mojo….I had the unique opertunity to be one of his photographers and over the years I have amassed a large collection of Mojo doing what Mojo did best…..playing music….
    I along with all his friends will miss him greatly……
    This is Kent (King Dick) Pendarvis saying…..
    Safe journey old friend……..you’ll be missed……

  4. Little Elvis says:

    Happy celestial travels, my friend. There will be a new star shining in the heavens and its light will shine on all those you touched while on this mortal coil. We’re going to miss you, Mojo. Shine on……

  5. Steven says:

    Mojo was a fixture in Omaha. I attended the “Blue Valentine” performance several times, the last with my now wife, Melissa. I know that he still shines in the heavens above. A calm spirit, a kind heart makes a lasting memory.

    Safe Travels…..

  6. Jenelle Jones says:

    A wonderful memory from my misspent youth …Michael playing his. harmonica with Bumpy Action. All of that hair! Loved “When the Levy Breaks”….he was so good.

  7. Cole says:

    MICHAEL WILL BE MISSED MORE THAN ANYONE COULD EVER IMAGINE. HE ALWAYS HAD A KIND WORD FOR US AND WOULD SAY “DON’T WORRY, IT’LL BE OK”. 30 SOME YEARS AGO I MET HIM THRU OUR FRIEND, PHIL CHESNUT ON A JULY 4TH PARTY AT MY HOME ON 12TH AND BRIGGS. THEY BOTH HAD A LITTLE IGLOO COOLER FULL OF SOME OF THE BIGGEST J’S I HAD EVER SEEN!! WE WERE EACH GIVEN OUR OWN TO SMOKE! AND FROM THAT DAY FORWARD I BECAME PART OF WHAT HE NICKNAMED US AS – “THE LEO TRIO” JULIE BARNES, COLLEEN HENERY, AND PEGGY FRANKS. WE ARE VERY SADDENED AT HIS EARLY DEPARTURE FROM US, BUT WE WILL MEET AGAIN AT THE RAINBOW IN THE SKY!! TO ALL, STAY STRONG, COLE.

  8. imray says:

    I can’t believe it… I have followed his horoscope posts religiously for 10 years, i bumped into him and thanked him for his amazing insight… I’m at a total loss, see you on the other side MOJOPO!!

  9. christina says:

    I had the chance of meeting mojo at one of his music shows, a special man, he was. Forever greatful for the horoscopes and the pics we shared.