Pine Hill (4​-​song ep, 2014)

by The Successful Failures

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Recorded live in March 2014 by producer Matt Gorman in Pine Hill, NJ - this ep serves as a vehicle for the Mick Chorba song "Mike Malloy" - exclusive to this release (the song will not appear on the soon to be released SF album, "Captains of Industry, Captains of War"). The three covers (Old Crow Medicine Show, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams respectively) were songs that had been in the live set for a while now. Joining the band especially for this recording is lead guitarist and PIne Hill resident - Pete Smith.


Mike Malloy is an unlikely protagonist for a song, even by my questionable standards. Little is known about who he really was. Approximately 60 years old and of Irish descent, Mike was a career drinker. Occasionally he would work an odd job and was more than happy to be paid in alcohol rather than cash. His legacy can be attributed to staying alive like a drunken Mr. Magoo while a team of "friends" repeatedly tried to murder him.

You see for seven long months, spanning from July 1932 to February 1933, a team of conspirators attempted to kill Mr. Malloy in order to cash in on a fraudulent life insurance policy they took out in his name. The song lyrics pretty much stick to the facts. The team started with a plan to just let Mike drink himself to death by providing him an open tab at the speakeasy they operated. However, Mike was up to the challenge and soon the group began slipping him pure wood alcohol to expedite his demise. "He didn't know he was drinking wood alcohol, "said one conspirator, "and what he didn't know didn't seem to hurt him. He drank all the wood alcohol we gave him and came back for more" (Abbot).

Eventually other concoctions (rotten seafood and other poisons) were ingested by Mike to no avail. The team had him run over by a taxi cab. When that didn't work they doused him with ice water and left him unclothed on a park bench. Mike was a survivor and like the fabled cat he too always came back. Finally though poor Mike was killed via carbon monoxide poisoning.

The murderers collected only $800.00 in insurance money. Soon thereafter the plot was uncovered and four of the conspirators were convicted for murder and sent to Sing Sing where they were executed by the electric chair.

Hope you enjoy the song - it was a blast to write and record.

- Mick Chorba

Work Cited

Abbot, Karen. "The Man Who Wouldn't Die" The February 7, 2012.


"The Poisoners Handbook". American Experience. PBS. <>


released August 26, 2014

Recorded by Matt Gorman

Ron Bechamps - bass, vocals, mandolin
Mick Chorba - vocals, guitar
Rob Martin - drums
Pete Smith - lead guitar


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FDR Label Chesterfield, New Jersey

FDR Label is the small NJ indie label with the big power pop heart. Formed in 1996, FDR Label is known for wildly popular tribute CDs to the Replacements, The Who, and the 80s movie tribute, High School Reunion.

Releases have featured Guided By Voices, Frank Black, Matthew Sweet, Pat Dinizio, The Bigger Lovers, Bastards of Melody, The Successful Failures, the Dipsomaniacs, Taggart, and many more.
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