Mickey O’Halloran

Mickey O’Halloran was born right after the end of WW II into a dysfunctional household with a brother and two sisters in the rough, low income neighborhood of Charlestown, MA. The charismatic Michael James O’ Quilty O’ Halloran used his wit and wisdom to survive being an Army Green Beret during the Viet Nam War and afterwards he used the same street smarts to become one of the driving forces in the Boston music scene during the ’70’s. ’80’s and ’90’s. Soon after being discharged, the Mick landed a job as a bouncer at K K K Katy’s in Kenmore Square where he worked security at the door with Jimmy Harold, the future owner of the club right across the street; The Rat. In the next twenty years Mickey O would manage Jasper’s and Jumbo’s in Somerville, Bunratty’s, Harper’s Ferry and Molly’s in Allston, and Sir Morgan’s Cove in Worcester. He would also guide the careers of local legends Sal Baglio and his group The Stompers, and Charlie Farren and his group Balloon. Mickey O would also invent The Beat (Best Entertainment Around Town) fanzine in 1984 and write many interviews, reviews and the entertainment gossip column Insignifica for it and many other local publications during that decade. O’ Halloran also owned record labels Fast Track Records and later Bo Town Records and came out with numerous releases including my own compilation albums Boston Does The Beatles (1988), Bo-Town Does Mo-Town (1990), Boston Gets Stoned (produced by THE Jimmy Miller in 1994) and Boston Gets A Grip (2008 – out seven years after his death.) Mickey O also worked with Chuck White on Dirty Water, an online catalog describing the Boston History of Rock and Roll, and was also a co-founder of The Boston Rock and Roll Museum which has since morphed into the Music Museum Of New England. He left behind two daughters and a son. At his burial three uniformed Army Green Berets shot their guns three times each into the air to give him a nine gun salute. His life and legacy may not have been long and legendary but it was certainly monumental, meteoric, mythical and  magnificent.  Many years after his death, the Boston entertainment scene still shows signs of his impressive entrepreneurial existence.

(by A.J. Wachtel)

Published on October 12, 2016