Local DJ confesses to defacing Vile mural

DJ Lee Mayjahs confessed through an assortment of online venues Sunday that he was indeed responsible for the defaced Kurt Vile mural in Fishtown.

Mayjahs was caught white-handed Saturday morning painting over the iconic Steve Powers (aka ESPO) mural, which was created in conjunction Vile’s 2013 album “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze.”

Najeeb Sheikh, a local artist, took a cell phone photo of the man in action and posted it to his Instagram account. Sheikh, who posts under the name @dasheikee, wrote that he was “Driving down front street at 9am this morning and this made me sick to my stomach. Random dude decided to buff the @steveespopowers mural because he doesn’t approve of it.”

On Sunday, local reporter Leah Kauffman posted a Q&A with Mayjahs to her Facebook page in which Mayjahs said he has lived in Fishtown for 15 years and cares about its future.

“For some reason I feel like ever since that piece has been there it’s attracted more and more graffiti,” Mayjahs told Kauffman. “Every time I paint over illegal graffiti I was blaming it on it (the mural) and I didn’t realize the people in the neighborhood love it, I’ve never really sat and looked at it. I never did any research on it and then I just snapped.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

Mayjahs also posted an apology in the comments section of a story on Philadelphia Magazine’s website.

“What I did yesterday was the most stupid and selfish thing I have ever done,” he wrote. “I think I literally had a mental breakdown and lost my mind there.”

Philadelphia rocker Vile posted a link to Metro’s story on his Facebook page with the caption: “Bummer of a day yesterday. … We’re all working on plans to have it redone and updated.”

In his comment on Philly Mag, Mayjahs ended with: “I will pay for ESPO to come back down and repaint.”

Who is Kurt Vile?

Kurt Vile. Credit: Wiki commons.
Kurt Vile. Credit: Wiki commons.

Music lovers in the Philadelphia area hail the Lansdowne-born singer/songwriter as a hometown hero ever since his beginnings with seasoned indie rockers The War on Drugs.

Vile and TWOD’s frontman Adam Granduciel made music together prior to starting the band but Vile left to pursue a solo career after the band’s debut album, “Wagonwheel Blues,” in 2008.

Since that time, Vile has put out five albums with his backing band The Violators including his 2013 effort “Wakin on a Pretty Daze,” which made several best-of lists last year.

The album was accompanied by the Stephen Powers’ mural in Fishtown. The music video for the opening track “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day” shows the time-lapsed painting of the mural.

Metro City Editor Christina Paciolla contributed to this story.

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly



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