Trey Kay, Mitch Hanley Published

Us & Them: Heroin — N'ganga Dimitri

Dimitri Mugianis

In this episode, I reconnect with Dimitri Mugianis, a friend that I met nearly a quarter century ago when we were both playing in the New York City music scene. He was the front man of a fantastic band called “Leisure Class.”  Dimitri was a dynamic performer, charismatic, poetically eloquent and brimming with the energy of a possessed mad man.  He also had a pernicious heroin addiction.

Dimitri has been the subject of several of my radio reports over the years. He was in a piece that I produced for an NPR show and more notably, was part of a This American Life story that was honored with a New York Festivals Awards Gold Medal. Subsequently, Dimitri has been written about in New York Times features, was the subject of “I’m Dangerous With Love,” a feature length documentary and appeared on HBO’s investigative documentary program VICE. 

With the recent resurgence in the use of heroin, I thought it might be informative to revisit Dimitri’s story and examine some of his life’s more recent twists and turns.

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting and PRX, this is “Us & Them,” the podcast where we tell the stories about America’s cultural divides.

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