September 8 Moondog (& Reich & Weir)

Moondog, Steve Reich, Bob Weir, at Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1989 – photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries / Allen Ginsberg Estate

On November 9, 1989, Allen accompanied his friend Philip Glass to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for its Benefit Gala Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of New Music America.  Among the celebrants, and indeed honored and feted on that night, was Philip’s one-time house-mate, the extraordinary blind eccentric musician-composer, Louis Thomas Hardin, “the Viking of Sixth Avenue”, Moondog.

He’d been a long-time away, living his last years pretty much in obscurity in Germany and came back to New York for this special event.

Allen’s photograph captures him, alongside Philip’s minimalist-composer confrère, Steve Reich, and the Grateful Dead founding-member, singer, guitarist, Bob Weir.

& here’s Allen and Moondog together (from that same evening):

Moondog’s  remarkable career and life cry out for a full documentary and one by Holly Elson  (“The Viking of Sixth Avenue”) has been announced, and was to have appeared several years ago.
Here‘s an early trailer for the film. Here‘s a more recent trailer (last updated in 2021) with more footage (and updates regarding the previously-established Kickstarter account).

Meantime Gordon Spencer’s two-part 1971 WBAI radio documentary (tho’ only partial) would be a good place to start.

And biographer Robert Scotto’s five regular appearances on Irwin Chusid’s WFMU show
– see here.

There’s also a You Tube profile – here – and here

For a further extensive and detailed (written) account – see Daniel Dylan Wray’s “Moondog – The vagabond who became a countercultural icon”

Here‘s Moondog’s 1969 eponymous LP:

and here’s Moondog 2

For more (much more) Moondog attention – see Wolfgang Gnida’s Moondog Corner (including, among much else, fascinating examples of Moondog’s poetry)

Moondog passed away, September 8, 1999, 23 years ago, on this day.

Regarding Steve Reich – Reich has been named “among the great composers of the century” (The New York Times).”the most original musical thinker of our time” (The New Yorker), and “America’s greatest living composer” (Village Voice).

Here’s his seminal  Music For 18 Musicians (1976)

A six-part documentary on Steve Reich from 2007

Here’s Double Sextet (2007), the piece that won him the 2009 Pulitzer Prize

Steve Reich – ten selections

For more on Steve Reich – see here 

Reich will be 86 next month and has far from dried up. He speaks of his most recent recording, Reich/Richter (inspired by the painter Gerhart Richter) – here

This year (2022) has also seen the publication of a new book of his, his third –  Conversations (with collaborators and friends)

Reich is interviewed at length about those two projects – here


& finally, Bob Weir        

check out The Other One – The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir  (2015)
Here‘s a 2015 interview with Dan Rather
Here’s a conversation from 2020 with Paul Hollo for American Songwriter

Here’s Bob Weir from 2022 (this past February) in the LA Times 

Bob Weir will turn 75 next month. He continues to make music to astonish us.

Music!  Divine music!

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