The Frank Moore Archives

Hidden treasures discovered while digging through Frank Moore's huge archives.

#totalitarianstate PT. 2

In March 2001, Frank Moore started using the song “Fuck The War” as the closer for his “Frank Moore’s Unlimited Possibilities” public access cable TV show.  Shortly after 9/11, the singer/songwriter of the song “Fuck The War”, asked him to stop using it. He honored her request and instead played this clip:


From Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den with Lori B, January 16, 2005:

Frank: I will not use names, but I lost my theme song.

Linda: We had a theme song for a while for this show, and we lost it because the singer songwriter …

Frank: “Fuck the War”.

Linda: It was called “Fuck the War”. That was the song. And it was right after 9/11 or shortly after that, the singer songwriter contacted us. She knew that we were using it. It was actually … we used her singing it from when she was on the show.

Frank: She wrote it before all that.

Linda: Yeah, actually we started it as a theme song before all that too. And so at the point where all that started happening was like, oh, my God, the song is so …

Lori: Why did she pull the song?

Linda: She was concerned that somebody would go after her for it.

Linda: She said, I’m sure you’ll understand. And we said, no, we don’t understand!

Frank: And now I just sing it.

Linda: Right. So now we actually stopped it when she asked us to stop it. But at a certain point, Frank said, you know, I’m just going to sing the song, we need to have it back. So it’s him naked at a punk club singing the song. And that’s the footage we use as the close of our cable show.

Frank: But she moved.

Linda: She was not native to the United States and she moved back to her native country.

Lori: I see.

Frank: Because …

Linda: Probably from fear, I would imagine. I mean, the last we heard from her, it seemed like that’s what she was involved in. Fear.

Lori: Oh my God. Fear.

THE GHOSTLY FINGERS OF ABSTRACTION

By Frank Moore
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

the ghostly fingers
of abstraction
are cold oatmeal.

those hands
of wind
can not touch
or hold.
they go right thru you…
not very fulfilling
not very satisfying

time to get out of that room,
time to stop waiting

“Flower Power”, digital painting, 2010 by Frank Moore

From the book Skin Passion by Frank Moore.

Wacky Racers

In 2007 Frank was contacted by journalist Ravi Somaiya who wanted to do an interview for The Independent about Frank’s presidential campaign. He also contacted and interviewed Frank’s running mate, Dr. Susan Block. We never saw the article in The Independent, but we found it in The Age (theage.com.au) in Australia. Below is the excerpt from the article about Frank’s campaign.


Wacky Racers

Ravi Somaiya, The Age (Australia, theage.com.au), December 9, 2007

Forget Hillary and Barack. The real characters vying for the Oval Office in next year’s US presidential election are the wackos, the zealots, the eternally optimistic and the latest round of former Hollywood stars.


FRANK MOORE Independent

Most shrewd political advisers would counsel against appearing naked except for your shoes and socks and having a girl grind up and down on you. But performance artist and quadriplegic Frank Moore isn’t following the usual advice.

He’s known as the “Stephen Hawking of performance art” and communicates, like the esteemed Lucasian professor of mathematics, with a pointing board. His vice-presidential candidate is Dr Susan Block, an internet and telephone sex therapist who also hosts an explicit cable and internet TV show.

“Define ‘win’,” he says through his interpreter when I ask about his chances. “I have already won. You are talking to me. It’s not just a publicity exercise, but (an effort) to get the issue talked about in a real way.”

His policies include abolishing welfare and social security in favour of a $1000-a-month payment for every adult; free education and healthcare for all; a flat-rate tax of 10% for earnings up to $1 million, with a 75% rate on earnings above that; and halving the military budget.

“I suppose at first it’s kind of funny,” says Block. “Here’s this quadriplegic artist and a pretty outspoken sex therapist who likes to dress up in lingerie. But I think when people read our platform they’ll find there’s a lot of sense in it. Right now, some politicians are sexually repressed and channeling their sexual energies into big phallic bombs and war and destruction.” Make love not war, indeed.


The Frank Moore for President 2008 campaign at the How Berkeley Can You Be Festival 2007.
From left to right: Mikee LaBash, Linda Mac, Alexi Malenky, Frank Moore, Corey Nicholl, Erika Shaver-Nelson.

Read the original article here:
https://www.theage.com.au/technology/wacky-racers-20071209-ge6hd4.html

Interview with Godfrey Reggio 2014

GODFREY REGGIO
© ERLING MANDELMANN

When Frank lived in Santa Fe in the early 1970s, one if his friends was Godfrey Reggio, who later became a filmmaker, most known for his trilogy of films Koyaanisqatsi (1982), Powaqqatsi (1988), and Naqoyqatsi (2002). After Frank died we had Corey (Nicholl) contact Godfrey about doing an interview about what he remembers of his time with Frank and the scene in Santa Fe at that time. Here is the complete interview:


Corey: Hi, is this Godfrey?

Godfrey: Indeed.

Corey: Hi, this is Corey.

Godfrey: Hey, Corey. Thanks for taking the time.

Corey: Well, thank you. I really appreciate it.

Godfrey: I’ll do my best, Corey.

Corey: OK, I’ll do my best. Yeah, I was a student of Frank’s for almost 20 years, and at a certain point we went over a lot of his history and he talked about his time in Santa Fe and he talked about you. So I guess my first question would just be, how did you first meet Frank?

Godfrey: Oh boy, what an incredible event. I was at … this is in the early ‘70s. I was at the infamous bar called Claude’s, which allowed all different cultural strands of Santa Fe from machismo to hippy to homosexual to lesbian to straight guys in the bar. It was quite a raucous place. The bar was divided into two parts, one part where you could sit by the bar and tables and talk, and the other was a huge room where music, usually by a live band, was played. I walked in – not sure of my state at the time – but I walked into the big room and there I saw this gorgeous woman with Frank Unicorn dancing in gyrations on the floor. Frank, of course, was dancing in his chair, but I have never seen someone so animated with such a liability. Also his face was beaming with … with delight. It just blew my mind. And he was with the woman at that time who was, I don’t know, like his surrogate mother. Let me say that, I hope that’s not wrong. Called Louise Scott.

Corey: Louise, yes.

Louise Scott

Godfrey: And I recognized in Frank, an extraordinary person at that point, someone who took a liability and made it an enormous asset in his life. During the course of him being in Santa Fe and me being here, I had countless “discussions” with him. He had an enormous sensitivity and brilliance, which was shown principally through his humor. Of course, Frank – I say “discussion” in quotes – Frank talked to me with his arrow pointer on his brilliant board, and after a few rounds of that, I got to pick it up quite quickly. And I would see in his eye when I connected with what he was struggling to tell me … a great delight. I just loved the dude. I felt he was an extraordinary human being and one that was a light for all of us, actually. His courage in the presence of such a, let’s say difficulty, was beyond admirable.

Corey: He talked about the way that everyone would get together and talk. He sort of – we had at a certain point went over and spent some time with Father George and Louise in San Francisco and just spent an evening talking with them. And afterward he said, “That’s the way we all talked back then.”

Godfrey: Right. It was like a free, open discussion of not just chatter or how’s the weather or, you know, can we get any more drugs? It was meaty and full of brilliance. It was a delight to be with him. A true delight.

Corey: Do you remember George and Helen and Phoenix?

Godfrey: Oh, yeah, I do. Yes, I do. I remember his beautiful wives that were certainly in love and devoted to Frank and all of his enormous talent.

Corey: Right, so he was there first in about 1970 and ‘71, and then he left for a little bit and then he was back again. And I was actually gonna ask you, were you still in contact with him when he came back?

Godfrey: Yes. When he came back.

Corey: Yeah.

Godfrey: Now I’m not sure where he went, but I know he picked up a degree at the University of New Mexico. Or I thought he did.

Corey: Right.

Godfrey: And I also know that he sold papers on the Plaza.

Corey: Right.

Godfrey: And he was a very smart boy. He knew that people seeing him, his condition, would pay dearly for the paper. And they did. So he really had the showman, he had a showmanship. He was not, you know, running away from his infliction. He was embracing it and using it for not only himself, but all those people that were fortunate to be in his light.

Corey: Did you actually see him out there selling papers?

Godfrey: Indeed. At that time the paper cost a quarter. I don’t think anybody paid less than a one dollar bill for it. He got a great, great joy out of that. And he used that. He was a supporter of his community.

Corey: How do you mean supporter?

Godfrey: Well, he worked, he had to work and get money. And, you know, money was used in a very, let’s say, minimal way to support the basic needs of life, but mainly to give joy to the, as it were, the leisure that he lived his life by.

Corey: He said … he talked about the cop patrol, and he said he went – did you remember him going on a cop patrol with you?

Godfrey: I remember him being very interested. Louise Scott and Frank realized that the coming of the hippies in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s into New Mexico was a bit like oil and water. They became the object of … they became the lowest, as it were, on the totem pole. And it was all during that time he lived in a place called the Jose Street compound, which was a very funky part of town on the north end, which had a little plaza in the middle of it. And I remember Louise and Frank put on a fiesta there to invite all the local Chicanos, Hispanics to that event. They had a greased pig event. I remember Frank was like the ringleader of the entire thing with Louise. During that time, I was working as a street organizer with barrio groups. We had a thing, we had a group called La Gente. And we were at that time, police were, you know, running roughshod over the poor and – because they had no access to legal care or legal advice, etc. After trying to talk to the police and getting nowhere, we decided to follow them around. Having access to the ten code through nefarious means, we were able on police radios, two-way radios, which were sold at … where was it … what’s the … I can’t remember, one of the electronics stores in town, were able to hear all their conversations and drive with people following the police and would actually get to the location before the police did, to be there to make sure that nobody was, nobody’s rights were trampled. Frank was a great admirer of that and was just blown away by the audacity of that act.

Corey: Of doing the patrolling.

Godfrey: Right. And we always patrolled not just with gang members. These were all gang members who were taking their energy from fighting each other to helping their community. We always rode with either a lawyer or a news person in the car so that the police couldn’t plant us with drugs or guns or anything like that and then accuse us.

Corey: Wow. What is a greased pig event?

Godfrey: Well, if you go to a fiesta sometimes they’ll grease up a pig, meaning put lard all over the pig, let the pig go and you have to run and try to catch the pig. Of course you have to dive for the pig. But what you get is grease on your hand, body, face, clothes, and the pig squeals away. It was a, you know, a tradition that was adopted by Louise and Frank for this occasion with the Hispanic community.

Corey: He also talked about the Motherfuckers.

Godfrey: Who are they? That I’m not sure.

Corey: The motherfuckers … they were like … He said – at some point – he related you to them in some way and at some point that they had, you know … Do you remember Father George’s center?

Godfrey: Yes, I do.

Corey: And then at some point, there was some kind of, not exactly enmity, but I guess it was sort of like the way you were talking about the hippies coming in and being …

Godfrey: There was an enmity between some of the Hispanic community and the hippie community. The hippie community rolled into northern New Mexico. It became like the rural epicenter of hippiedom in the United States. By putting in communes and arriving as if they had just come off an operatic stage in Paris, dressed in all kinds of used clothes and made up clothes. However, some of that brilliance that they brought with them lacked the sensitivity to the local culture. And there was a divide between the cultures initially. And Frank and Louise with Father George and some others, talking to me and working with me, helped bridge that gap by putting on fiestas, cooking food, not just coming out of expensive homes to do charity, but actually living in the presence of the barrio.

Corey: Right.

Godfrey: There was a, you know, they were socially conscious people, not just there for their own enjoyment.

Corey: Right.

Godfrey: I think that bears out … I remember … can’t remember when, but I remember being in New York for something to do with the film. I was there probably trying to raise money. And I got this call in the middle of the night from one of his wives saying that Frank and some others had taken over the federal building in San Francisco. And would I please make every effort to come out immediately? Frank wanted to talk to me. So because I loved Frank and knew that he wouldn’t make a ridiculous request, I got on a plane the very next day. Went out to San Francisco. I arrived. There was a huge crowd of people in front of the federal building, police, etc. Somehow I was cleared right through the lines and got up to Frank, who went ballistics when he saw me. You remember, Frank, he’d almost levitate out of the chair. And we sat and, you know, did conversation and a lot of analysis on what was going on. And I tried to give him my best point of view about what they might do. I think Frank has a lot to do with this, he called, his effort, a movement for the Crips.

Corey: Right.

Godfrey: And they wanted to be recognized in terms of their disability and how the law could help support the infirmities they had. Like proper access on street corners so they don’t have to go over curbs, all those kind of things, etc.

Corey: Right.

Godfrey: And I think largely because of his efforts and those that surrounded him, a lot of laws were passed not only in California, but all over the country.

Corey: Yeah. Yeah, I was going to ask you if you had – how much contact you had had after that time in Santa Fe with Frank. 

Godfrey: Not a lot. I lived in a kind of a closet world of making films at that point working with street gangs, an activist. And I’d go occasionally to San Francisco, especially after he moved there, and would see them occasionally, but not that often. I wanted very much to catch the crip revue [The Outrageous Beauty Revue] in North Beach, but somehow that schedule eluded me. But here is a guy that, you know … he knew, he had a power of a limit which gave him an enormous capacity to use that, not only in his personal living and I guess a commune in Berkeley and his deep mind, but also, you know, for the good of other people.

Corey: How do you mean that – “the power of the limit”?

Godfrey: Well, he had a severe limit. His limits were severe, having been injured at birth. And that limit became his power. Rather than feeling sorry for himself or ending up as a helpless person somewhere, he became an active and lightening rod presence in his community. He took that limit and made it his power. A lesson for us all.

Corey: Right. He had said back when we were doing this that the people he was telling me about, like you and Louise and George and others, are all connected still. And were doing the same things they were doing then, and the same kinds of things that Frank was still doing. Do you feel that same connection with that time and that kind of continuity?

Godfrey: Well, you know, if I forget it, it remembers me. It watermarked me. It was the most dynamic period of my … I’m now just about 75. And that was in when I was in my 20s, early 30s. And everything afterwards has been like a faint glimmer compared to the intensity, the camaraderie and the intellectual provocation of the moment. So as I said, if I forget it, it remembers me. It’s in me.

Corey: Yeah. He mentioned that you had started a free clinic also back then? Was he involved at all in that?

Godfrey: Not in a direct way. We had La Clinica de la Gente. There were … the city at that time was about 40,000 people, maybe a little less, and fully 40 percent of the population was in very poor condition and had no access to primary medical care. The medical community did nothing about it. Through the Office of Economic Opportunity, we got the city declared as a medically indigent area, which caused the medical community to go ballistic because it reflected on their lack of care, and we were able to get funding to the National Health Service Corps to set up a community clinic run by the community who employed the doctors from the National Health Service Corps. That clinic lasted for probably close to 15 years in two locations for an average of maybe 30,000 people a year, which is incredible. And went under for all kinds of reasons, probably as much to do with the complete exhaustion of those who spent a large part of their life doing nothing but that.

Corey: Were you involved with it?

Godfrey: It became a model. And now there are medical clinics all over New Mexico. That clinic in Santa Fe and the one up in Rio Arriba County and Tierra Amarilla were the first two in the state. Of course, they were set up by activists and had to fight for the objectives they declared. Now, it’s part of the institutional structure of the state.

Corey: Wow. Were you involved in those through that time?

Godfrey: Well, I helped with the gang members to set up the first clinic here, my La Clinica de la Gente. I was very involved. I was an ex-Brother, Christian Brother. And I must say my time at this period was infamous rather than famous.

Corey: How do you mean that?

Godfrey: Well, we were following police around. We were having huge demonstrations. We were organizing poor people, which is anathema to anyone in authority. And we were having impact. We were against the urban renewal program, which we call the urban removal program, and played quite an active political role in the community, even set up a political party called the – what was it called …? The Citizens Coalition for Responsible Government. And fielded a group of candidates. And while we didn’t win the election, we made certainly the difference between the two principal candidates who were, let’s say, of the established order. And some of the candidates that we fielded went on to become prominent, very, let’s say, liberal politicians that are still active today. Like Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino.

Corey: Wow. Was Frank involved in that?

Godfrey: Not that I’m aware of. No, he would have been gone by that time. I’m not sure when he moved to the Bay Area.

Corey: Right. That was around 1974-75.

Godfrey: Yeah. Well this would have been right after that. Around ‘76.

Corey: Did you know that he ran for president?

Godfrey: No, I didn’t know that. (laughs) Doesn’t surprise me though.

Corey: 2008.

Godfrey: I didn’t know that.

Corey: Yeah. We got him as a certified write-in candidate in 25 states.

Godfrey: Wow …

Corey: And he got votes all over the country.

Godfrey: Well he’s a very bright guy. I mean, one has to go beyond appearance into the clarity of a bright mind, which he certainly had. He was a genius kind of guy.

Corey: Can you talk about how you got Frank on the rent board in Santa Fe and about the rent strike?

Godfrey: Ah, well, I don’t want to make that up, so I can’t remember. I just can’t remember. We had all kinds of activity going on. When urban renewal came in, they moved hundreds of people out of their properties to nowhere, and of course no one cared who had any power, to make room for corporations like big hotels and legal offices. And all these people had to go out wherever. So there was an enormous amount of organizing around that.

Corey: Yeah, he said that it was resolved in some way by your and his involvement in it.

Godfrey: Well, it could have been. I just can’t remember. My group, La Gente, were regular and painful members for the city council at their monthly meetings. We were not just there screaming and having demonstrations. We came with enormous amount of research and diligence. And of course, we were hard to accept because we were considered militant at that time. I guess if it were this time, we would be called terrorists. A politically convenient term created by authority to give itself legitimacy. But we went in extremely well researched and prepared for anything we did. So, for example, one of the larger barrios in the west side, the city council wanted to change the housing ordinance from home use to multiple use, which means that people could set up businesses there. Well, of course, that took the property rights up through the roof. A lot of people were hoodwinked by real estate people into accepting very bad deals for their property, not realizing that if they missed one payment after they moved to another location, they’d lose all the benefit they got from their properties. So that was all part of the activity at that time, and Frank was involved.

Corey: Do you still live in Santa Fe primarily?

Godfrey: I do. I’ve lived here now for 55 years. I travel a lot. And when I have a film, I usually go to New York or somewhere in Europe to make the film.

Corey: How has it changed since that time?

Godfrey: Well, you know, it’s become the center for the hip-“eoisie”, as it were. And it has an enormous Mexican population now, of probably over 15-18,000 people, the most industrious people I’ve ever seen in my life, who have to constantly deal with their legal status. The local community, the local Hispanic community, the Chicano community, however you want to call it, there’s nothing happening in terms of any kind of community organizing. The only thing that’s happening is institutional service, which in my opinion, does very little for people other than keep them, you know, with hands out at the trough rather than letting them see they can control their own destiny. But I see little or none of that here. Now that might be limited by my, you know, lack of involvement compared to what it was years ago. But it’s become a very wealthy community and an extraordinarily poor community at the same time. It’s also pretty violent.

Corey: I was going to ask you, you know, because of the way you talked about the way you all talked together back then, and I was going to ask you how you would compare just the way people were with each other at that time to the way you see people with each other now, just in, you know, relationships?

Godfrey: Well we lived in an, for me only within that context and I’m sure for others, in an extraordinary period, the ‘60s and the ‘70s. Many people, most of them younger, decided to leap and then that will appear. They were willing to create a whole new existence for themselves, didn’t buy into the acquisition of power or money, rather, into the convivial relationships between people. That was extraordinary. Today, young people, you know, probably have not that opportunity. It’s not in the air. The culture is different. Everything that was real during that period is somehow been co-opted by corporations and put into the, you know, the enigma of a commodity culture. So it’s a different time. I must say, regretfully, that a lot of the people of that period that I knew, found an easy transition into the more dominant world and left behind, except for nostalgia, that very vital period of life.

Corey: How, why do you think that has happened?

Godfrey: Well, hmm, that’s a good question. It’s a very good question. I guess the, you know, the communities broke apart. They were idealistic communities, many of them not dealing with the, you know, with the, as it were, that which makes for the clarity of really living together. It’s like if you first meet your love in life, everything is rosy, everything is beautiful until the consistency of life takes in. And that which was so rosy now becomes ordinary and habitual. And it takes a strong person to break through that and find the real value of a relationship or the real value of the work they do. I think a lot of people couldn’t handle that and went back to, dare I say, a straight life, and now only look at what they did in the past from a nostalgic or “Gee, I did that. But, you know, that was when I was young.” That’s not to say that’s for everybody, but certainly we don’t have that same kind of cultural activity in this country now. More about conformity then about … I mean, in that time, our flag was our shadow. We were here to recreate another way of living, which is at once insane and admirable. But we all felt we lived in an insane world, so … I think we still do now. It’s on steroids.

Corey: That first place you mention where you actually first met Frank is called “Quad’s”?

Godfrey: Claude’s Bar. It’s not there anymore. It was on Canyon Road. That’s before the Art Mafia took over the art scene in Santa Fe. Real artists lived on the road with no money. They hung at Claude’s, it was like their church and it brought together all aspects of our community in a very convivial and at times raucous and dangerous way. It was a real center for nightlife, started by a woman named Claude James, herself a lesbian who was the daughter of the editor of The New York Times at that point.

Corey: Wow. Do you recall the Water Street Coffee House?

Godfrey: Yes, I do.

Corey: That’s another place that Frank mentioned.

Godfrey: The Water Street Coffee House was kind of a hangout place where music took place, a lot of drinking and talking. I didn’t hang out much there. I was much more active in the barrio, but that was right off the barrio. But my time was involved more as an organizer.

Corey: There’s a film script that we read a brief section of together that he had started writing when he was there with a part for Belle Carpenter.

Godfrey: Oh, gracious.

Corey: Do you remember anything about that?

Godfrey: No, but I used to live with Belle Carpenter for a very long time. And, you know, we share a daughter and a stepdaughter. But no, she was a very vivacious, generous and beautiful person. So I can imagine that Frank was quite taken with her. She was more than generous to people. She opened her house up for a lot of people. When I lived there, it was like a, you know, a hippie campground.

Corey: You met her at that time in Santa Fe?

Godfrey: Yes, I met her in the very early ‘70s. 1970 in Santa Fe.

Corey: Did you ever talk about girls in relationships with Frank?

Godfrey: Not that I’m aware of. No. I knew that he had a beautiful girlfriend at the time, and then two, and they were totally devoted and in love with Frank. I can never remember talking specifically about relationships with Frank. Our conversations were meaty, metaphysical, having to do with the culture of the moment and what was not happening with it and how we could do something about it.

Corey: Yeah. He talked about how … well when he was first there, he hadn’t really had like a girlfriend or, you know, a real …

Godfrey: There was Louise, who was like, I guess a –

Corey: A friend–

Godfrey: – a big sister, a momma.

Corey: Yeah. And then when he left, he ended up in a commune in Massachusetts and that’s where he met Debbie.

Godfrey: Right. And I met them here somehow.

Corey: Yeah. When he came back, he was with her and then they ended up being with Jo. There were several of them.

Godfrey: Both of them. Met both of them. Debbie first. Then Jo.

Corey: Yeah. But when he was first there and when I guess when he first met you, he really hadn’t … he said that he saw, there were so many opportunities, he just didn’t think that it could be for him.

Godfrey: Well he just – he was being modest I think. (laughs) I think he thought it could be, just had to find out how. And he certainly did that. No I think a lot of people’s lives were enlivened by knowing Frank. He’s an extraordinary person. And he cast a very large patina, as it were, over all of our lives. Incredible person.

Corey: How do you think that – how does that – like, how so? You know, what is it about …?

Godfrey: I mean, because of how bright he was, how sensitive he was, how creative and innovative he was, how the liability that he had became a real asset for him. How he didn’t let that prevent him from living a full, better than full, life. I mean, he lived a life that probably most straight people would be envious of.

Corey: Yeah.

Godfrey: I found him to be an extraordinary person. He had shine on him.

Corey: Yeah.

Godfrey: And his sense of humor was like contagious. To me, humor is a real sign of superintelligence. He played the contradictions. He knew what to do. He had a good guardian angel. As he became the guardian angel for many other people.

Corey: Did you know that he took on students in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s?

Godfrey: Not really. I lost contact with anything specific other than the love I had for him and … and I think vice versa. And I would go to the Bay Area occasionally and would look them up. But I really lost any daily contact with Frank after he left here.

Corey: Yeah. Did you stay in contact with Louise or any others from that time?

Godfrey: Oh Louise I stayed in contact with more, but she moved away as well, moved to Mexico. I know all of her children. I knew all of her children really well. I watched them grow up to be wonderful people. And I know that she had serious health problems and went to Mexico and then came back to the States. But then I lost contact with Louise as well.

Corey: She’s here. She’s north of us, here in the Bay Area. And we visited her recently, with her daughter Denise.

Godfrey: Oh, yeah.

Corey: And she’s, you know, she’s doing well. They’re both doing well.

Godfrey: How old is Louise now? Do you know?

Corey: I’m not sure. I think she’s in her mid-‘80s.

Godfrey: OK. She was, you know, like Frank: a watershed event. I mean to be around Frank was like being around an act of nature. It was astounding. And the same for Louise with her compassion, generosity, willingness to – you know, there’s a difference between giving money to the poor and bringing people into your life, into your home. And she was that kind of beautiful person. People loved her.

Corey: Yeah. This has been amazing, but is there anything more you can say about that?

Godfrey: Oh, I’d just be repeating myself. I wish I had more detail, but his presence looms very big in my imagination and my soul. I feel fortunate to have known Frank Moore.

Corey: Well, thank you so much.

Godfrey: You’re very welcome. I hope you get something out of this for what you want.

Corey: Oh, yes, definitely.

Godfrey: OK, well, give my good regards to any of his family that are still around. And Louise, if you see her again. Well, thank you so much. And let me know when you’re finished. Send me something.

Corey: Yes, definitely. So thank you so much, Godfrey.

Godfrey: Good luck for doing this. Thank you for taking on this.

Corey: Thank you.

Godfrey: Bye bye now.

Corey: Bye bye.


Listen to the interview here:


Louise Scott & Denise LaCount interviews,
recorded April 26, 2014, Graton, California

Eat Your Heart Out

December 2011

I have always had a rich full fun life.
Everything comes easy to me.
I don’t care about being
Respectable
or so “successful”,
or acceptable
beyond this inner flesh.

I surrender to play and to life.
Everything comes so far
into juicy bits
of extraordinary supernatural modality
of relationship dynamics upon my word.

I know this is not what to say
if you want to be included in
the addressing Fields
of dazzling whiteness
over oils of press and applause.

They want victims
suffering against overwhelming odds
of the temptation
to editorialize
defeat to survive barely,
waiting to take possession
of these annoying
medical monsters of yokes
of repression…

A special freak
who came to replace
the control box
by profound attention
and ordeal of extraordinary dimensions
bearing upon big terms of
keeping with heavy leaden gray deceptive dawn
between the tempest
and this dreadful nightmare of repression.

Of course you can’t do it,
they say.

He
[me]
is special
with courage,
strength surmounted all obstacles
being mauled by isolation
resulting from between physical problems…
And abilities of luck…
All of which you
and most people
unhappy don’t have.

He
[me]
is special exception
that proves the extreme point of
hopelessness,
helplessness
appalling disaster
which imprison everybody
without any possible alternatives.

They push this shit!

I am always able to handle anything,
having fun
in the freedom
of not knowing
what is impossible.

My dreams are melting
into juicy molten
every day activities just as
people who thought I was Jewish!

I surrender to play and to life.

Everything comes so easy!

Yes, it is hard work sometimes.

But I have come out

of the extreme edge
of things
in my wheelchair
addressing similar circumstances.

Escape from whatever
between us and fun!

They want you to think
you got it
better than me,
somebody,
anybody!

You ain’t got shit!

But at least you ain’t
a victim
of cerebral palsy for life,
suffering with cerebral palsy.

At least you ain’t confined to a wheelchair!

At least you can walk,
talk,
feed yourself,
wipe your own asshole
in the way God tends you to do!

At least you can play football
until you break your neck
playing football!
Then…

Oh, well…

At least
you ain’t
a nigger
or a woman,
or a fag!

Reporters scramble everything up.

They don’t use their souls,
their formidable pricking eyes.

They see a wheelchair
and they write
suffering victim
of cerebral palsy
confined to a wheelchair
and is ninety eight percent disabled
with no body control…

Oh yes he saw a murder!

Reporters are brainwashed.

They have only filter tip eyes!

They see me dancing,
playing piano
smothering the piece
of pounding
lustily on the keys
with vehemence and whatever else,
painting those unknown sights
in oils by Jackson Pollock physical ritualism
of direct engagement
with my whole body control of the paint
with my head,
seeing me
feeling up
right up
her inner flesh with style and aim…

And they conclude
and report
I am paralyzed,
stiffened under the bottom
of no movements
or control
or bodily feelings
and am
ninety eight percent disabled,
helpless,
vulnerable,
hopeless fizzle.
And you depend upon them
for the clear ultimate vision
of direct experiencing
of observation of objectivity!

I suppose
I could even paint
if I was Jewish paralyzed.

But I would have to come up
with a difficult style and techniques
which involve the necessity
of deferring to explore
my luck
and whatever
between physical touch
and the one more reckless effort
to free any particular color.

But the brainwashed plot
is so complete
that some playmates
who had romp with me
flexuosity
and yum
yum
yum
have then bought
that empty press surrebuttal
of my Body of Christ.

I told you so, folks.

I obviously wasn’t meant
for the control
of what is possible!

Poetry of truffles
and Champagne
and yum
yum of philosophy,
humor among various gangland serfs
and behind the curtain of fog
and romantic shit
about how boring it
was to build
upon communicating
even before speaking.

The margins exclude
almost entirely most of everything
which is noncommercial,
uncensored,
unconscious,
unexpected
original Files
under the command of Bruni d’Entrecasteaux,
ignoring such bestial-looking creatures
like you and me.

Also he gave me shit
about getting deeper
into the ultimate midst
of the arousing desire
of magical colors
disappeared from humanity
and love
with wide open legs
thrust into bed
after eating
the contents of folly!

But wisdom
which may be able to procure fresh meat
for everybody here
is what I am looking for!


From the book, Skin Passion by Frank Moore:
https://www.eroplay.com/skinpassion/index.html

Front cover of the book Skin Passion, featuring a detail of Frank’s digital painting “Toni”.

I Get Results! Frank Moore for President 2008

I Get Results! Frank Moore for President 2008
​Cushion Works, San Francisco, CA
January 20–March 12, 2021
Organized by Jordan Stein with Keith Wilson

Photo by Graham Holoch

From the website about the exhibit:

I Get Results! presents archival video footage, including public appearances and platform pronouncements, alongside official campaign documentation, press, and merchandise, all set within a patriotic installation modeled after the Moore/Block info-table assembled for events around the Bay. The exhibition opens on Inauguration Day, 2021, and remains on view for six weeks.

Keith Wilson and Jordan Stein looking through the archives in Berkeley to select items for the exhibit.

Visit the website for the exhibit here:
https://www.cushionworks.info/exhibitions/i-get-results-frank-moore-for-president-2008


I Zoom Results!
Keith Wilson and Jordan Stein in conversation with
Linda Mac and Mikee LaBash
February 16, 2021

In parallel with I Get Results! Frank Moore for President 2008, an exhibition on view at Cushion Works from ​January 20 to March 6, 2021.

Visit the website for the Zoom talk here:
https://www.cushionworks.info/events/i-zoom-results-keith-wilson-and-jordan-stein-in-conversation-with-linda-mac-and-mikee-labash


More photos by Alexi, Erika & Corey:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/eroplay/albums/72157717828918881

Lower Links, Chicago 1990 – Part 1

Frank and the Chero Company performed “The Outrageous Horror Show” at Lower Links in Chicago on October 11, 1990 as part of their “Year of Peril” series.

Here is the pre-show article from the Chicago Reader:

Frank Moore 

October 5, 1990

By Albert Williams

“I have a body that is ideal for a performance artist,” says Frank Moore, who was born with cerebral palsy and is 99 percent physically disabled. Moore’s performances are touching in the most literal and provocative sense. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts performance art fellowship in 1985, Moore shares with Karen Finley (who’s also appearing in town this week) the distinction of being on the “hit list” set up by the fearmongers who seek to set the arts agenda these days. (Performance spaces that receive NEA grants are investigated; if they have presented certain artists, such as Finley and Moore, their grant-worthiness is called into doubt.) But if, to paraphrase the title of Finley’s controversial show, the oppressors keep their victims ready, Moore refuses to play victim. In his group piece Outrageous Horror Show, he and his company, Chero, employ erotic play, nude exhibitionism, audience participation, and unorthodox concepts of narrative, space, time, and beauty as means to challenge the barriers society erects around sexuality, cripples, and art. Moore’s appearance is the first offering in “Year of Peril (The Censorship Issue),” a series of performances that will also feature Annie Sprinkle’s Sex Education Class and filmmakers Monte Cazazza and Michelle Handelman’s True Gore later this month. Club Lower Links, Thursday, October 11 (954 W. Newport, 248-5238), 7 PM. $7.

Poster for the show produced by Lower Links
Another poster produced by Lower Links
Poster by LaBash

Here is the script for Frank’s performance:


A review from the Chicago Reader:

The Plucky & Spunky Show 

December 20, 1990

By Anthony Adler

THE PLUCKY & SPUNKY SHOW

Remains Theatre

I might have liked The Plucky & Spunky Show a lot better if I hadn’t seen Frank Moore first. Frank Moore has cerebral palsy. He rides around in a wheelchair, his head and hands move spasmodically, and when he tries to talk the words come out as a series of incomprehensible whines and screeches.

So naturally he’s a performance artist.

I saw Moore’s show when he came to Club Lower Links in October. The evening was long, strange, and very trippy–picture a student pageant at the Jimi Hendrix Memorial School for the Disabled, circa 1971. I found myself squirming almost as soon as I walked in. There was Moore, facing us from his wheelchair, howling and gesticulating to music–his torso straining up against his seat belt; his hands wild; his tongue lolling out of his mouth; and Sonny & Cher on the box, singing what else but “Laugh at Me.”

Drinks were being served. The audience applauded after every appalling number. I was thoroughly upset: my sense of dignity was being assailed. Not my sense of my own dignity, but of Moore’s–my sense of the dignity of the handicapped. What amusement, what pleasure was there in seeing this unlucky man demonstrate his incapacity for us?

Then, whoosh, I saw how completely I’d missed the point. Or rather, how completely I’d fallen into it without seeing it. Moore wasn’t playing to anybody’s prejudices. Just the opposite: he was attacking them. Attacking them with his whole writhing, caterwauling being. His simple presence constituted a challenge to conventional notions of what a performer may and may not look like. And by extension, what roles disabled people may and may not assume. He was all wrong, and yet there he was: sitting center stage, rocking out–even turning sex symbol when his wife appeared, half-naked, to croon “I Got You Babe” with him.

I realized then that my solicitude was actually condescension: a healthy man’s attempt to put a handicapped man not only in his place but in his persona. I wasn’t really angry at the audience for demeaning Moore–the fact was that I was angry at Moore for playing against his assigned type.

The Plucky & Spunky Show offers similar insight–but in the form of a punch line rather than a revelation. Where Moore got in my face with his difference and defiance, Plucky & Spunky came at me with a big hug, a patient look, and an easy laugh. A comedy revue about the peculiar difficulties of the handicapped–written by wheelchair veterans Susan Nussbaum and Mike Ervin, and performed by a mixed ensemble of blind, deaf, paraplegic, and even tall actors–Plucky & Spunky pretends to a certain amount of wiseass irony; we’re supposed to take the title with a heavy dose of attitude. And yet the show’s overall tone actually expresses the pure essence of pluck and spunk. Nussbaum and Ervin are out to cajole us into enlightenment. They tend to teach by ingratiation.

Not that there aren’t darker modulations here and there. Nussbaum gives herself some rich, surprisingly sharp passages–as in the skit where a spilled order of shrimp in black bean sauce momentarily knocks the spirit out of a paraplegic woman. Or the one where Nussbaum and David Pasquesi play wheelchair-bound lovers debating their chances of maintaining a long-term relationship in a world of hostile architecture and patronizing strangers.

Then, too, there are some plain funny bits–plain funny loosely defined here as anything with Pasquesi in it. A Second City mainstage regular, Pasquesi brings a stunningly specific comic imagination to everything he does. As just a small for instance, there’s a scene where Pasquesi comes between a man and his irate, deaf wife: the wife signs the word “sorry” on Pasquesi’s chest and Pasquesi goes giggly from the feel of it. The tickle’s a minor detail, but it has an unexpectedly major effect, simultaneously grounding the scene in physical reality while making it fly as comedy.

Mostly, however, Plucky & Spunky goes for the warm and runny. The warm and runny and pat. An ongoing story about former poster girl Spunky and her search for identity ends with the requisite I’m-Just-Me song. Even the shrimp-and-bean-sauce tragedy closes on an up note. The revue format itself tends to defuse any dangerous interplay between show and audience, its familiarity breeding a complacency that’s never challenged. People with all their limbs and all their faculties can see The Plucky & Spunky Show and sympathize with its agenda without ever examining that agenda on a personal level. Wild Frank Moore would never permit that.


The “Year of Peril” brochure by Karen Briede:

1990 was also one of the busiest years for Frank in terms of travel!