The Blind Lemon

Mutants at the Blind Lemon

We just ran into this poster for the Mutants show at our club, The Blind Lemon. Here’s something Frank wrote about the Blind Lemon:

We got the little theater that I named THE BLIND LEMON (because there was a painting of Blind Lemon Jefferson in the lobby) on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley in 1979. In the thirties it was the communist center. In the sixties it was a hippie club at which Bob Dylan once played. Obviously it also had been a blues club. So I continued the tradition! I did a lot of different things in the space. Including having bands play on Fridays. I was doing THE OUTRAGEOUS BEAUTY REVUE at the San Francisco punk club, THE MABUHAY GARDENS on Saturdays. So I booked bands that played at the Mab at my club. It was an all-ages club before all-ages club was a popular concept! Sure, no drugs/booze. But also no smoking! I actually made the scary hard-core chain smoking band, THE MUTANTS, to not smoke! Hey, I have always been a mother fucking bad ass, not a “harmless” guy as Kevin described me below. Would Kevin write the below great piece thirty years after I only booked him. Not ripped off his clothes and licked his nipples! But I am flattered. The work just is that powerful! Thanks, Kevin !

We ended having bands play at THE LEMON because we thought we were doing too many different projects. Which seems silly considering how much we are doing now!

Here is the link to read Kevin’s piece:

Blind Lemon poster

Tots at The Blind Lemon

Frank Moore‘s Shamanistic Apprenticeship Readers

In 1987 Frank started putting together Readers for his apprentices. He called them Frank Moore‘s Shamanistic Apprenticeship Readers. We put together the last reader, #26, in 2013, the year Frank passed away.

Here are the contents of the first two readers. The complete list of contents for all of the readers is below as a download link.


Frank Moore’s Apprenticeship Reader #1

“Statement of Principles” chapter from Towards a Poor Theatre (pgs. 255-262) by Grotowski.

Chapter 5 “Performer Training Interculturally” from Between Theater and Anthropology by Richard Schechner.

Chapter 30 “What Paradise?” from The Living Theatre (pgs. 167-175) by Pierre Biner.

“Tu es le fils du quelqu’un” [You are someone’s son] (pgs 30-41) by Jerzy Grotowski from TDR Fall 1987.


Frank Moore’s Apprenticeship Reader #2

Chapter “Nakedness” from Environmental Theater (pgs. 87-124) by Richard Schechner.

“Karen Finley A Constant State of Becoming” an interview by Richard Schechner (pgs. 152-158) September 1987 from TDR.

“The Decline and Fall of the (American) Avant-Garde” chapter from The End of Humanism (pgs. 13-128) by Richard Schechner.

Chapter 37 “PARADISE NOW: The Revolution of Transformation” from The Living Theatre (pgs.205-223) by Pierre Biner. “A Night at the Symposium” (pgs.31-47) by Robert Brustein.

“From Ritual to Theatre and Back” (pgs. 90-91) from Essays on Performance Theory by Richard Schechner.

“Selective Inattention” & “Ethology and Theatre” (pgs. 147-179) from Essays on Performance Theory by Richard Schechner.


Download the complete list of contents here (pdf)

Frank’s bookshelf in his studio, Berkeley, California.

Frank’s Roots Rock’n’

In 1996, Frank re-ordered Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Top 500 Songs of All-Time List” to his liking. He then had Mikee download all of the songs on the list and add them to the mix on his internet station,

Here’s his top 50! (There’s a link to a .pdf of the entire list below)

Sunday, December 01, 1996

  1. I Put a Spell On You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  2. Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino
  3. Downhearted Blues – Bessie Smith
  4. Ain’t That a Shame – Fats Domino
  5. Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
  6. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
  7. Boom Boom – John Lee Hooker
  8. Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
  9. Imagine – John Lennon
  10. Yakety Yak – The Coasters
  11. The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals
  12. I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
  13. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
  14. Hound Dog – Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton
  15. Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  16. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
  17. River Deep, Mountain High – Ike & Tina Turner
  18. The Great Pretender – The Platters
  19. Spanish Harlem – Ben E. King
  20. Boogie Chillun – John Lee Hooker
  21. Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison
  22. This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
  23. Bus Stop – The Hollies
  24. C.C. Rider – Chuck Willis
  25. Got My Mojo Working – Muddy Waters
  26. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
  27. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  28. Born Under A Bad Sign – Albert King
  29. Ball ‘N’ Chain – Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton
  30. Pastures Of Plenty – Woody Guthrie
  31. Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan
  32. C’mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran
  33. Caldonia – Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five
  34. Driftin’ Blues – Charles Brown
  35. Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf
  36. Pretty Boy Floyd – Woody Guthrie
  37. Good Golly, Miss Molly – Little Richard
  38. Dust My Broom – Elmore James
  39. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
  40. Give Peace A Chance – John Lennon
  41. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – The Animals
  42. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
  43. Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  44. Good Rockin’ Tonight – Wynonie Harris
  45. Walk Away Renee – The Left Banke
  46. I Fall To Pieces – Patsy Cline
  47. The A Teenager In Love – Dion And The Belmonts
  48. Party Doll – Buddy Knox
  49. Respect – Aretha Franklin
  50. Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins

Download the entire list (.pdf)

NYC 1989 Tour!! – Part 4

Frank performed Journey To Lila on two weekends at Franklin Furnace in New York City in June 1989. Here is an excerpt from a letter Frank received from Fred Hatt in 1997, almost 8 years after the performance, who had attended one of those performances. He had just discovered Frank on the web and emailed Frank to introduce himself and tell him about the impact his experience at this performance had on his own work:

I feel like all of these things were potential in my interests and my work at the time in 1989 when I came to experience a journey to the planet Lila with you and your friends.  But I had never seen real experiential magic presented as art before – not distanced by anthropology, not burdened by cosmological mysticism or pretensions of grandeur.  You showed how simple magical consciousness really is, and how effective in opening people up, expanding their freedom and then going beyond that to make them feel their connectedness.  The steps of the journey peeled away layer after layer of psychological armor with scalpel precision.  As an artist, I had always felt isolated, a loner, awkward dealing with other people, although I craved collaboration.  Some things I learned from your performance changed me immediately, but others grew over a period of long years, nurtured through my own trial and error and through all I learned from so many others along the way, and are growing still.  I am no master of magic, but I am free and live my life in joy, and though I enjoy solitude, I no longer feel so isolated or awkward and I love to work with others.

… I am glad that you are still spreading subversive joy and I am glad to be in communication with you since you are one of my heroes and teachers!


Photo by Annie Sprinkle Photo by Annie Sprinkle Photo by Annie Sprinkle Photo by Annie SprinklePhotos by Annie Sprinkle

Franklin Furnace Press Release announcing the performance

Ad in the Village Voice

An ad for the performance in the Village Voice

Old floppy discs

5.25" floppy discs from the 1980s

We dropped off 45 old 5.25″ floppy discs from Frank’s Atari computer from the 1980s at our computer repair store this evening to see if they can access the files and transfer them to a data CD.

The Used Computer Store on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley.

The Used Computer Store on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley.

NYC 1989 tour!! – Part 3

Photo by Eric Kroll

While in New York City, Annie Sprinkle introduced us to the photographer, Eric Kroll, who then scheduled a photo shoot with us while we were in town. Here are some outtakes from the photo shoot at his studio.

Photo by Eric KrollPhoto by Eric KrollPhoto by Eric Kroll Photo by Eric Kroll

Photo by Eric Kroll

All photos by Eric Kroll

NYC 1989 tour!! – Part 1

In 1989 the six of us, Frank, Linda, Mikee, Alexi, Rourke and Leigh, took Amtrak across the country to New York State, where we did the five-hour performance, Journey to Lila, at Hallwalls in Buffalo and Pyramid Arts in Rochester and then two weekends at Franklin Furnace in NYC. We were also scheduled to do a music show at CBGBs but they had a fire during our sound check!!! and had to cancel that night’s show and we could not stay the extra day for the replacement date they offered us. We took over a train car with our sleeping bags, food, etc. on both legs of the trip!

Here are some photos from the train ride to New York.

Rourke Smith & Alexi Malenky

Rourke (Smith) & Alexi (Malenky)

Mikee (LaBash)

Mikee (LaBash)

Leigh (Gates)

Leigh (Gates)

CBGB June 15, 1989

During our East Coast tour in 1989 to Buffalo, Rochester and New York City we were scheduled to do a music show at CBGBs but they had a fire during our sound check!!! and had to cancel that night’s show and we could not stay the extra day for the replacement date they offered us.

Frank Moore's Outrageous Horror Show poster

Frank Moore’s Outrageous Horror Show poster

Frank Moore's Outrageous Horror Show setlist

Frank Moore’s Outrageous Horror Show setlist