Ok, here it goes…fast forward through the 35 years since Debbie and I left the community. A bus ride to D.C. to her family…the Jewish mother-in-law from hell [years later she sicked a hit man on me!]. I quickly called my friend Moe…whose head shop was in that book I was writing and which is lying unfinished in a trunk….but I did turn the material I was “channeling” into a book art of living. [The metaphysical writing is in the same trunk.] Moe rescued us and put us on a plane to San Francisco. The first person we ran into as we stepped off the airport shuttle was another of my college friends who put us up for the night. The plan was for Debbie to go to the S.F. Art Institute [where I would go years later]…but she couldn’t get in. After a week getting kicked out of rooms [crips weren’t in fashion yet], we boarded a bus to Santa Fe before we ran out of money. Santa Fe is where I lived before I went to the community. We got into Santa Fe at 4am without any phone numbers of my friends. But a friend drove by and saw me…and woke my dear friend Louise up. She picked us up. We stayed with her for a while. But to get Vocational Rehab money, I had to get back into college. So we moved to Albuquerque, staying with my friend Steve in the mountains until we found a room in town. My channeling made a spiritual community interested in me…until my muckraking nature raked up muck! I got my B.A. much too soon in terms of our money. We met Jo who we became intimate with. We three moved back to Santa Fe, where I got into an intensive film course. We met Ray. We four got married. After the film course, not having money to make films, I did nonfilm performances. I also started a drop-in workshop combining theater, ritual, intimacy, eroticism, etc. A community began to develop out of this. I began doing all-night audience-interactive ritual performances. We moved, with some of the workshop people, to N.Y.C. to continue the work in a loft off of 5th Ave. Both Debbie and Jo were pregnant. Louise flew out to deliver the boys at home after the hospital wouldn’t let me even on the ward [again before crips were in fashion!]. The boys came three days apart. We raised them tribally…the sanest way! They are in their 30s now…one is becoming an acupuncturist; the other is a musician and an instrument maker. After they were born…and after I did 2 nights of ritual performance in a ballroom…the tribal we moved to Berkeley…after a short attempt in San Bernardino. There I got a motor wheelchair. Imagine me mobile, driving myself all over the bay area, driving into all kinds of adventures. I even drove into a travel agency and met a sexy travel agent Linda who quickly quit to be my partner in crime for the last 35+ years!
A guy who saw a flyer for my workshop came to check me out. He didn’t want to do the workshop. But he did want to come to me for weekly individual sessions where I kicked his ass about his relationships and his life…and he paid well! He turned out to be a psychic teacher. All of his students and clients wanted to see me! For a couple of years I worked 8 hours a day and had two weekly workshops going. Although I always charged just what the person could afford, money was good, especially when they started moving in with one another and came as households! I even got a masters degree just by documenting this work. But problem solving was boring. I wanted a community of deep intimacy. So I demanded more. A community of 30 in several households emerged. Sound familiar? Also quite a few successful businesses came out of this sexy coming together…not to mention a few millionaires [never me!]. We won a legal battle with the I.R.S. over getting church status. They were saying we didn’t believe in a God. We had to go to D.C. with my channeled and metaphysical writings and the A.C.L.U.! But Inter-Relations was born, which has made doing the work much easier.
I started putting on events like free concerts and sexy parades, and directing plays at our storefront. I also started doing 48-hour improvised performances. Everything was small and underground. But then I directed what was supposed to be a one-night-only wacky tacky sexy take-off on beauty contests, the outrageous beauty revue, at the S.F. punk club the Mabuhay. The room held 500. It was packed. The first two rows were photographers and reporters [we were on the third page of the next day’s S.F. paper]. Scary! The club’s producer made me announce that it’ll be a weekly show. So it became the ever-evolving early show every Saturday night [and often Thursday too] for three and a half years. So we opened for EVERY punk/hardcore/whatever band! And we got international coverage of all kinds…magazines, t.v., films, etc. I had to work hard to not let it get big or lose its edge…to keep it underground where you have the most effect and freedom…just popping up everywhere to interject bits of subversive alternatives. At the beginning, I was not in the show. But I started worming myself in. I added a live band, the superheroes…of course I was one of the lead singers! The band started getting gigs at other clubs. And we opened our own club, the blind lemon, in Berkeley. But by the second year of the show, the community began to decay. It took years for that painful process to play out.
In the meantime, I started making small films [after walking out of a “real” film deal!] and mainly put them in the closet…waiting for the internet and public access t.v. to give them outlets! The first film, Fairytales Can Come True, even was distributed. In the meantime I went to the S.F. Art Institute graduate program for “performance/video”. I/the work freaked them out bad! But Linda and I stuck it out for two years…which landed me a cover story in the major performance art magazine… which made me the darling of “THE ART WORLD” for at the most two years, until they figured out I wasn’t a nice safe thankful crip artist, but an artist who pushed limits. But during these two years, before the art world blacklisted me, Linda and I started touring the U.S. and Canada, doing both the long ritual performances and singing gigs. I also started being invited to lecture at colleges. I was one of the featured performance artists in the film Mondo New York. I also kept making videos [directing, acting, editing, even creating musical scores and Linda doing the camera work]. I began a performance series at the University of California. This series, which lasted for three years, gave me a lab where I could improvise/jam with other artists/musicians. When I got on the art world’s blacklist, I moved into poetry readings and other underground worlds. But then Sen. Jesse Helms got me back into the art world’s graces, kind of, by including me on his list of six targeted performance artists whom he considered obscene. That opened more possibilities for touring. I rode that pony for all that it was worth!
My writings, as well as articles about my work by other writers, began to be published in a wide range of magazines and books. In the early 90’s, I began to offer shamanistic apprenticeships. My book, Cherotic Magic, came out of this. By this time, the community had shrunk to our household of five and the two boys. And even in our house, the original vision, principles, etc. had faded. Linda and I finally moved out…in with two of my apprentices, Mikee and Alexi. Debbie and the two others of the old household went into walking around town nude as The X-plicit Players.
I continued performing, directing, touring, etc. But we also started publishing an underground zine, The Cherotic [r]Evolutionary which became very popular…which ain’t saying it was a profit-making thing! The Work has always been a holy addiction that we pour money, etc. into to create community and to effect social change. We jumped into the web full force when it was born. FreespeechTV.org gave me free unlimited space to put up videos and audio content …that lasted for years! We put up the works of other artists as well as our own work. Our site, eroplay.com expanded and expanded. Over 7 years ago I started doing a radio show the Shaman’s Den, on a web station. But my muckraking their ambitions to make it big didn’t sit well. They suggested not politely that I start my own web station. So we did within a week. luver.com started with a live music show web casting from Japan, followed by my 2-hour show on Sunday nights. But LUVeR quickly evolved into a radical 24/7 station with all kinds of music, news, whatever shows. It became a black hole for our time and money, forcing us to stop publishing our zine. In about a year LUVeR started webcasting video as well. My show started to be a video show of me either talking to a very interesting person or of bands from all over the world playing live at our house. Then I started doing shows on Berkeley’s cable public access station. I use the shaman’s den shows as the base of these cable shows, but throw in videos of my live performances, films, concerts, erotic explorings, poetry readings, whatever. For a year the City Council tried unsuccessfully to get me off the air. But now I’m on the channel every night of the week, up to 6 hours a night!
Now we have two houses on the same street. I live in the “Purple House” with Linda [we have been together for over 35 years!], Mikee [who has been with us for over 15 years,] Erika [who has been working with me for 5 years and moved in over a year ago], and three cats. And in the “Blue House” Alexi lives with Corey and Cookie the Cat. The two houses are on the same block. We designed the Blue House, and Alexi and Corey basically built it. Alexi learned construction by working for a company that grew out the community of 30. We have set him up with a successful handyman business. Corey works at the natural food store around the corner. Through it we have started an international food testing project for GMOs. Erika has become the director of enrichment at a large retirement community, injecting our sexy subversion in there. Linda, Mikee and I work at home keeping everything going. Mikee does the tech and graphic stuff [which, btw, he is available for hire cheap!]. Linda does all the practical stuff that makes everything possible. And me?…a cult leader always with big ideas! We are a good team, a tribal body.
Hey, I just found out that we are putting on a LUVeR benefit at the illegal infamous historical hardcore dive burnt ramen with my jamming erotic band the cherotic all-stars in May. Not bad for a crip turning 60 in June! True, we have pretty much stopped flying to places touring. But there is no sign of slowing down!
WHAT A LIFE!
Frank Moore March 2, 2006
From the book Frankly Speaking: A Collection of Essays, Writings & Rants by Frank Moore
“An update of the last 37 years of my life”
written by Frank Moore, March 2, 2006.
Read by Attaboy.
Background music by Sander Roscoe Wolff.
A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 6: https://frankadelic.com/episodes/episode-6.html
Watch episodes of the series: http://frankadelic.com/