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

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Lori B – Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den

Here are some excerpts from the transcript of the show.
Recorded January 16, 2005.

Frank: That is why I am too hardcore for the punk scene.
Linda: The intimacy? Is that what you’re talking about?
Frank: Yes. Not just punks.
Linda: Not just punks, too hardcore for just about anybody.
Lori: And when you say hardcore, do you mean too bold?
Frank looks at Linda.
Linda: Well, I think of it as kind of like, maybe saying “real” or something.
Lori: Authentic.
Linda: Yes, authentic. Like people, say, for example, will have a façade of whatever. Frank will actually be that, not just the façade. So that makes people uncomfortable. Like the people in the sex scene, for example. It’s all like, you know, I’m open sexually, I’ll have orgasms, dada dada da. But Frank will actually bring intimacy and humanity into that, and everybody gets really uncomfortable. So, whatever the scene is, it’s like that.

Lori sets up her toy piano and sings a song, “My Country”.
Frank: Fucking powerful.
Lori: Thanks, Frank. I wrote it probably round the Gulf War and I never sang it out. And it was very private. And I recorded it in May of 2001. And then the airplanes hit the buildings. And. I was scheduled to begin doing secondary recording on September 11th and a friend of mine called me from Washington, D.C. I was in Ohio, actually down south. I was going to go to L.A. the next day. It was the 10th. And then I woke up the morning of the 11th. A friend of mine called me and told me what was going on and. I didn’t go to L.A. that day on the 11th, but I went on the 12th. And my producer, Andrew Williams, and I sat there and were devastated and I said, I can’t think of anything better than to sing harmony now. And so, harmony vocals was what we did. And it was interesting because I was going to do some harmony on this song, “My Country”. I felt so confused. I felt confused about … the song’s not confusing him, but living here and loving parts of my country and loving parts of being an American. And not loving my government, felt very confusing on September 12th. And I couldn’t sing the harmony vocals on this song for a few days. And then it got clearer and clearer to me that the voice that sings this song is a voice that a lot of people need to hear because, again, the way in which art is able to stand forward in the not knowing. To be brave enough to not know. And, you know, once again, that’s something that we’re taught is dangerous, in a way, to not know. Laughs. Do you know what I mean?
Frank: Yes.
Lori: Yeah. So that’s where that song came from.
Frank: And it keeps getting new dimensions.
Frank: The song.
Lori: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Right. Well, and I feel again, I feel really happy about that I chose not to do any harmony on it because, you know, for me, it keeps coming back to how brave am I willing to be. And for me, brave is not, sometimes not embroidering too much and letting myself be as simple as I am. And my mind tells me that something ought to be more complicated or more clever or more, you know, beautiful or more layered or something. And in this case, to use the toy piano again to be a counterpoint, to be the child’s layer of questioning. The simple, silly sound of the piano behind the devastating questions about how it’s possible to continue being here, I mean. I don’t really think about leaving.
Frank: Where would you go?
Lori: I don’t know. You know, I bought something on Craigslist recently. I bought a little computer thing, this WACOM tablet. And when I went to the guy’s house to pick it up, I walked into this kind of penthouse. I mean, I didn’t even know such things existed in San Francisco. But it was a high rise building. And he was a fairly young guy, clearly a tech guy. And I walked in and all the rooms were empty and he and his girlfriend were packing up. And I walked into the space that had been the, I guess, the living room and there was a poem painted on the wall in handwriting which shocked the shit out of me. You know, in this pristine penthouse. And it was a very political poem. And it turned out that he was kind of a poet I.T. guy. And I felt right away that something odd was happening and I said, where are you going? And he said, where am I going or why am I going? I said, well, if you tell me where, I can probably guess why. And he said, I’m going to New Zealand. I said. OK. And he wanted to leave before the election. You know, he was just really clear that he had reached his limit. And one thing that keeps coming up for me is what is my limit personally? And I think about what happened in Germany.
Frank: But I think now everywhere is Germany.
Lori: Sighs. I don’t know, I’m not positive maybe. I don’t know.
Frank: We thought about moving.
Linda: Yeah.
Lori: Where were you going to go?
Linda: France at one point.
Lori: Yeah, well, France is interesting. We’re talking about degrees, I guess.
Frank: Yes.
Lori: And there is nothing pure right?
Frank: And the battle will always be there, no matter where you go.

Lori: This is called “The Coyote”, and it’s a howl along at the end, so you’ll know when your part is.
Lori sings “The Coyote”. All howl together at the end.
Lori: So that was the first, but that’s part of it, I thought I wanted something and I got part of it and it was not what I thought it was. And. But I hurt myself a lot in the middle of it, so …
Frank: How?
Lori: How is … I said the sex mistake, but, you know, it’s really not. But let’s say it more clearly. Uh. I didn’t make contact with what was true. I failed to make contact with what was true because I saw something glittering. You know, all these people who had been my heroes suddenly were available to me in some way. And I don’t know whether it was my higher self that… Um, well, what I know is that I had some work to do that was very old about my value and my sexuality and, um, the intersection of those two things, uh, made me small in some way. And this coyote piece, what I was asked to learn, the way in which it became my teacher was, um, about making me so small, because there was a lie that was told about me. I got smaller and smaller and smaller inside this lie until finally I had to stop and and and and tell the truth. Um, and in in the three years since then, um, I had to unravel this very tight knot about where my value lies. So that’s part of the how and the what.
Frank: I have to fight not to get famous.
Linda: Yeah, at different … there have been cycles, you know, where it’s like, you know, there’s cycles when what we’re doing is hot and they’re the points that, you know, it seems like if Frank wasn’t so kind of sharp about this, we could have gone to the fame place on a number of occasions. But he sees it coming and subverts it.
Frank: OBR
Linda: The Outrageous Beauty Revue is a real obvious one, because we were doing the show in San Francisco for three and a half years and it got a lot of press all over the world. It was in movies. We had TV people … it was just everywhere. And there was such a push to, you know, to just kind of go in the direction it was leading. But it always kind of happens in little, tiny ways. It’s like, well, if you just adjust this about the show. And Frank would … At the time, you know, it wasn’t obvious at the time that we shouldn’t do it, to me. It was obvious to Frank we shouldn’t. But it all seemed like. Oh yeah, right. And Frank would go, “No!” And, it’s like, where is he coming from? What is he doing? But and then afterwards it became clear that these were all things … I guess he’s talking about changing, letting something outside change the content, although, you know, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal at the time because it’s so like it’s so dominant, (laughs) you know, it’s just so, oh, that’s reality. And, you know, you have to keep this hold of this other reality.
Lori: Right. Yeah, well, vigilant.
Linda: Yeah, that’s the word.
Lori: That’s the word that comes up for me. It’s very seductive. It’s seductive. The dominant culture is very seductive.
Linda: Yes.
Frank: Because they control very little. They want you to think, they want us to think that very little is what matters. So that they can control it. But in reality, they don’t control much.
Lori: Well, right, but once again, the oppression is so internalized that they don’t need to control much.
Frank: Yes.
Lori: Yeah, we’re doing it for them. We’re controlling ourselves for them by buying all the bullshit.
Frank: Yes.
Lori: Both with our dollars, but also much more with our brains and our hearts and our imaginations.
Frank: Yes.
Frank: And that is why you and I are so successful. We play in that “much”.
Linda: The “much”? Oh, I see. The “much” that they don’t control! You play in that “much”. They control a little, that you and he are successful because you play in that “much” all the rest of it.
Lori: It’s very challenging to redefine success in the way you’re suggesting.
Frank: Yes.
Lori: But I guess that’s why you have the pointer.
All laugh.
Frank: and which is why I freak …
Linda: … freak them out, freak people out.
Lori: Right, because you just don’t fucking care.
Linda: Right.
Frank: It is not the nudity and the eroticism that freaks people out.
Lori: Right! But they think it is.
Linda: Yes.
Lori: They think it is. So it’s telling the truth or being authentic and redefining the terms.
Frank: Yes, but that is art.
Lori: Hmm, yeah, I mean, we might say it’s good art because there’s a lot of art that’s not that, right? There’s a lot of art that doesn’t redefine anything. It’s pretty, you know, cream cheese or something, maybe it’s cream cheese and not art.



More episodes at the Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den Archives:

Stephen Emanuel – Deep Conversations in the Shaman’s Den

Recorded February 25, 2007 on luver.com

As Steve wrote when Frank passed away, “I first met Frank way back in 1968 on the quad at the campus of Cal State San Bernardino … I was the young hippie riding a skateboard to class and he was, Frank … in the chair with his pointer and board. We instantly connected and soon were stirring up controversy and trouble in that little pond.”

Steve is now a registered nurse in Oregon. He is also a musician and has played bass with Les Gendarmes du Swing, the Wild Whiskey Boys, The Primal Music Syndicate, Mescal Martini, the DadoSa Band, Jazzmind and many others. He played upright bass with Frank and with Frank’s Cherotic All-Star Band a number of times after catching up with Frank again in 2006, including several performances in Los Angeles when Frank toured there as part of his campaign for President. Steve gave a “fiery passionate introduction speech” for Frank at Il Corral, an underground music club in L.A.

This interview is a look into the history of the 1960s, 1970s, and beyond through Steve’s and Frank’s stories. At the same time, they share an alternate approach to life that endures, and talk about how the small acts we perform in our daily lives and relationships have deep and powerful effects.

Below is an excerpt from the book, Deep Conversations in the Shaman’s Den, Volume 1.

Frank: I met this dude 40 years ago in San Bernardino, California. He was barefo …

Linda: He was barefoot.

Frank: On a s …

Steve: Skateboard …

Frank: Throwing a Frisbee. Playing a harmonica.

Linda: All at the same time. (laughs)

Frank: He turned into one of the most important people in my life. What does that say about my life? (laughter) Steve Emanuel!

Linda: Take it, Steve!

Steve: It’s always an honor to be in the presence of Frank, to be perfectly frank, which is something it is impossible for me to be, but anyways. Yeah, Frank and I go back quite a ways and we’ve had some rather amazing and unusual experiences together which we will probably speak about in a little bit.

Frank: He is (Frank sounds) taller than …

Linda: Taller than you! That’s not talk show etiquette … the host is taller than the guest. (laughing)

Steve: Well, I’ve never been much for etiquette! (laughing)

Frank: Do you remember the first time you saw me?

Steve: Oh yeah, man, Cal State, San Bernardino. (Frank sounds) That was just a small campus, there really wasn’t much to it at that point.

Frank: And a new campus.

Steve: And a new campus too, and so … It was only the second year the thing had been there. There weren’t even any dorms or anything. So, everybody had to live off campus, which was kind of fun, actually. It was better that way. ’Cause there was this funky neighborhood mostly near by and … which was a real mixed up neighborhood, that’s where we met our mutual friend, Louise, she had this hippie commune down the street from where I lived and so …

Frank: Really, it was before I met Louise.

Steve: Yeah, right, well I introduced you to Louise ’cause I found Frank on campus and gravitated towards him ’cause he was about the most interesting thing on that campus, you know. There were some pretty girls, I will admit (laughs).

Frank: Why was …

Linda: Frank interesting?

Steve: Well, look at him … he’s interesting (laughter) period. What the heck, plus I rapidly found out he’s a rather outrageous character and you know, that’s the part that I liked the best, was the fact that he’s just, you know, out there! And I being somewhat out there at the time myself, you know, it was a logical association, shall we say, it fell together pretty easily, and, um … it was a neat time, you know. It was 1968, things were kind of really hopping, you know in terms of the changes that were happening to the way people thought about things especially in the college situation where people’s … You know, it was just a real new era. I mean, it didn’t last very long, but it was a very new era while it lasted for those four or five years that it was like that. It was just really, you know, very expanding to the way people thought and felt, the way they acted. The kind of relationships they had with each other were … a lot of it was really new … much of it didn’t last! Most people did not have the emotional equipment or the endurance or whatever, to really pull that off, you know. Every once in awhile I’ll run into somebody who knew you back then and what happened to poor Frank (Linda laughs) … well, I’ll tell you, bro … you know, he’s not doing quite so bad as you might have expected (laughing).

You know at that time when I first met Frank and we were first palling around with each other, I don’t know, it just, it seemed real natural … you would be you, the way you are and I would be me, the way I was, you know, we’re both kind of societal misfits, in our own peculiar way. Maybe I elected to be that way, but I really didn’t have any choice either, you know what I mean. I was going to be like that. You know, you grow up like you’re going to grow up. And you’re raised the way you’re raised and I grew up in a bohemian atmosphere. There was always all kinds of people throughout the households that I grew up in. Artists and musicians of all types, and races and ages and all that stuff.

(Frank sounds)

Frank and Steve on the Shaman’s Den.

Frank: I grew up …

Linda: Military dad, ex-Mormon mom …

Steve: Yeah, right. He came out of this horribly repressive situation and then that caregiver you had back then was a mother fucker. (Frank sounds)

Linda: The guy who pulled the gun?

Steve: Yeah, right. So you know …

Frank: I called the Black Panthers …

Linda: When the guy pulled the gun.

Steve: It was funny, back then, because you know we had our little SDS chapter. They weren’t even called the Black Panthers back then, you know, they’d kind of listen to you every once in a while.

Frank: They hid me for two days.

Steve: Yeah, I vaguely remember that whole situation. (Frank sounds)

Frank: And I talked to Moe (Frank sounds). I did not know him …

Linda: Moe? You talked to him but you didn’t know him.

Frank: But I said I need a place to go. He …

Linda: He was a fellow student at the campus?

Steve: Yeah, right.

Linda: You didn’t know him but you told him you needed a place to go. So, he set it up.

Steve: Yeah, right.

Linda: What did he set up?

Frank: A house and his two friends were my attendants.

Linda: So he set all that up. (Frank sounds)

Steve: Right.

Linda: And you knew Moe at that point (to Steve)?

Steve: Yeah, I knew Moe. Well, you know, it’s a small college and … less than a thousand people there.

Frank: In fact, you moved into the house.

Steve: Right. (Frank sounds)

Linda: But you guys already knew each other?

Steve: Yeah, right. (Frank sounds)

Linda: And you moved into the house through Frank?

Steve: Yeah, more or less, yeah (Frank sounds). I had a lot of households back then. (laughs) (Frank sounds)

Frank: You was the first who dared to help me drop acid.

(Steve laughs, Frank sounds)

Steve: I helped everybody drop acid (laughs) (all laugh). Yeah, you know, I wasn’t scared, you know, I give a lot of people acid, and you know, I didn’t see why Frank should be any different. (laughs)

Frank: People would give me pot …

Linda: … but they wouldn’t give you acid.

Steve: Yeah, they wouldn’t give him acid. You know, I don’t know, LSD was always and probably still is my favorite mind-altering substance and, um … I was into it back then. I thought it was good for people. I realized it wasn’t good for everybody, OK. But for people that I felt had a strong inner character, it was quite a transformative kind of experience. I think more than anything else it really changed people’s minds about what was going on at the time. It was like a shortcut to figuring out that there was a whole different way of perceiving things. And that there was a whole other realm of consciousness beyond ordinary thought and there was a whole different way to interplay with your senses beyond just the usual way you did it. You know. In my personal life, it completely changed the way I looked at things and it affects me today. Not that I have flashbacks all the time … I wish … it’d be nice … it’s just a fundamental shift in attitude that happened when at certain significant experiences that I had under psychedelic drugs that really made me lose the distance and separation that I had between my self and the world and myself and other people and kind of … that has really endured. The fact that it’s all one cosmic world and one cosmic cosmos and that our … what was funny is there’s some books now, written by physicists that explore the relationships between ultimate physics and (Frank sounds) transcendental meditation kind of things … and also, I had this book … well, the preface is this, you know, one of the first times I took LSD was at this outdoor concert, one of the first big outdoor concerts in the L.A. area. I whacked down some LSD with this friend of mine and we got this revelation about how it really is, how this whole thing works. And it was this whole reality comb theory of existence. We had this comb that funneled down, like all the possibilities and then there was like, your little brain down here that filtered it into this line that was hooked to the reality of the world. Well, a few years ago I found this book on Tai Chi that’s actually a really gnarly, very extremely sophisticated book on Tai Chi, and here’s this same damn diagram in that book. Basically explaining the same thing from a 2,500-year-old Chinese idea. Which then indicates to me, well then, my idea was not just a psychedelic flash. (Frank sounds) It was actually tapping into a certain version of reality that is shared by a bunch of people. That is a legitimate way to look at things. I mean, obviously, we create this entire reality with our brains. Our brains are completely responsible for all this stuff. You know what I mean? Well, you say, when I die does it all go away? Well for me it does, but still, every single person creates the universe by the act of being here and thinking and experiencing it makes it be what it is. And, if we … if our senses were tuned slightly differently, it’d be a completely different universe, you know. Which would get to be real interesting with people like synesthesia. People that see, read everything in colors. All the letters have colors, every time they read them. Or when they hear music, it always comes out in colors in their mind. And that one note will have the same color every time for that particular person. Well, on psychedelics you’d experience that every once in a while, you know for two hours or three hours or something like this. Some people have that permanently.

Frank: Especially hiking on someone’s shoulders through the woods at Big Bear …

Steve: Oh, Big Bear?

Frank: In the winter on acid.


Linda: Which was your experience!

(all laugh)

Frank: Or trying to eat dinner …

Linda: Oh, with your mom feeding you? At the dinner table with your mom and dad and brother (Steve laughs) … on acid.


Recorded February 25, 2007
This is Frank’s college friend, Steve. It starts out with Steve playing music and ends with the Legs Wide Open Jam with Steve, Erika and Frank. In between you can hear Frank and Steve telling their great stories from Frank’s college years and early performances, including the story of when Steve pushed Frank into the Marine Recruiting Office so that Frank could enlist!
More episodes of Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den: eroplay.com/underground/shamansden.html
Free audio file of the Legs Wide Open Jam download available here: archive.org/details/frankmoore2007-02-25

More is Moore

A review written by Silke Tudor, for SF Weekly, of a performance by Frank Moore’s Cherotic All-Star Band at Kimo’s in San Francisco, April 5, 2001.

More is Moore

Frank Moore’s Cherotic All Star Band provides nudity, music, cerebral palsy, and, perhaps, art

By Silke Tudor

published: May 02, 2001

Thursday nights at Kimo’s usually draw a small and sundry crowd that is uniquely receptive to the whims of “Hex Appeal” promoter and booker Matt Shapiro. Featuring an intimate karaoke act led by a man with a chapman stick and a video drummer one week, and a smorgasbord of black metal bands that will attract cops and noise complaints the next, “Hex Appeal” is usually interesting, but an ambiguous rumor about a midget and a “bellowing cripple” copulating during a blues song made attendance at the return engagement of Frank Moore’s Cherotic All Star Band obligatory.

For years, I’ve been vaguely aware of Frank Moore’s ritual performances and “eroplay” workshops. I’ve seen fliers hanging on telephone poles with Moore’s photographed face leering from atop a sketch of his wheelchair; I’ve come across handbills comparing Moore’s work to Warhol, Zappa, and the Living Theater, calling for “underground actresses” undaunted by nudity, eroticism, and adult play. I am aware that, in the ’70s, Frank Moore “staged” performances at both the Mabuhay Gardens and at my early punk rock stomping ground, the Farm. Since 1999, a number of artists I greatly appreciate — didgeridoo player Stephen Kent, poetry duo Attaboy and Burke, and singer/songwriter Andrew Goldfarb of the Slow Poisoners — have appeared on Moore’s 24-hour Internet radio station, Love Underground Vision Radio (LUVeR.com); and his zine, The Cherotic Revolutionary,has been lauded by Factsheet Five, SubGenius holyman Ivan Stang, and MaximumRocknRoll, and still I’d never seen one of Frank Moore’s performances. Something about the psychedelic imagery used on his fliers and the titles of his pieces — Raptures of the Tribal Body, Cave of Passion, Erotic Lava, Playing Dream Passions Naked — reminded me too much of the aborted communes and artist collectives I was exposed to as a child.

According to his memoir, Art of a Shaman, posted on his Web site (www.eroplay. com), Frank Moore was “spastic, unable to walk or talk.” Doctors suggested he be institutionalized until his unpreventable premature death, but his parents rejected the conventions of the time and raised Moore to do the same. From the beginning, Moore says, he was an exhibitionist, and his body, crippled by cerebral palsy, was ideal for his temperament: People stared. At 17, Moore learned to speak by spelling out words with a head pointer (which is how he paints canvases today), and he learned to consider his handicap a blessing. Much in the way that early civilizations thought cripples belonged to the spirit world, Moore knew that standard societal expectations did not apply to him; he was outside, in a misfit place most artists would have to struggle to maintain. In 1970, after a failed attempt at staging his first all-nude play at Cal State, San Bernardino, Moore dropped out of college and hitchhiked to Santa Fe, where a rich woman asked that he paint a portrait of her in the nude. The realization that “art gave people permission to do what was normally considered forbidden” led him to start workshops and nude rituals he called “nonfilms,” which explored the boundaries of human intimacy through nudity. The communal family that sprang up around Moore eventually relocated to Berkeley in 1975, where Moore met his life partner Linda Mac and started workshops that turned Berkeley into a strange playground of Moore’s devising: Participants buried each other alive in coffins and staged rebirths; they drank urine and launched fantasy costume parades; they staged a multimedia carnival called “The Erotic Test”; they staged theater pieces for which actors trained by working at strip clubs; they took part in political protests and benefits; they started a cabaret show, titled The Outrageous Beauty Revue, in which Frank Moore sang in spite of, and because of, his difficulty in forming words; they held public rituals during which people could “play” with each other without actually having sex. This became the essence of eroplay. In the early ’90s, Jesse Helms investigated Moore for being obscene, but that only encouraged Moore. Over the years, he has held countless rituals in the Bay Area, with each running as little as 40 minutes and as long as 48 hours.

“The difference between eroplay and foreplay is one of intent,” writes Moore. “Physically, there is no difference. It is the same pleasurable, physical turned-on feeling. But … eroplay is satisfying in itself, in relaxing intensity. There is no build-up of pent-up energy in one climactic act.”

For the tenderfoot, Frank Moore’s Cherotic All Star Band, an ever-changing musical entity, is a moderate introduction.

“I’ve played with Frank numerous times,” says Andrew Goldfarb, who met Moore through LUVeR radio, “both solo and with my band. Last time we performed was inside a produce warehouse in Richmond. We sang “This Land Is Your Land” together. Frank played piano and, even though he has cerebral palsy, it sounded like he was channeling Thelonious Monk. Frank Moore is a true American, a real example of someone who knows how to turn lemons into lemonade.”

Goldfarb recalls breaking his foot eight hours before a performance with Frank Moore.

“I was going to cancel,” says Goldfarb, “but I thought, “I’m opening for Frank Moore, I can’t cancel.” Frank has invented a new language for [public performance]. Don’t always understand what he’s up to, but he causes me to examine my notions of sexism, sex, monogamy, and the animal/psychological duality of modern living. He’s an amazing inspiration for anyone seeking freedom of expression without any physical or mental boundaries.”

Frank Moore arrives at Kimo’s with his entourage — a young five-piece band, Linda Mac, and a blind backup singer/ flutist named Teresa Cochran — wearing little more than a shirt, orange socks, and mismatched shoes. As Moore points to letters on his spelling board with lurching movements of his head, Mac interprets: “Frank says he likes people.” Moore grins through his feral beard, exposing large, misshapen teeth. His tongue lolls suggestively. Moore recommends that John the Baker take off his pants, and the small crowd applauds encouragingly.

“I’ve already seen you naked anyway,” spells Moore.

“This I gotta see,” says Cochran with a grin, her pendulous breasts swaying under a sheer garment. John the Baker disrobes and the set begins with Linda Mac singing over distorted cello and keyboard loops. Moore begins to howl, rising in his wheelchair, his back bowed with effort as his arms flap irregularly at his side. Mac smiles, swirling in her see-through robe, rubbing up against guitarist Giovanni Moro, which sends Moore into a spasm of excited grunts and wails. He grins and mugs for the cameras as the music builds. Mac lifts her skirt and rubs her ass against Moore’s lap. He rears in his seat, pushing against her with paroxysmal thrusts, matching her off-balance singing with supportive growls. Cochran lights a pipe and begins smoking as Moore’s hand lurches between Mac’s legs. The musicians play on, rolling over the stage with bluesy guitar riffs and spontaneous percussion. Cochran edges her way toward Moore’s wheelchair, feeling for Mac’s ass as Moore’s hand fumbles for Cochran’s breast. They grunt and wail as Mac continues singing and grinding on Moore’s lap. The crowd watches — some dumbfounded, some delighted — as cameras flash and Moore bellows. While Mac seems to keep the song in place, the energy of the scene escalates and ebbs along with Moore’s directing vocal rumble. His stamina is unrelenting, and the music goes on and on. I am repelled but stuck: I can’t turn away, until, finally, Matt Shapiro indicates with a flick of the lights that the set has reached its conclusion.

Satisfied, Moore grins lecherously, and Mac announces that their CD is called Dying Is Sexy.

“That’s the most punk rock thing I’ve seen in years,” says a young man who has moved to the front of the stage with a camera. “Where do you go from there?”

“Just because he’s crippled doesn’t mean it’s art,” counters another. “He might just be a dirty old hippie in a wheelchair.”

“I don’t know who’s more crazy,” says a woman standing outside the nightclub, “the people performing or the people watching.”

Frank Moore says the crazy person performs insane rituals not to express himself, but to keep the sky from falling. And the sky doesn’t fall.

Original article is here: https://archives.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/more-is-moore/Content?oid=2141589

Email between Silke and Frank after the article was published:

From:	"silke tudor" <silke@sirius.com>
To:	"Frank Moore" <fmoore@eroplay.com>
Sent:	Thursday, May 03, 2001 7:23 AM
Subject:	Re: just read your article

thank you for your help, it was not the easiest article I've written.

Frank Moore wrote:
>	it definately is one of the best, deepest articles written about my
>	work. you captured a lot! thank you.
>	In Freedom
>	Frank Moore
>	Visit http://www.eroplay.com
>	Listen to LUVeR!
>	http ://www. luver.com
>	LUVeR Alternative News
>	http://www.luver.org

Watch the performance:

Poster for the show by LaBash

Frank Moore on Substack!

We have created a Substack for Frank’s writings and poems:


We plan to add a new post each week, mid-week.

Here is an excerpt from The Combine Plot that seems particularly relevant today:

I took the word “combine” from the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. In the book, the combine is a fear machine network which secretly installed pacemakers of fear, doubt, and mistrust in almost everyone in childhood. This made people much easier to control. It isolates people into cells padded with fear and doubt, making the people part of the combine. There are some misfits whom the combine missed with its fear pacemakers. In others, the fear pacemakers blow their fuses. These people without the fear pacemakers are very dangerous to the combine because if they are not checked, destroyed, discredited, isolated, or enfolded into the combine, they can show others how to blow out their own fear pacemakers, can show others how to be free humans linked to other free humans. The combine rarely has to directly destroy the misfits itself. Just direct eliminations would reveal the existence of the combine. So such direct eliminations are kept to the minimum. The real tool of the combine is a vague sense of uncomfortableness, of inferiority, and of mistrust within the victims of the combine. The setting of the novel is a mental ward in which most of the patients are self‑committed. They believe themselves weak, unable to cope with the outside world. They believe the fear comes from themselves, not from the pacemakers. They just have to start believing in themselves, and they could pull out the pacemakers and walk out of the hospital. But every time they reach this threshold of freedom, the combine, by clever remote manipulation, turns up the vague uncomfortableness and mistrust. The victims themselves do the destroying of the misfit either in themselves or that con man pied piper who laughs at their fears and limits, who shows them the way to freedom. It is the victims who do most of the censoring.


There is a martial arts principle that when you are attacked, that is the point that you have most force potential. This is because you can combine the opposing force with your own, and reshape this new, more powerful force into your advantage. Helms has given us an opening to create a greater freedom. I refuse to defend my work from charges of obscenity. There is no such thing as sexual obscenity. It is an undefinable concept invented to limit freedom and to promote the established moral order. If I protest that my work is not obscene, I would be admitting the valid existence of sexual obscenity. There is nothing wrong with using sex, nudity, and all the bodily functions as art. It is time to do away with the legal concept of sexual obscenity once and for all…and for good. Dana and Jesse are just giving us artists an opening to accomplish this.

But sex is just the top layer of this attack. Sex is what Communism was in the McCarthy Era. In the ’50s, people thought those who were blacklisted for being Communists or fellow travelers somehow deserved to be blacklisted, were asking to be blacklisted by going too far. People thought it was O.K. to sign the loyalty oath, O.K. to not hire the blacklisted, O.K. to play along with the corrupt system…O.K. because they were not and never had been Reds.

But what they did not understand was that the real focus was not Communism, but controlling power. The same is true today.

Down Home with Frank Moore

In the late 1980s, during the period of time when Frank was doing “The Outrageous Horror Show”, he toyed with the idea of doing a similar show with country music … and appropriate outfits. It never ended up happening. But here is the demo tape that we put together to send to clubs.

TRACK ONE – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

TRACK TWO – I Want To Be Free


Cassette tape cover art by LaBash

Notes on “Season of Hidden Hope”

Frank originally wrote the poem “Season of Hidden Hope – a radio musical” for his appearance on Barb Golden’s KPFA radio show, Crack O’ Dawn on December 2, 1993.

Here is the original script with the poem and songs that Frank would sing as part of the reading of the poem:

Walking along cold dark homeless roads clogged with ice fears my only friend is the wind chilling my bones into longing and lost and beyond… into a cynical loneliness. Herding my sheep, looking in windows of unattainable desires, looking at presents useless because I don’t have anyone to give them to, looking into the past soft colored warm homes that are no longer mine. Everyone has left, everyone is gone. Even the sun has left long ago, long before the manger. And the sun will not come back ever again. This is the season of dark depression and fragile suicide. Yes, I know I can always bum up the $29.95 to buy the plastic hope and faith at 7 Eleven and pretend it is my wonderful life playing in the video store’s window. But instead I wrap myself in a jaded pretense of dry ice isolation of not caring, and drinking the stale but warm wine of regrets.

1. Meatloaf’s “2 out of 3”
2. Dodie Steven’s “Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”
3. Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”

The birth of new hope has always been hidden within the long cold winter darkness. Huddle together, clinging to our tribal warmth as our only protection against dying into the scary black unknown, we always have been blind to the evergreen hope of life. It has always been the first time the sun and easy hope have gone away. So we always think they will never come again. The evergreen hope has been hidden away in the womb of the humble and in children’s dreams. The forces of greys have always overheard the possibility of the hidden hope…have always searched for it to pervert it into human isolation…or, failing that, to kill it for all time. But the forces of power always overlook the hidden human hope rocking in the baby’s cradle. As power goes on a desperate killing, chopping hacking gorging, eating the old world up……we huddle together in the silent night upon the hill, rocking together in our tribal body warmth. The shaman, the holy woman, the medicine man have always shifted our attention away from the dark cold outward fear, have always shifted our gaze to the guiding light of new birth…at first in the stars, then in the roaring tribal fire which pulled all human feelings within it, and still later into that corny home hearth crackling with bright colors popping. Into this fire we have always gone, hearing the drumming of our innocent heart beating in a slow excitement, meeting again our love of life. We curl up with our love and wait for warm spring to arrive…as hope grows into knowing.

4. Elvis’ “Silent Night”
5. Johnny Mathis’ “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
6. Bing Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy”
7. N.K. Cole’s “O Holy Night”
8. John Lennon’s ”Happy Xmas (War is Over)”

Scan of Frank’s original script

Here is the recording of the reading of the poem from the show:

Below is the front and back of the postcard that was mailed out to Frank’s mailing list (snail mail at that time!) promoting the show:

Photos from the postcard “photoshoot”:

Here is the complete Crack O’ Dawn show from December 2, 1993:

Christmas 1993: Frank, Linda, Mikee and Kittee.

Music Jam – A Poem

A poem by Teresa Cochran about “The Jam” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, May 28, 2000, with Teresa Cochran, Giovanni Moro, Walter Funk, John The Baker, Corey Nicholl and Frank Moore

Hi Frank,

Here’s the poem I wrote about our jam in May. I wanted to surprise you with it on LUVER! 🙂

Music Jam

Here we are
In the Shaman’s Den
The Shaman on piano,
Bringing music out of infinite spaces,
Inviting us to follow.
We find our own parallel musical paths,
Each one different,
But present,
Like a harmony.
Joyous play
With shamanic toys;
We are all here.
The silent one, Booya,
Is no less present.
Here he is
With headphones;
An omniscient being,
While we trust him
To stay with us
And participate in our adventure.
And o the magical recording later!
It contains things we could not, did not hear
In our shamanic journey.
I feel as if I have lived
At least one lifetime
During that one-hour jam.
Condensed, yet timeless.


Listen to the jam here:

Teresa is a Featured Artist on eroplay.com. You can read more of her poems here: https://eroplay.com/feature/teresa/index.html

Adobe Books Art Show, Jam and Let Me Be Frank Screening

From the poster:

The Art of Frank Moore & LaBash
The first ever showing of shaman performance artist Frank Moore’s erotic innocent primitive passionate digital art, alongside the funny/disturbing/mind-scrambling/reality-bending drawings of LaBash.
Sunday, Feb. 2 – Saturday Feb. 15, 2020
M-F 12-8pm
Sa-Su 11am-8pm

Let Me Be Frank video screening
On Valentine’s Day, the first ever live screening of episodes from the web video documentary series, Let Me Be Frank, based on the life and art of shaman, performance artist, writer, poet, painter, rock singer, director, TV show host, teacher and bon vivant, Frank Moore.
Come EARLY and bring your musical instruments for a music jam before the screening!
Friday, Feb. 14, 2020
5-6:30pm – MUSIC JAM
6:30-8pm – LET ME BE FRANK screening and Q&A


Adobe Books
3130 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Corey and Erika setting up the show.
Photo by Keith Wilson
Photo by Keith Wilson
Photo by Keith Wilson
Photo by Keith Wilson


See the art show (and setup) here:

About the jam and screening

by Erika Shaver-Nelson, Alexi Malenky and Corey Nicholl

When we arrived at Adobe for the event, we found that people had left comments and drawings in the notebook we had left in the gallery space.

“fuckin’ love this stuff!” “you inspire me profoundly” “many thoughts head full …” “whoa!” “WTF?! infathomable, navy?” “the world needs more FRANK MOORE for all of us to be sexually liberated!”

Heather said that the art show has been getting a lot of positive reactions, especially from young people who come into the shop. Heather and the other volunteers at Adobe Books create a very open feeling there, and it felt great to have the event there. She told us later that when we take down the art in a week, the next group is a bunch of young people who will be doing some sleepovers in the space, and writing their dreams on the walls …

We brought homemade popcorn (two kinds: buttered & curry), and orange spearmint water, and valentine’s chocolate … they were a big hit, devoured!

Michael Peppe was the first to arrive, and the first person who came for the jam. Only one other came to jam, one of the people we recognized from several of Frank’s later performances, including at Temescal. He brought a drum which he played, and sometimes took toy instruments and shook them inside the drum, etc.

But at first, it was just Peppe … he came back into the gallery and sat down at a keyboard and started playing … we three started jamming with him, and before long there was a couple who had not even come for the event, but were drawn back to the gallery space, and after checking out the art, they also joined the jam. It was really fun, and it felt/sounded like a Frank jam, felt primal, and Erika said that the feeling during the jam was “freedom”. As time went on, more people came in and joined the jam.

The Jam

Between the first two episodes, we were talking with Michael Peppe, and he said some amazing things about Frank …

“You have a bunch of things that you regret in your life, not necessarily that you regret doing, but regret not doing, but I was thinking watching the film that that’s one I totally do not regret, is hanging out with Frank Moore, and jumping into his thing, you know, going to performances, being in the performances, watching the videos, reading the text, and all his art … not one second of my life was wasted hanging out with Frank Moore.”
He remembered the first time he performed with Frank at UC Berkeley. “From that moment on, yeah, I absolutely do not regret any of that.”

He is such a once in a lifetime kind of person. Usually in art, you think well, wow, he was great, I wonder who the next guy’s gonna be. You know, who’s gonna follow up. There is no next Frank Moore. There is only one. There is only one, and that’s all you get. And I’m sure that there’s not going to be anyone quite as amazing and remarkable as him. The world has had plenty of time to come up with another one, and it hasn’t managed to do it, so … he’s it, he’s the only one.”

He also talked about the Outrageous Beauty Revue, which is when he first saw Frank at the Mabuhay in 1981. “No one had ever done that, and no one has done it since.” “Celebrating people for who they are, what they are, whatever they look like …” He was also really struck by the quotes from Frank at the end of the 1st episode, about faking it until you make it, and how Frank saw himself as beautiful. “And like he said, that’s magic. That’s what magic is. You know, that’s something to think about. That’s magic.”

Watching Let Me Be Frank with a live audience was amazing … it was the first time, after only having watched it together at home. Both the reactions, laughter, etc. and the silence really made you feel like people were taking a lot in from the episodes.

Alexi counted about 25 people at the screening. Among the people who came was a coworker from the health food store where Corey works, Kacey, and Erika’s coworker Megan and her boyfriend Josh. Megan was the last student who worked with Frank. Also, Keith Wilson came, the filmmaker who is doing his own documentary on Frank.

Let Me Be Frank screening

One of the first questions after the screening was if Frank had been an organizer for disabled people in the bay area community, or if his work drew other people with disabilities into his work. We talked about how he had participated in the protests in the early 80s at the Federal building in SF over the ADA, and also about the group that put on the OBR, and how it came together through Frank’s workshops, and that there were several people with disabilities that were part of the workshops and later formed deeper relationships, formed households together, etc.

We talked also about how Frank was challenging to the disability community in the seventies, because while they were advocating independence, hiring people to help you so that you could be “independent”, Frank was talking about having deep relationships with friends and lovers who would take care of your needs.

We also told the story of Frank showing Fairytales Can Come True at the CP Center.

Heather brought up what she had read in How To Handle An Anthropologist about Frank’s experience at the San Francisco Art Institute, and about not getting booked by gallery spaces and being embraced by other subcultures like the punk scene … and we ended up telling the story of The Lab cancelling Frank’s performances, and how the poetry community came out to perform with him on the street in front of the space. And then Peppe talked about how you can’t even count how many places have banned Frank! And how Frank didn’t care, he just thought it was funny!

A Japanese woman who Heather told us later had come specifically “for the Frank Moore event” told Erika that she had a friend who had been severely disabled, and gets very down in the dumps about what she can’t do anymore (she is an artist), and that she felt that Frank was really inspiring, and would be inspiring to her friend.

At the end of the night, after the second episode, she talked again about how Frank was really inspiring, especially how for so long, from such an early point, Frank had this idea of interdependence (instead of independence), and she was struck by his self-respect and his will to do his art, that was really admirable, and a lot of people could not do this, so she couldn’t understand how anyone could ever ban him! She also said he was “so cute! so lovable”

Afterward, a couple who had come to the event came up to us. Matt is someone who volunteers at Adobe, and is a musician who recently did a dissertation for his degree at Mills College where he helped create musical instruments for people with disabilities, that they could play and jam together with. He was really inspired by Frank, and had been thinking about doing something about Frank with his disabled students where he teaches at an Academy, but he said he will have to see what the administration of the school is open to.

Also after the screening, as we were packing up, Heather’s partner Kyle talked about the part of the OBR episode where Steve Hoffman was playing Joe Cocker. He was really impressed. He said it was “pure rock ‘n’ roll”, and that he have never seen anything quite like it.

When Peppe left, he asked us when is the next one!? He wants to be there.

Heather wants to do more screenings/jams, and suggested that perhaps the next one could be around Frank’s birthday!

From left to right: Heather, Corey, Erika and Alexi


Watch the jam, screening and Q&A here:

You can watch the two episodes that were shown:

EPISODE 1: A Lucky Guy

EPISODE 12: Outrageous Beauty Revue