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

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Louise Scott – Deep Conversations in the Shaman’s Den

November 15, 1998 on fakeradio.com

Frank called this interview, “a deep conversation with a wise woman, a cultural pioneer, a midwife, an international bag lady …”

Frank always said that Louise was “to blame” for his life … he also wrote that “thanks to the gentle guidance by Louise Scott, I started to see my body as a tool.” This interview reveals the depth of that friendship of 45 years, starting from the very first time they saw each other at an all-night party of folk singers in 1968 San Bernardino. But it also dives deep into Louise’s down-to-earth wisdom from her profoundly rich and full life, with glimpses into just a sampling of the many chapters of this life. With joy and compassion, weaving through the beatniks of 1950s San Francisco, hanging out with satirist/author Mort Sahl when he first performed in L.A., starting communes and cultural centers through the 1960s and 1970s, traveling the world, being a midwife and working in hospice, and living outside of the borders and limits of society as a way of life … Louise is a model of this freedom, and has always been a mother and a friend, not just to Frank, but to people in general.

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


Frank: I know there are a lot of people, all over, in all lines of work, who wish I was not in the world.

Louise: They wish you weren’t in the world?!? Good God, Frank.

Frank: Well, we have someone here who they can blame for that. (all laughing) If it was not for her, I might not be here.

Louise: Well, you know Frank, if it wasn’t for you I might not be here either. (Frank sounds)

Frank: And there are a lot of people who … (Frank screeching, Louise laughing)

Louise: Watch out, watch out, watch out.

Frank: Who would blame me for that too. (all laughing) This is Louise Scott.

Linda: What? You want me to sum up? Oh!

Louise: Careful, careful there!

Linda: I’ll say what I know and you can correct me. I am going to attempt to tell a brief story of how Frank and Louise hooked up.

Frank: And you can stop me …

Linda: Yeah, you can fill in …

Louise: I can correct you or I can … OK …

Linda: Yeah, and fill stuff in …

Lousie: And I’m sure Frank will have a few little …

Linda: Frank was living at home with his mother and brother. (Frank sounds) I guess, in San Bernardino County.

Louise: Right.

Linda: He had made an attempt to leave home at one point, by getting an attendant who turned out to be drunk (Frank sounds) who pulled a gun on him, so now he’s back living with his mom, aware of the fact that if he doesn’t get out of the house soon, he could turn into the crip son who stays with his mom his whole life, so he was feeling like something had to give. He was toward the end of his college years. Louise was the cool, hippy lady that lived in town with … on kind of a little farm or something? Or some piece of land or something?

Louise: I had an acre there with a lot of out-buildings and whatnot … and my previous husband and I made a swimming pool and we made a sweat and we were really into it. We were supporting ourselves doing landscaping.

Frank: What is a sweat?

Louise: A hot steam bath, so we could get in there and get real hot then jump into the cold water, then get back out and whatnot. And, the first time I remember seeing Frank was at Sally … what was her name, a folk singer … we were all at this house, and here’s Frank, my God, here’s Frank. And, I, I, I … I watched him watching people. And I felt like he saw so much more than other people saw. And I felt a little uncomfortable about it, of course. (Frank low sounds) And that was initially … and then I was off, after that, off with the hippies. When I came back I got in it with Frank.

Frank: We did not talk at that time …

Louise: No, no, no. But I watched. And he was watching. And then, that was before I went off with all the hippies, right? (Frank sounds) And then I was up here at Haight Ashbury and Nevada City. And I left that and went back to San Bernardino and that’s when we really connected.

Frank: While you were gone, some of my friends from college moved in …

Linda: To her house?

Louise: Oh, those guys! (Frank screeches) (everyone laughs) Oh, OK. Well anyway then, when I go back, is when I really got involved with Frank. (Frank sounds) He would be by, and, with friends of his and whatnot. And in the meantime then, shortly after that, I moved to Santa Fe, when the big exodus to the country was happening. And I was back trying to sell that piece of property. Want the story about I was crying? (Frank sounds) I had been very sick and I was in the bedroom crying one day because I was losing my hair. And I heard someone was there and I walk in the kitchen and here is Frank. (makes sounds mimicking Frank’s sounds) You know, full of joy and all that! And I just … that was when I really felt a real breakthrough with Frank. And like, at that time I said, oh my God man, I’m out there crying about my vanity, you know, and I felt really bad about it. How could I be so vain, you know? And a day or two later, he brought me this beautiful painting that he had done of this head. (Frank sounds) And he said this is vanity. All golden curls and earrings and lipstick and this and that. He said, vanity is very beautiful. And then in talking about Santa Fe, he said, oh I wish I could go there. I said, you want to come live with us? (all laughing) (Louise mimics Frank’s sounds) Yeah. And so, we moved all to Santa Fe with me and my kids. (Frank screeching)

Frank: No!

Louise: No?

Frank: But I went before you got there.

Louise: Oh yeah! A friend, Steve, took him in the car. And then I came with all this furniture and stuff. Maybe I get it wrong, Frank! (Frank sounds) You know!

Frank: You said (Linda giggling) it would be two weeks. (Frank screeches)

Louise: How long was it?

Frank: Two months. (laughing)

Louise Scott, Frank Moore and Linda Mac. Photo by Michael LaBash.

Louise: Was it that long? In the meantime, he was at a place called The Center. That was set up at that time, the late 1960s right? Very late ’60s, early ’70s …

Frank: Early ’70s.

Louise: Every dissident in the United States was on the road. (Frank sounds) Going right through Santa Fe. The word was out there was free land. And this friend of ours who had become a Catholic priest at the time, Father George …

Frank: I first saw him when he was MC’ing for Lee Michaels.

Linda: Was this in San Bernardino? (Frank sounds) That’s the first time you ever saw Father George.

Louise: I don’t remember Lee Michaels. I mean, I don’t remember that. But that was away from me. I mean, it wasn’t connected with me particularly.

Linda: Yes. (Frank sounds)

Louise: So Frank is here, right in the middle of all these people, going all over the world, (Frank sounds) doing just dandy!

Frank: My first real time on my own. (Frank laughing)

Louise: On his own, right.

Linda: So you should describe where, what, like, what it was. I don’t think we’ve told anybody.

Louise: We called it The Center. And it was an old nursing home that we rented. It was huge. It had a commercial kitchen and all of that.

Linda: And it was you and George that started it?

Louise: That got this started … plus some other people. I mean, you know there were … it was really a joint effort, communal effort.

Linda: Yeah.

Louise: But, there was one guy in Santa Fe who volunteered to come and help everybody fix their broken down cars. (Frank sounds) And we had the Chicano Center that were a lot of the Chicano people. It was kind of the first integration there actually, between gringos and Chicanos … happened through there. Oh, everything happened through there (Frank sounds) really …

Linda: It was like a crash pad, where people could stay …

Louise: It was like a crash pad … people could stay. And we got people to donate produce … everybody kind of cooked and contributed and whatnot. And this got going there. And then I arrived, and then Frank lived with me and my kids because they threw Father George in jail for running a disorderly house or something. (Frank laughs) I don’t remember what they got him on. But I’m real grateful this happened. Because the amount of pressure that took off of Santa Fe that summer, God knows what would have happened. (Frank sounds) You know, I mean, kids were making love in the plaza, right? And they’re getting thrown in jail. (Frank sounds) It was … it was heavy. There was too much, all of a sudden, happened to Santa Fe. You know, we liberated hippies go there (Frank sounds) without our brassieres and that was totally outside of that culture at that time, and there was a huge clash that this prevented. (Frank sounds)

Frank: In fact, they bombed The Center.

Louise: Yeah, I wasn’t there when that happened. I was still going back and forth trying to sell this house in San Bernardino. See Frank was there. Steve got him there. Then I got there and we got a house rented and we got the other situation together. But most of the … initial work at The Center, I was involved in. But that was before Frank.

Linda: Yeah.

Louise: So when Frank got there … I don’t know why I was that long getting there, Frank. I was on my way. (laughing)

Linda: He said you had to settle things with the selling of the house?

Louise: Yeah, I never got the house sold. (Frank screeches) I probably rented it out again. There were problems. Government FHA loans and stuff. So I didn’t sell it at that time. But Frank was … you know, he was in his glory after being pretty much isolated. Although he’d been going to college. But, I mean, I’m sure he was just having a ball there. (Frank sounds) You know, it was good for him.

Linda: Yeah.

Louise: And then he lived with me and my children. And we were still very much a part of this alternate society. And fully a part of … remember the night in the tepee? The peyote meeting. (Frank sounds) We dug a hole in the ground so Frank could be propped up. (Linda laughs) You know, because there’s no … everybody’s on the floor, on the ground in the tepee. And you know, Frank was always ready for anything. Whatever it is, he wants to try it! He wants to do it!

Linda: Yeah.

Louise: So, there was a lot of that type of (Frank sounds) … whatever everybody else was doing. Which, it started in San Bernardino. You better believe he wants to get in the sweat and get in the pool. (Frank sounds) You know, tough buzzard. (Frank laughing)


DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW HERE (PDF)


Frank Moore interviews Louise Scott for FAKE Radio … a deep conversation with a wise woman, a cultural pioneer, a midwife, an international baglady … Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, November 15, 1998.

Louise Scott

Frank & Louise, Berkeley, November 1998

Louise passed away on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. She was 86, less than a month before her 87th birthday. Frank always said that Louise was “to blame” for him. Below is an old piece we just found that Frank wrote in 2010.

Also, at the bottom of the post is the audio of an interview Frank did with Louise in 1998 on his Shaman’s Den show.


I and Louise first saw each other across the room at an all-night folk party that my college roommate Moe took me to just before he went back to D.C. But we didn’t talk…and it was 6 months later when we really met.

I need to set this up. When I first went to college, the only way they would take me was if my mom would take me to classes. Being the person that she is, she enrolled in the courses also. Sounds great. But in reality, the kids wouldn’t establish relationships with me because Mom was always around. So a break came when I transferred to the state college where Mom could not afford to go. [She continued at the local college.] I used the change to try to move out and get an apartment. But the only one I could find to be my attendant was an old ex-cop, resthome ex-nurse who had bad habits such as hitting his patients and getting drunk. He couldn’t get into his head that I was his boss. I lived with him for 6 months…until he pulled a loaded gun on me in his drunken fit [I just yelled at him until he put the gun down and went to sleep]. My SDS friends took and hid me for a few days…By chance, I met Moe at a college dance and told him my story….and he said I could live with him and his roommates. And after he moved back to D.C., I got a place with my brother. But all of these situations were really only extensions of “home” with well-meaning strings which always finally sucked me back to home.

Louise’s place was a hippie island in San Bernardino’s ghetto for blacks, students, artists, and okies. It was over an acre of land with several large great buildings, a boxcar, a swimming pool, a sauna…all enclosed by gardens so nudity was normal. [Years later, I rented the place from her to live and do my work…unfortunately San Bernardino was not in the shaman market.] Anyway, my hippie/poet friend took me there. Louise remembered me from the party. And we talked…nude. She said I could/should come as often as I wanted.

Louise was a beat in the 50’s. She hung out with Mort Sahl [I found that out only last year…he is one of my heroes]. She was involved in the founding of communes on the Russian River, L.A., and S.F. She had just come back from Santa Fe to sell her property. I started having my brother [who at that time was going through his straight phase, so did not quite approve] take me there every weekend so I could talk to Louise. I was in heaven talking to someone like her who encouraged me, being nude, being with my college hippie/poet friends who also hung out there.

I told Louise how I wanted to move out of home….but didn’t see any way to. She said I could live with her and move to Santa Fe, N.M. with her. I knew when I made my next move, it had to be as far away as possible. So I dropped out of college and hitched to hippieland in Santa Fe…before Louise. The plan was she with her two kids would move out when she sold her property. That took a LONGER time than she had planned. For two months, I lived at a Santa Fe “crashpad” mission run by Louise’s friend. Louise had been a founder of it. There I had to depend on the kids who drifted through The Center for all my needs. It was a very important time for me.

But when Louise finally came, we lived together as a family in various artist compounds. We never had money, but always had enough. The main focus was living within tribal community. Louise’s weakness was men with character weaknesses…so she ran through men. And my cross was I hadn’t had any sexual relationship yet. [Looking back on that time, I see all the possibilities I didn’t see with those who were “sisters” to me….dumb!]

It was the gentle guidance by Louise during the year I lived with her that started me seeing my body as a tool. She told me people could use me as a medium for getting through to other dimensions. Because of the slowness of my communication board, they were forced to slow down. She said it was just my luck to be born into the long tradition of the deformed shaman, the wounded healer, the blind prophet, the club-footed “idiot” court jester.

When I was living with Louise, I became aware of the magical quality of extended time lengths when I attended an all-night peyote ceremony of the Native American church in Taos. Time was as powerful as the magic medicine in creating a group reality trance.

After I left, Louise became a midwife. She came to NYC to deliver my kid. She became a nurse. Then she went around the world without money. She swam for her life from a sinking ship off Thailand and was included in shamanistic rituals.

Then, back in Santa Fe, she was at the right place at the right time. The Indians needed someone to live and build on a 9-acre piece of land to protect their water rights. They gave Louise a 50-year lease…first 5 years, she doesn’t pay anything. Then the next 5 years, she pay $500 a year…etc. So she worked as a nurse at night, and built by day…carrying everything across a creek before she built a bridge.

She is my roots!


Frank Moore interviews Louise Scott for FAKE Radio … a deep conversation with a wise woman, a cultural pioneer, a midwife, an international baglady … Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, November 15, 1998.

From Stephen Emanuel (2/23/20):

Yes, it was a very unique time and places…fond memories of loading Frank into an old Datsun car and chugging off to Santa Fe, first time he slept out under the stars and made it out of San Bernardino…  we created several households of tribal families with Louise always the den mother.  We were artists, musicians, activists misfits and all around crazies and it was an amazing journey for all of us.  Frank thrived in the mix and was able to become the shaman healer that he was destined to be…  we were able to provide the nurturing because of Louise and the tribe…  and Frank got to do all that outrageous stuff with us in tow.  Great fun and great works were done amidst all the struggles but there was always loving care from Louise for Frank and all of us.  A couple of lives well lived that have touched so many…. the king and queen are dead, long live the king and queen!


From Keith Wilson (2/23/20):

Below is a small section of that interview where she talks about death, and how she wanted to be able to experience whatever comes when we die. I hope she did, and I hope she and Frank are once again together causing mischief and magic.  

Keith: In the Shaman’s Den interview you talked about life after death. And you say you’re wondering if someone was waiting on the other side, like you just have these really interesting thoughts and curiosities about what’s over there. Wherever “there” is. And I was just wondering if you could talk about that?

Louise Scott: Honey I have no idea. You know that we’re going to be taking a trip one of these days. It’s important to me to be conscious of it. You know. I mean it’s just things we do in life and then we die. 

And what there is on the other side. Anybody who says they know I don’t believe them. We’re all part of something here and we’re all vibrations we’re all… who knows what we are. I trust whatever it is it’s going to be good because I think life’s good. Life is so sweet. So whatever it is I hope I can experience it. I don’t know if we take memories with us because people with Alzheimer’s lose their memories. I would hope our memories stayed. Who knows. Who knows. 

The Hips Voice, August 26, 1970

Frank wrote for the underground press paper, The Hips Voice, when he lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the early 1970s. Thanks to Paul Escriva for retrieving this article from the Underground Press microfilm collection at The Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Illinois.