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Tag: Deep Conversations in the Shaman's Den Volume 1 (page 1 of 1)

Penny Arcade – Deep Conversations in the Shaman’s Den

Recorded March 8, 2009 on luver.com

In Frank’s own words, “Penny is funny, warm, sexy, erotic, kick-ass, political, subversive, plain talking, nude, up-lifting, real, wise, entertaining, committed, outsider, humane, community-building, rich history … and a damn good artist!”

Penny had just finished a performance of her BITCH! DYKE! FAGHAG! WHORE! in San Francisco and was immediately taxied off to Berkeley by a couple of Frank’s students. This was also the second session of the night for Frank who had just completed an hour and a half interview with another guest shortly before Penny arrived. When Frank announced the show, he said that they would be “comparing notes from our lifetimes of cultural subversion!”

Penny Arcade’s transformative experimental performance work has been produced all over the world. Like Frank, her resume is rich good reading, and takes you on an amazing journey from leaving home at age 14 to “join the fabulously disenfranchised world of queers, junkies, whores, stars, deviants and geniuses”, through Andy Warhol’s Superstar Factory, into the European political theater of the 1970s, her art experiments and activism of the 1980s, prolific theatrical productions of the 1990s, and her growing international performance work since 2000. And like Frank, she (with Steve Zehentner) has produced a long-running public access TV show, planting seeds and exposing mainstream culture to the real art and history. This show, Stemming The Tide of Cultural Amnesia, The Lower Eastside Biography Project, actually featured the interview below, so it has been seen many times on both coasts.

This interview is “shop talk” between two legendary artists, and a primer for any artist just setting out on the road of art and the experimental life.

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

Linda: (in mid-sentence) … we play it as a repeat all night, so a new episode plays at like one in the morning, because we have like, almost 400 episodes.

Penny: Wow. That’s crazy, I love it!

Linda: We’ve been doing it like ten years.

Penny: Yeah, and we’ve been doing ours about ten years. So, it’s kind of interesting that we’re on the same (gestures) …

Linda: Yeah. Got into cable at the same time.

Frank: I just asked for a 2½ hour time slot.

Linda: Because they didn’t have that as an option, but he said, I’d like to do 2½ hours and they said OK. But I think in Berkeley they don’t have a lot of people that are doing shows. It’s not like very competitive.

Penny: In New York it’s really … everything’s a half hour. You know, maybe sometimes you could do an hour special, but I love it!

Frank: How do you fit life into a half hour?

Penny: Yeah, exactly! Total bullshit! But, one of the things that was the most fucking interesting thing was when I went to get that piece of pizza. And I had the books, right? So, I’m waiting for the pizza, and I started to read the NYU lecture [Frank’s Art Of A Shaman – Ed.]. And I’m a fast reader. I’m the highest comprehensive reader in my … when I was 12 years old in my age group in the state of Connecticut. So I’m reading and then my eyes fell on this whole … you and I have to talk, of course a lot about the commodification of art, right? And I was talking with the boyz (Corey and Alexi) about … I’m like totally an emerging arts fighter. I hate the whole concept of emerging arts, it drives me insane.

Frank Moore and Penny Arcade (video capture)

Frank: If art is not emerging, it is not art.

Penny: Yeah, but there’s a big difference between suddenly saying, after a thousand years, where there were young artists who became old artists and now they have this … the idea of emerging arts as a class of young people.

Frank: Yes.

Penny: This comes not from the art world. This comes from academia, because parents who are paying 250 fucking thousand dollars to educate their kids to be a performance artist, or a spoken word artist, or an experimental filmmaker, the same amount of money that it costs to educate somebody to be a lawyer (Frank sounds) or a surgeon. The parents want to be assured that there is an entry-level position for their kids. And this is terrible for young people because young artists, there’s no two ways. Jack Smith said, you have to apprentice, it’s the only way to learn how to make art! And not that people shouldn’t also do their own thing, you know.

Frank: Or just do it for years.

Penny: Yeah, absolutely! But you have to be willing to be bad for twenty years in order to be good.

Frank: Yes.

Penny: I was talking to the boyz and I was saying what they’ve been doing with this emerging arts thing is creating this professionalization of art. And art is not a profession. Art is a vocation. And I was reading in your …

Linda: Art Of A Shaman?

Penny: … Art Of A Shaman. And I was reading this part where you were talking about what they did with performance, into making it into a certain amount of time. Many, many people said about my show … I invite anybody, you know … and they say, I didn’t know it was going to be so long. (Linda laughing, Frank sounds) And that’s not one of my long shows. (Frank sounds, Linda laughing)

Frank: Exactly! They think that 45 minutes is a long show.

Penny: Right.

Frank: And I do 48-hour performances! (Frank sounds)

Penny: Yeah, yeah, of course. That’s because you’re a master. You’re a master. But it’s so … it’s very empowering for me, because I was very, very tired. I was very sick the whole week. From the first night you came to the Thursday night you came, I was sick that whole week with very bad bronchitis. And I had hepatitis C a few years ago and I went on the interferon treatment and then I got an auto-immune illness called sarcoidosis that settled in my lungs. So it made me weak in my lungs. So when I get bronchitis, which I seem to get now every time I get a cold, I had no energy. So all those shows I’m doing with no energy, which is very hard, you know. And so I was worried about the length. You know what I mean, myself. I was going, fuck, I don’t have the energy to … like, usually the opening of the show when I introduce the dancers, that’s like an assault. (Frank sounds)

Frank: Like a wrestling announcer!

Penny: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!! Like a wrestling announcer, exactly! It’s a very dynamic fighting, very aggressive, you know. And I didn’t have quite that much energy, so I was like pushing it uphill all the way. It was very hard for me. So that night when I went to get the pizza then you gave me the book, I was looking at it. And then I read that thing about what they’ve done with performance. I think you and I are in agreement about a lot of things. For instance, I always say that performance only happens in the performance, right? It doesn’t happen … you don’t rehearse performance art. You know what I mean, that’s kind of (laughing and gestures) …

Frank: Or the rehearsal is a performance!

Penny: Yes, absolutely! Perfect! No problem! So then when I was reading it and I fell on these lines where you were talking about how they’ve taken performance and tried to fit it into this kind of entertainment category, etc., and then if you don’t do that, then you’re sloppy or you’re bad or you’re unprofessional or whatever. And my eyes fell on that, and I’m like, oh my God, I was just getting seduced down this road. You know, getting twisted up and feeling bad about myself. And then the other thing was, and also, of course, the most exciting thing that I read at that moment was about how the show goes where the show’s going to go. The performance goes where the performance is going to go. (Frank sounds)

Frank: You don’t control it.

Penny: No, no, no! It has to go where it’s going to go! And the thing is all my work is created improvisationally. And this show is the result of pretty much two years of straight improvisation. And then eventually it becomes kind of a set piece because it was … my mind works a little like an old time word processor. I kind of scan, and then I cut and paste in my own head as I go along. I think this is something you understand.

Frank: Me too.

Penny: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think, I was getting this. I was reading this shit and I was thinking maybe Frank Moore and I are the same person! (laughter)

Frank: Or mates.

Penny: Yes, yes, definitely, for sure. But we even possibly could be the same person! Why couldn’t there be a sharing of almost persona, or something that we don’t even know exactly what it is.

Frank: I could do your show.

Penny: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. I could do yours! I love it!

Frank Moore and Penny Arcade (video capture)

Linda: He did that. There’s a picture up there (gestures) of Frank dressed as Elvis Presley.

Penny: Oh yeah.

Linda: And he did that with an artist who was popular around here that called himself Extreme Elvis.

Penny: Oh yeah.

Linda: He was a big guy and he came out as the big Elvis. That was his outfit. And he’d end up naked real fast. Then he did the peeing and pooping on the audience stuff and just all this going out to the audience and trying to get them to be there with him. And they were mutually admiring each other. So he came up with the idea. He had this big date booked in a club in Oakland. He said, how about you be me? But we won’t tell anybody. He didn’t tell his band. He told one of his backup singers, that’s all. And he played Frank in the audience.

Penny: Wow!

Linda: And so the backup singer wheels Frank in. And the place was packed. (Frank sounds) He’s this hot act. And the band, because they know he’s always pulling fast ones, they just kind of go along with it. Oh, OK! And Frank does the whole show as him.

Penny: You have video of that?

Linda: Oh yeah!

Penny: Wow, that sounds so fantastic!

Frank: Freaked the punks out.

Linda: Well, they started … do you mean when the band had to come to your rescue? No.

Mikee: Gilman Street.

Linda: Oh wow! So what we did was, there’s this little all-age punk club down the street, that’s been around forever. And they were having this video festival and they contacted us out of the blue. We’re not really involved with them. And said to Frank, could you submit something for us to play at this festival. So we had just done this show, and they needed like 15 minutes or something. So he said cut out the 15 minutes where the backup singer pees on me. So we play that. And they’re these hardcore baby punks. And they freaked out. Why did they freak out? Because they thought that Frank was not there of his own free will. That he was being forced to be peed on and all this kind of stuff. Which Frank was not! That was the controversy!

Penny: It never ends. The political correctness never ends. Yeah, it’s funny, because you’re reminding me of … a number of years ago, I guess it was around 1991, I got a call from Ron Delsener who is the big rock’n’roll promoter in New York City, from his office. And they said that this band … now what the hell was the band’s name … I can’t believe I’m not going to remember the name of the band … the band is like, they’re the superstars of industrial music … Pig Head? Pig something. And it was like a guy from the Ministry, guys from out here, from the Ministry or whatever it’s called … it was a super hardcore industrial band. It was all the stars of all the different bands. Like a five-star band, they’re the super band! And apparently they had requested me. So I go down there, and I’m talking to the guy on the phone from the office. And I said, you know, I don’t think so. I said, the audience for this is like 16- to 24-year old guys. I said, I work with like … you know at that time I was doing a lot of work on rape and sexual abuse and shit like this and I say, my work is about rape and sexual abuse. I said I have like six erotic dancer girls. And I went, and yeah! I think, yes, I should do this! (laughing) The guy’s like, huh?! Well, I go there and I start doing this piece. And there’s like, I don’t know, 400 hardcore boys on the floor and I’m starting this piece and it was some piece about sex. It was a sexual piece. And the girls are grinding and dancing. (Frank sounds) And the boys just kept looking at the ground, you know. And then pretty soon it starts to look like oatmeal, like they’re getting annoyed! They wouldn’t look up, and it was bubbling like this (gestures). A guy at this point comes running up to me and goes, (screaming) we don’t want to hear any more of your sex stories!!! I had the mic and I was like, oooohhh. Is it true what they say about hardcore boys? Is it true what they say about hardcore boys? And it became really, totally … it was like really intense. And I was just going. And I just didn’t stop. And I started talking about that there was a smell of new age order. Of the new world order was in the room. And I just kept going on and more and more. And they were like freaking out. (laughter) And I looked up and there was a guy who was the roadie for the band. And I yelled, I said, hey, how long do I have to perform to get paid? And the guy goes, 20 minutes. So I said, OK. I ended up on one of the amps in the front and I started talking to them, very quietly. And I said, well, Pig Face, that’s the name of the band, well, I said, it’s kind of a weird situation. I’ve got to perform for 20 minutes in order to get paid. I know you guys don’t want to see me. And you don’t want to hear anything that I’m doing. I said, even though Pig Face wants you to see me. That’s why I’m here. And I went on. I did this whole long, very quietly emotional thing. And then I looked up and I said, how much time do I have left? He goes, you just did 20 minutes. And I went, bye! (laughter) And we all walked off the stage. And then I went upstairs and the guy from Pig Face, the main singer, he’s this little English guy. He’s quite famous, blonde guy. And I said, hey, your audience are assholes. And he goes, yeah, I know. And he’s doing push-ups. I said, are you doing push-ups to be pumped when you go on stage? He’s doing push-ups and he goes, no! It makes the acid come on faster! And then I watched him, and they were like … their whole show was these young guys trying to get on stage and them beating them with their guitar and bass. It was like the mosh pit scene, you know. And then afterwards we were … I was upstairs and all these guys kept coming over and going wow, you’re way more hardcore than Pig Face! And you’re more hardcore than anybody!

Linda Mac, Frank Moore and Penny Arcade (video capture)


Recorded March 8, 2009, Berkeley, California. This is an episode of my live internet streaming video show, THE SHAMAN’S DEN, on my internet station, www.luver.com. On this Penny Arcade and I talked deeply about how to cause trouble in the underground as misfit performance artists as a lifetime calling and have fun doing it!

Sasha Cagen (& Michael) – Deep Conversations in the Shaman’s Den

Recorded March 18, 2012 on luver.com

Sasha Cagen is a writer, coach and community builder and the founder of the Quirkyalone movement. She is the author of the books, Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics and To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us. She writes a blog on the Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, the BBC and NPR.

Sasha attended Frank’s performance, The Uncomfortable Zones of Fun in December 2011 and published a long review of the performance on her Huffington Post blog. Frank invited Sasha to be a guest on the Shaman’s Den after reading her review.

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

Linda: … and then Frank always says they complain … (Frank sounds) And they say you know I can’t get connected with people, and they blame it on their disability. And Frank says, hey, turn the letter board around, make it easier for people to talk with you. (Frank sounds)

Michael: Cool.

Frank: Reach out. But they want to blame the …

Linda: Disability for all of their problems.

Michael: It hasn’t stopped you. (laughs)

Frank: How did you get started …

Linda: In your work? How did you get started in your work?

Sasha: I started writing … oh, is there more?

Linda: I think so …

Frank: Or in your …

Linda: In your play? (Sasha laughs)

Frank: Life … ?

Linda: Or how did you get started in your life?

Sasha: (giggles) … Hmmm, now I don’t know how to answer … (giggles) How did I get started in my life … maybe I should answer that one … that seems interesting.

Frank: Yes.

Frank Moore, Sasha Cagen and Michael (video capture)

Sasha: Well you know, it’s funny, I was talking to my mother a few months ago about some early … some childhood things and she said to me … she was kind of questioning my interpretation of my childhood or something … and she said, well, you were just always this kid who like always wanted to go and explore and meet people and when you were two and people would come over, when they were leaving you would be sad and want to go with them and see what was going on. So it was actually really interesting to hear that. (Frank sounds) And I think that’s true. That I am just very curious.

Frank: Like me.

Sasha: Yeah, probably.

(Frank sounds)

Linda: You want to hear more? Tell us more!

Sasha: (giggle) … Wasn’t that enough? (laughing)

Frank: I am not CNN.

Linda: He’s not CNN (laughter) … You can give longer answers.

Sasha: I know … I’ve got my talking points ummm, ummmm, so then how did I get started in my life … well, I went to nursery school, made some friends, then I went to kindergarten and um … Yeah, I think that I just always had a … I grew up in Rhode Island which is a very quirky interesting state … I think it really kind of shaped me but at the same time I really wanted to leave it.

Frank: And you made a career out of “quirky”.

Sasha: Yeah, I think so (laughter) and I am getting more explicit about it … I think I am going to become more explicit about that ’cause I have been kind of not totally owning it.

Frank: How?

Sasha: I don’t know yet, but I think it’s going to be like the centerpieces, because I really am really interested in individuality and acceptance and celebration of individuality and I think that underlies all of my work … and I’m actually working with a coach now to help me see that … because there are certain parts I haven’t … I haven’t made it coherent yet, but that is the center of it all.

Frank: What is quirky?

Sasha: Um … it is unintentional difference. So it is basically being yourself in a way that is not … it’s not like trying to be quirky. For an example, I think quirky is hip right now and there was a Saturday Night Live sketch that was like Zooey Deschanel and other quirky characters in pop culture that have this kind of hip aesthetic and that’s not quirky at all. Like that’s totally commercial and predictable. So quirky is … the example that I used in that Quirkyalone book was like it’s a cowlick … it’s like your hair sticking up … and it’s uncontrollable … you work with it, you don’t hide it. You go with it.

Frank: And play with it.

Sasha: Yeah, right, if you can. Like first you have to accept it and be good with it. That’s the first step. And then yeah, play with it … it’s more fun.

Frank: Why would not you accept it?

Sasha: Why would you not accept it? Because it’s not acceptable. It’s not how you are supposed to look, behave or be. Or because it takes courage to accept your quirkiness.

Frank: But, if you are quirky, you don’t have a choice. (Frank sounds)

Sasha: Um … Well, you do have a choice. I mean you can camouflage it and blend in … if you are self-identified quirky then you have made the choice to embrace your quirkiness. But everyone is potentially quirky … I mean we all are, right? So that really is the difference between quirky people and non-quirky people … the non-quirky people are hiding it.

Frank Moore and Sasha Cagen (video capture)

Frank: Art and science are full of …

Linda: Quirky people. (Frank sounds)

Sasha: Yeah, that is true. Yeah. (Frank sounds)

Frank: I just read …

Linda: Which one are you thinking of, the science one? (Linda to Mikee) What’s the name of that book we just finished reading about the science dude?

Mikee: Feynman, Richard Feynman.

Linda: Richard Feynman, it was a biography of him.

Mikee: Autobiography.

Frank: How he is quirky. (Frank sounds)

Sasha: Michael’s read it.

Michael: I read it … he is amazing. When he was studying physics, instead of reading the books, he did every experiment in history to understand on his own terms, so that by the time he became a scientist, he couldn’t … no one actually understood the ideas he had because he started all of them from scratch. He’s really funny too. He is an awesome guy.

(Frank sounds)

Frank: He can pick locks.

Linda: Oh, pick locks? There was that whole thing where he got into picking locks.

Michael: For the challenge? (Frank sounds)

Linda: It was really safes. He knew how to pick most of the safes in the building that he was in at one point … he kind of prided himself in that.

Michael: I should learn that skill …

Frank: And the Manhat …

Mikee: Manhattan project …

Linda: Oh, the Manhattan Project, that was the organization where he picked all of the locks.

Michael: Oh, that is a great place to do it … (laughs) Well, you know if you are going to go, go big, I guess. He was a more original thinker than almost anyone else around him and I never understood if it was just who he was or if that is what he learned to be. I keep reading those books, because I never get tired of them.

Frank: What was it called?

Linda: The actual book? Do you remember the title of the book, Mikee? He’ll look it up.

Frank: You Must Be Kidding.

Linda: Oh, that was the name of it.

Michael: Yeah, You Must Be Kidding, Mr. Feynman. (all laugh) Good choice. Do you read a lot of physics books?

Linda: We read a lot of books. Frank has read a lot of physics books over the years.

Sasha: Do you all read books together?

Linda: Frank gets the talking books from the Library of Congress, it is a free service, so he can pick the books online, then we download them and put them on a little stick and they send us the machine to listen to them on. We always have two books going. We have one we read during the day and one we read late at night when we are getting ready for bed. It’s really fun. We do a lot of reading.

Frank: After ten years at least of not reading.

Linda: Right, any books at all. (Frank sounds)

Linda: Well, it is because we started the radio station and we had that on all of the time, so we just stopped reading. Before that we had books going all of the time. And then we started again about a year and a half ago or so.


Frank Moore and Sasha Cagen (video capture)
Recorded live on luver.com, Sunday, March 18, 2012, Berkeley, California.

Read Sasha’s review: http://sashacagen.com/uncategorized/improv-with-my-computer-or-my-night-with-frank-moore/

Read Sasha’s review of this Shaman’s Den: http://sashacagen.com/uncategorized/a-deep-conversation-about-life-coupling-and-quirkyness-with-frank-moore/

More Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den: http://eroplay.com/underground/shamansden.html

David Johnson & Elder Freeman – Deep Conversations in the Shaman’s Den

Recorded April 22, 2001 on luver.com

David Johnson was one of the San Quentin Six, a group of inmates at San Quentin prison accused of an escape attempt in 1971 that led to a riot on the cell block. Their 16-month trial was called “The Longest Trial” by Time magazine. David was convicted on one count of assault.

Elder Freeman, whose real name is Ronald Freeman, was a Catholic priest in the African Orthodox Church. He was also one of the founding members of the L.A. Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. He was in the leadership of the Southern California chapter of the party, and one of the leaders in the underground part of the Black Panther Party, which came to be known as the Black Liberation Party.

Frank first learned of David and Elder through a political prisoners conference that he had sent his crew to videotape to broadcast on LUVeR.

Elder Freeman passed away October 8, 2014.

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

Frank: Revolution has to be cheap.

Linda: The revolution has to be cheap!

David: Yeah, yeah, we don’t have a lot of funds. We’re all poor. (laughter, Frank sounds) We used to have a saying, back in the day: “Revolution is hazardous to your health and you don’t get paid.”

Frank: They got the money, we got the people.

David: The people. That’s true. But we need more hearts and minds.

Frank: How do we get them?

David: Gotta start here. Starts with education. People have to understand there’s another side to the story.

Frank: To what?

Linda: Another side to the story to what?

David: The story that they put out there.

Frank Moore and David Johnson (video capture)

Elder: You know, to get people to get involved and change, sometimes what causes it is the conditions, so that means that the system is setting it up for itself, for its own destruction, by what they’re doing. By them opposing what’s right. For them not treating people humane and not being … well … have no regards for the land, the water, the air … human beings’ medical care, feeding people. When they know they got the technology to resolve a lot of the problems that’s going on in the world, and they take and they use this and they capitalize on it and they only use certain resources, as long as it’s beneficial to a certain segment of people, the people that’s in power. So, it’s like, even when you’re studying Marx and all the different struggles, and even before Marx, when people’s conditions, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the conditions got to where the people felt it was beyond … the burden was too great for them to bear anymore, they rebelled against it. And that’s what’s happening like now. Even with the thing in Quebec. It’s like, we’ve got to have safeguards on the world as far as … for life to even go on! With the things that they’re planning, they planning for everything to come to an end. So somebody got to say something! And it’s a cause for the young people, the young people! We was young once. (Frank sounds)

David: The burden is on them.

Elder: They have to get involved, they have to take the front, and we have to support them in everything that they do that’s right. If they’re doing the right thing, if it calls for civil disobedience then you got every right to rebel against that and be disobedient to that law or rule.

David: It’s in the constitution! If you want to go by that!

Elder: Right. You got societies where people … what was good a long time ago, they find out that they have to change it because it didn’t fit, it was old, like spitting on the sidewalk when the sidewalks were made out of wood. You had to change the law. So when times change, things have to change. So situations and dealing with like the drug problem that they got in the United States, the way they’re dealing with it, they can’t … they don’t want to for some reason recognize that they is wrong. That approach they took was incorrect and they have to re-change and revitalize it.

Frank: They are making money, so they don’t want the change.

David: It’s true. You know, you used to say one of the things of paramount importance, particularly as a revolutionary, is to safeguard the environment. Because if we don’t safeguard the environment … you see, the environment can exist without us, but we can’t exist without the environment. (Frank sounds) And if we don’t defend the environment as revolutionaries, then there’s going to be no political landscape for us to wage political battles that we have to wage in order to honor human rights, human dignity. I got a thing about laws. And, I was taught this: all laws are not moral laws or just. At one time it was legal to have slaves. That’s morally wrong. No human being has a right to subjugate another human being. And that’s part of what we struggle about today. We don’t have the right to determine our own destiny. We don’t have the right to determine what happens to our community. And every community should have that right. And that’s what we struggle for. The right to determine our own destinies.

Frank: In fact, they are taking our rights away fast.

David: That’s true. That’s true. And people have to understand that. Because a lot of our rights are being legislated away.

David Johnson and Elder Freeman (video capture)

Elder: With the prison system, the way … the whole operation, what they’re doing to them with the prisons … how they are building more prisons, they then turn it into … it’s big business. Instead of putting money in the communities where the majority of the prisoners are coming from, and setting up programs in those communities. The Department of Corrections, when you first come in there, when they give you orientation, the first thing they tell you is that we do not rehabilitate. So their whole thing about being rehabilitated, they say, find you a program and don’t cause us much … as little trouble as you can, the less time you do. Other than that, they’re just warehousing, that’s all they do. Rehabilitation is a myth!

David: And that follows what comrade George Jackson said, about prisons being the chief repressive institutions in this society. Rather than address issues, this society would rather build more prisons. Prisons serve to repress revolution, particularly in this society.

Frank: They take would-be revolutionaries out of society.

David: That’s true, that’s true. And that’s one of the battles that we’re engaged in because the prison system in this country … there are people in there who become conscious of why they got in prison. And like one of my mentors, comrade George Jackson said, that now that we’re in these institutions, one of the things that is of chief importance is transforming the criminal mentality to a revolutionary mentality. So, that when we leave these institutions, we can go back into our communities and be an asset rather than a predator. And that’s dangerous (Frank sounds) in terms of how the system looks at it. Because the more chaos and confusion that they can create, the more confused the people will be. And I look at myself as being a revolutionary. And I’ve faced death. Because, like I say, George says, once you say you commit yourself to revolution you become a criminal. Because in this society being a revolutionary is criminal. (Frank sounds) So that’s why they said, we don’t have any political prisoners in this society, because it’s criminal. And that’s accepted throughout the world. This is one of the countries that has an abundance of political prisoners, but by the standards that they have set, they can go to the United Nations and say, we have no political prisoners. Because a revolutionary in their eyes is considered a criminal. As opposed to a humanitarian, someone who’s interested in the well-being of all people in this society.

Frank: And it is not just the prison but the institutions for crips and the schools, etc.

Linda: Well, like with the institutions for crips, Frank has said, a lot of the people in institutions for crips are a lot less disabled than Frank is. (Frank sounds) And yet … like, Frank made a movie about a guy, who he plays, that gets the girl, and when he showed it at the Cerebral Palsy Center, these are kind of like inmates. These are adults that aren’t allowed to go out on dates. Everybody stood up and started cheering! (Frank sounds) And they had a little revolution on their hand. They were saying, they won’t let me date, I don’t care if I get hurt! They say, oh you’re going to get hurt. I don’t care! (Frank sounds) And the teacher got real excited and said, Frank we want you back. And then we get a phone call saying it’s been canceled. The head of the center said they don’t want Frank back, they don’t want him showing any of his movies. You know, they have this whole set-up. Nobody wants to lose their job and get all these people out having a life!

David: Right, right. See ’cause he’s interested in changing the human condition. And they want to keep the human condition … I mean, most of these institutions drug them. Even in prisons! Rather than deal with people’s feelings. They’d rather give them drugs and numb them. They don’t want you to feel. We live in a drug culture. You turn on the TV, pain is an indicator that there’s something wrong. They don’t want you to experience pain. They want us to mask pain, they want us to cover it up.

Frank: Pain is fuel.

David: For change!

Frank: Yes. (Frank sounds) (laughter)

David: But, see, they don’t want us to deal with that. Like I said, we live in a … every pain that you have, if you turn on the television, you can find an ad where they’re going to tell you, you got a pain here, take this pill. You can’t sleep, take this pill! Rather than really what is the source or the cause? Let’s eliminate that. And if you don’t feel your pain, you can’t alleviate the pain.

Frank: Change the society that …

David: Exactly.

Frank: … caused the pain.

David: We’re working on it! We’re working on it. (laughter)

Elder Freeman (video capture)


More episodes at the Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den Channel: https://eroplay.com/underground/shamansden.html

Dr. Richard Kerbavaz – Deep Conversations in the Shaman’s Den

How to Reform the Health Care System

Recorded May 2, 2008 on luver.com

“Kerbavaz is a rare guy! He knows practically everything, enjoys life/people, and is available!” – Frank Moore

Frank first met Dr. Rich Kerbavaz when Frank was a patient at Rockridge Medical Group in the early 1980s. Twenty-five years later, they had become dear friends, Frank was running for president of the U.S., and Rich came over to discuss Frank’s health care plan and to compare it with the plans of the “major” candidates.

Two years later, Frank went into the hospital for a routine operation, and instead spent six weeks in intensive care, and almost died. Rich Kerbavaz was there following Frank’s care, and was his unfailing advocate. Frank said, after surviving this hospital experience, that if he did not have Rich, who was “willing to go against the prevailing expectations, it would have been much harder for me to beat the curse of their expectations, judgments, projections.” This gives you an idea of who Rich Kerbavaz is.

With 30 years as a highly respected ENT doctor and surgeon, Rich knew the medical and medical insurance systems. In this interview Rich and Frank work together to develop an alternate, more humane model for health care in this country.

(Frank’s complete presidential platform can be found here)

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

Frank: … is what they don’t want.

Richard: Ah, the bigger cross-sections kind of things.

Linda: Gathering together like that.

Richard: Yeah. I guess there is a certain amount of just resistance to having any kind of a gathering at this point.

Linda: Yes, it seems so.

Frank: Other than corporate-sponsored events.

Richard: Yeah. And that’s OK. But if it doesn’t have that kind of sponsorship and a narrow goal that they can justify somehow, they don’t want it to happen. I think the fear is loss of control. And it’s just sort of the issue of controlling a lot of actions and behaviors.

Frank: I think that they is a big part of why we don’t have universal free health care.

Richard: Ah, what a segue! (laughing) Good point, good point.

Frank: The rich don’t want to be in the same system as the rest.

Linda: As the unrich.

Richard: And there’s just a lot of obstacles or things that keep getting thrown up that are just not really true, but are the way people believe or the way people react to things. It’s really interesting in all the big surveys, if you just ask Democrats the question about some sort of health plan or national health plan, it’s overwhelmingly popular. And if you ask Republicans the same questions, it’s overwhelmingly negative. And if you phrase the exact same question the same way to two different groups it just is totally polarized. It’s very interesting. At almost every level asking it, whether they’re in favor of a plan or opposed to the plan or whether they think it would be good for them or good for the country … there’s all these different … the same kind of a survey’s been done a half a dozen times and each time they ask slightly different questions, and it still comes out a big divide right along party lines! And those who are not declared in either major party, it sort of splits 50/50. So it’s interesting.

Frank: Why is that?

Richard: I think that it’s just how people frame the internal discussion or the internal dialogue. They’re using their political filters to look at a bigger issue. And so it’s a threat in some way to the Republican party or to the Republican … the people who support the Republican party. And so people who are either a little bit more liberal or more of a Democrat, more of a social Democrat or aren’t really involved with any organized party, tend to be in favor of the universal health plan. And that’s across the board, however you ask the question.

Frank: Like if the rich were in Medi-Cal, Medi-Cal would get better fast.

Richard: Yeah, it would. (laughing) It would make a big difference. Actually, the ones that you want to get in Medi-Cal are the politicians. (laughing)

Frank: Because they would not stand for it.

Richard: No, they wouldn’t stand for those kinds of things. And clearly they would not be eager to keep doing all the cuts that they seem to keep doing now to the Medi-Cal program. Just every year, anytime there’s any kind of a budget crunch, the first thing that goes is health care! The easy thing … actually there was another survey not too long ago that, in California, people were more in favor of cutting health care than cutting K through 12 education. I’m not sure exactly how they asked the question, but there was more support in the budget crunch time of cutting health care than cutting educational expenses. Tough choice, but nobody was really eager to raise taxes.

Frank: (making sounds) It is not really a choice. We need both.

Richard: Yeah, right, right. And then the trick is coming up with some sort of a funding mechanism that’s a little more fair across the board. Which is one of the things that’s nice about some of the tax proposals that you put out there, is that it eliminates a lot of the very strange, skewed tax codes that we have now and tries to make it a little more fair to everybody.

Frank Moore and Dr. Richard Kerbavaz (video capture)

Frank: And the 7 …

Linda: The 75% tax over $1 million per individual and $5 million per corporation …

Frank: Would take the greed out of the picture.

Richard: Right, right. And that would be a very good thing to do as well. ’Cause clearly we’ve got an awful lot of issues at the very top. That most of the people who make that kind of money aren’t paying taxes, at all! They manage to find shelters for everything. So where’s the justice in that, where the bulk of the tax burden is being carried by the middle class.

Frank: But I get: that is discrimination.

Linda: That’s what you get? Yeah, that’s what people criticize: that he’s discriminating with that.

Richard: Discriminating against the wealthy?!

Linda: Yes.

Richard: (laughter) Interesting concept.

Linda: And I’m sure it’s not rich people saying that, either.

Richard: That’s an interesting concept. That there are … I guess there are enough people that aren’t in that tax bracket or in that income bracket who want to be, but they view it as a threat to their dreams or their aspirations, somehow.

Frank: But they don’t see box seats as discrimination.

Richard: That’s an interesting point. (laughter) Well, you see, box seats are to give them something, and taxes takes something away.

Frank: And the rich need some perks (laughter) to be rich.

Richard: (laughing) That’s true! Otherwise you stop being rich! It’s terrible! It ruins the whole point! So maybe what you should do is just allow that for everybody who’s in that tax bracket, that they get a box seat some place. (laughter)


How To Reform The Healthcare System
Recorded May 2, 2008.
Rich was Frank’s ENT doctor for over twenty years who became a dear friend.
Frank called Rich one of his favorite people to be with.
This is the third time that Rich Kerbavaz was a guest on The Shaman’s Den. This was during the time that Frank was running for President of the U.S. He asked Rich to come on the show this time as a doctor who knew the medical system to compare Frank’s healthcare plan to the other major candidates at that time. This is the chart that we used on the show:
Compare Frank’s healthcare plan to those of John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton http://frankmooreforpresident08.com/healthcare-grid.htm
Btw, Rich also took us on his yacht to help spread the word of the Campaign. What a fun adventure that was!!!
Presidential Campaign Cruise http://frankmooreforpresident08.com/slideshows/cruise062008/sfbaycruise-062008.html More Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den shows: http://eroplay.com/underground/shamansden.html

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