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

Tag: San Francisco (page 1 of 1)



By Crag Hill

This was a night for statement. An artist had been locked out. Because he was too old-fashioned? But why were ninety percent of the people passing by Frank Moore’s performance outside The Lab reacting as if they have never seen any of this before? Who is the audience? Other artists? Art hobbyists? An initiated elite? He was too old-fashioned for whom? Too avant-garde for whom? Too famous for whom? The fact was the performance of Frank Moore’s group (and others whom I will mention shortly) shredded the boundaries of what one does in public, what one does on the street. They were dressed in tights and sweat-clothes with holes cut in them for easy access while skin-drumming. Who does this business-as-usual? There was touch, sound, and sight (for all you addicts of visual stimulus, the performers were painted and/or wore painted clothing), but it was not an everyday touch or sound or sight; it was an intimate touch, an ecstatic sound (a harmonic pitch almost sexual, but something even more satisfying), a welcome sight. The overall effect of Moore’s group was a breaking down of separation, a drawing together. Those who were courageous enough to be present, to stay present, became equal with everyone else, not one, yet closer. Who cares if it’s “art”? It was genuine. At its best it far transcended aesthetic pretensions and all that flapdoodle. I might call it spiritual if that word weren’t so smudged. It activated parts of personal humanity that usually lie dormant, ignored, discouraged, and repressed. Frank Moore’s performance might have been cancelled by this venue, but that was only yet another obstacle for Moore to leap. If you know anything about him, as a victim of cerebral palsy, you are amazed at his leaps. If you’re not, let this quote from the Village Voice serve as an introduction: “In performance, Moore takes advantage of his disadvantage, becoming an unlikely guide into the pleasures of the body, taking audiences places they would probably never go without the example of his vulnerability and trust….that Moore would be the one urging us to stay connected with our physical selves is both ironic and poetic….”

Also appearing on the bill (on the street) were The Outpatients, Jack and Adelle Foley, and Jesse Beagle. The Outpatients protested with a picket march, chanting “All we are saying is give brains a chance,” and a rollcall of lobotomies with an extra emphasis on “art-scene lobotomy.” They topped off their appearance with an energetic version of “Mennonite Surf Party,” which included a searing Rock-and-Roll riff on classical guitar by Tom Hamill.

Jack Foley, appropriately, read his poem “Nightmare,” which is dedicated to the man who tackled him as he read his poetry in a San Francisco gallery. He too knows the thoughtless knocks, the censorship, of an often selfish art world. He also read a chorus or two with Adelle Foley, keeping the street charged with energy.

Jesse Beagle also contributed appropriately to the demonstration/performance. She sang a couple of songs with the spirit, the spunk, of protest, and read a trenchant commentary on Frank Moore’s Café Milano (Berkeley) performance. In effect, she berated the café-goers for their passivity; they only became interested in Moore’s performance when they heard the moaning sounds, and, taking two stairs at a time, only then did they try to peek.

All in all, these people responded strongly, cohesively, to the lockout of Moore. Frank Moore came to do what he had been invited to do (before The Lab cancelled for spurious reasons—they were rude to boot), but on this occasion, on Divisadero, it seemed to have an extra charge. The Lab missed out, but fortunately many people on the street did not.

SCORE REVIEW is a forum for ideas on books, performance, elections, and what not. It appears when it has something to appear with—contributions are welcome and needed. Oakland, California.

Photos from the performance outside The Lab.

The original newsletter

And of course, as everybody knows who has ever played at games, the ones that are the most fun – to lose as well as win – are the ones that are the hardest, with the most complicated, even dangerous, tasks to accomplish. And so it is that artists are generally not content, either in the Orient or in the Occident, with doing merely simple things – and much soon becomes simple for an artist that for the rest of us would be difficult. The artist seeks the challenge, the difficult thing to do; for his basic approach to life is not of work but of play.”

Joseph Campbell, MYTHS TO LIVE BY, page 126.

The Un-Augural Ball

Frank and the Chero Company performed a version of the “Meat Act” at The Un-Augural Ball in San Francisco, California in 1989. Frank even got a haircut for the event. Jack and Adelle Foley read from Allen Ginsburg’s Howl for the flesh-eating climax!

Frank’s song list


Click on a photo for a blow-up.

The Last Temptation of Christ Opening

In August 1988, Frank took his two sons, Koala and Ki-lin, and a few of his students, Leigh, Rourke and Mikee, to see Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” when it opened at the Northpoint Theater in San Francisco. Leigh, Rourke and Mikee “dressed” for the occasion. Photos by Linda Mac.

From left to right: Rourke, Leigh, Koala, Ki-lin
From left to right: Leigh, Rourke, Mikee

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

I Get Results! Frank Moore for President 2008

I Get Results! Frank Moore for President 2008
​Cushion Works, San Francisco, CA
January 20–March 12, 2021
Organized by Jordan Stein with Keith Wilson

Photo by Graham Holoch

From the website about the exhibit:

I Get Results! presents archival video footage, including public appearances and platform pronouncements, alongside official campaign documentation, press, and merchandise, all set within a patriotic installation modeled after the Moore/Block info-table assembled for events around the Bay. The exhibition opens on Inauguration Day, 2021, and remains on view for six weeks.

Keith Wilson and Jordan Stein looking through the archives in Berkeley to select items for the exhibit.

Visit the website for the exhibit here:

I Zoom Results!
Keith Wilson and Jordan Stein in conversation with
Linda Mac and Mikee LaBash
February 16, 2021

In parallel with I Get Results! Frank Moore for President 2008, an exhibition on view at Cushion Works from ​January 20 to March 6, 2021.

Visit the website for the Zoom talk here:

More photos by Alexi, Erika & Corey:

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