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Chance Meeting
Friday May 26th, 2023 with Heavy Ben

Chance meeting on 6th Ave of snaketime rhythms and a Viking May 26th marks the birthday of Moondog, born on this day in 1916. For over 30 years one of the most sought out and recognizable figures on the streets of New York City was Louis Hardin Jr. Looking like an apparition from Norse mythology, with a long, flowing beard, and dressed as a Viking, he stood day and night, year after year on the corner of 6th Avenue and 54th Street. He wrote music, sold his poetry for 25 cents, and performed on his homemade percussion instruments. Blind and often homeless, most people thought he was mentally ill; they didn’t know he was an acclaimed composer, recording for notable jazz labels Prestige and Columbia, praised by Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington, and who even made a children’s record with a pre-stardom Julie Andrews. There was always a lot more to Moondog than met the eye. He became an honorary member of the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. Charlie Parker and Benny Goodman hung out with him. Janis Joplin covered his music. Alan Ginsburg stuck his poetry on his fridge. Diane Arbus took his picture. Andy Warhol's mother designed one of his album covers. In the late 60s, composer Philip Glass offered Moondog a place to live. Moondog stayed for a year, playing music weekly with Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Jon Gibson. Moondog credited his unique rhythmic approach to childhood experiences with the Arapaho tribe in Wyoming, where he learned the syncopation of their sun dances; he felt they had more swing than jazz. He swung to a different beat — often 5/4 time, a stuttering meter he called “snaketime.” The non-conformist felt “the human race is going to die in 4/4 time.” Eventually this strange figure became a modern legend, going from curiosity to international composer honored by European royalty and entered into folklore of New York. Moondog moved to Germany in the 1970s, where he lived and recorded for 25 years, before dying in 1999 at the age of 83. If you purchase music, this is the best place to start with Moondog: (to embiggen the show icon, right-click and choose "Open image in new tab")
Chaconne In G
Moondog - Moondog In Europe - Kopf - 1977
Moondog's Symphony Part 1 (Timberwolf)
Moondog - Moondog's Symphony - SMC Pro-Arte - 1950
Be A Hobo
Moondog - Moondog 2 - Columbia, CBS - 1971
Frost Flower Op. 78 No. 13
Moondog - A New Sound Of An Old Instrument - Kopf - 1979
Up Broadway
Moondog - The Story Of Moondog - Prestige - 1957
Frog Bog
Moondog - Snaketime Series - Moondog, Prestige - 1957
Dog Trot
Moondog and his Honking Geese - Playing Moondog's Music - Moondog - 1955
Danse Orientale
Moondog conducts Fläskkvartetten - Bracelli - Kakaphone - 1987
'Coversions' set of tracks that cover and sample Moondog
The Wiseguys [samples "Bird's Lament" by Moondog] - Executive Suite - Wall Of Sound - 1996
Nomo [orig. Moondog and his Honking Geese] - Invisible Cities - Ubiquity - 2009
Martinis On The Moon
Laika [samples "Down Is Up" by Moondog] - Sounds Of The Satellites - Too Pure - 1997
All Is Loneliness
Big Brother & the Holding Company feat. Janis Joplin [orig. Moondog] - Big Brother & The Holding Company - Mainstream, Columbia - 1967
Get A Move On
Mr. Scruff [samples "Stamping Ground" by Moondog] - Keep It Unreal - Ninja Tune - 1999
2 West 46th Street
Kenny Graham And His Satellites [orig. Moondog] - Moondog And Suncat Suites - Trunk - 2010 (rec. 1956)
Fall Apart
Lukid [samples "Some Trust All" by Moondog] - Foma - Werk - 2009
Symphonique #6 (Good For Goodie)
Moondog - Moondog - Columbia, CBS - 1969
Moondog - More Moondog - Prestige - 1957
With My Wealth
Moondog - Moondog 2 - Columbia, CBS - 1971
Moondog - Moondog And His Friends - Epic - 1953
Moondog - The Stockholm 1981 Recordings - Brus & Knaster - 2019 (rec. 1981)
Suite Equestria (Trail Versus Road And Trail)
Moondog - Elpmas - Kopf - 1991
I'm Just A Hop Head
Moondog - H'art Songs - Kopf - 1978
Interactive CKCU
Bobby calzone
Really cool subject! Looping forward to discovering all about him

3:07 PM, May 26th, 2023
Napalm Dan
Never head of this dude. Fascinating life and intriguing tunes so far. Thanks for the intro HB!

3:12 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
Hey Bobby, yes Moondog is quite the character to discover

3:21 PM, May 26th, 2023
Awesome stuff Heavy Ben ! Thanks

3:22 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
G'day Napalm Dan, happy to make the introduction

3:22 PM, May 26th, 2023

3:22 PM, May 26th, 2023
Cool show Ben

3:26 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
Thanks for joining this aft, Regis. Bizarre enough for ya?

3:28 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
👍 hillbilly

3:29 PM, May 26th, 2023
Bobby Calzone
I heard hillbilly looks like Moondog;)! P.s The Janis Joplin live version is really incredible!

3:31 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
Moondog driving a truck could be hillbilly

3:33 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
Hey DJR, working a split shift this wknd?

3:34 PM, May 26th, 2023
I'm in the studio tranced out to Moondog madness! Hi Heavy Ben

3:35 PM, May 26th, 2023
Napalm Dan
Mr. Scruff sounds like proto-electro-swing. Would probably like this kind of stuff more if the style weren't tainted by the fad of the mid 2010s.

3:35 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
Hi Candace! the calm before the Candy Shop storm, eh?

3:40 PM, May 26th, 2023
Just came back from bottling wine, this will sound good on demand after a few glasses!

3:52 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
ND, yeah lots of great material on Ninja Tune from that era, though some sounds dated

3:55 PM, May 26th, 2023
Ben Armstrong (host)
Vintner Eddy!

3:56 PM, May 26th, 2023
Late Check In!;-) Moondog is WAY better lookin'!!! Was driving truck & radio up high!!!;-) 🕺

8:18 PM, May 26th, 2023