Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Berkeley Community Media Board Meeting on Censorship

Recorded February 12, 2002.

This is a recording of the Berkeley Community Board meeting that was part of a censorship battle on BTV, Berkeley’s public access cable TV channel. This meeting was at the beginning of an almost year-long fight. WE WON! Once the ACLU got involved and  threatened to sue the City of Berkeley, the proposal disappeared ... and the adult programming continues to play on B-TV uncensored after 10pm.

Here is the censorship item that was being contested:
26. Scheduling of Adult and Sexually Explicit Programming on Public Access Television
From:  Councilmembers Armstrong, Hawley and Olds
Recommendation:  Direct the City Attorney to develop an ordinance that regulates the hours during which Berkeley’s local public access television station may schedule programming self-described as “for adult viewing” and/or “sexually explicit.”
Contact:  Polly Armstrong, District 8, 981-7180, Mim Hawley, District 5, 981-7150, Betty Olds, District 6, 981-7160

Here is Frank’s speech:

Here is the link is an archive of the censorship battle on BTV:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Episode 4 - Roots of Performance - Let Me Be Frank

Originally we had planned to do a documentary about Frank's life and work because we have so much footage and so many photographs. But we did not want to do a "normal" talking head style documentary. We realized that Frank had already written a biography of sorts in his book, "Art of a Shaman" so we decided to try to use that as the "script" for the video. We decided to see if we could get people who were important to Frank and had played a part in his life to each read a chapter of the book. After drafting the email and sending it out we were blown away at the immediate response and the project took off. We assigned chapters to readers using the random principle ... as Frank loved to do ... pulling a piece of paper with a chapter number written on it from a bag as we read a person's name.

Once we had all of the recordings of the readings and added up the time, the documentary was going to be at least 3 hours long ... and it was going to take a really long time to put together. We then had a eureka on a walk one day.... we could put each chapter out on the web as we create  them  ... as episodes!

Several musicians are now creating "background music" for each episode.

Way back at the beginning, when we first had the thought of even doing a documentary about Frank, we asked Vinnie Spit Santino if he would write a song for it, without any idea how we would use it ... or what we were even doing with the documentary. Vinnie wrote the amazing "Let Me Be Frank" that will be the opening song for each episode ... and the title of the series!

Thumbnail photo by Linda Mac.

"Art Of A Shaman" Chapter 4 text:

Follow the Let Me Be Frank Channel:

Reading by:
Annie Sprinkle

(in order of appearance)

Opening music:
Piano by Frank Moore.
An excerpt from a live performance,
“Sing Along, Jam Along, Play Along, Dance Along,
Rub Along, Move Along with Frank Moore”
for Leslie Baker's Salon, Montreal, Quebec, Canada via Skype
Recorded March 10, 2012

“Let Me Be Frank” (the song)
written, arranged, performed and produced by
Vinnie Spit Santino
recorded, mixed and mastered at Vinali Creative Group, Van Nuys, CA by
Vinnie Spit Santino
Vinnie Spit Santino - lead vocals, all guitars, bass
Frank Moore - vocals on bridge
Rebecca Kyler Downs - backing vocals and all harmonies
Gary Ponder - drums
Drake Peterson - trumpet
Tony Rinaldi - trombone

Chapter title animation music:
by Michael LaBash

Background music:
by Sander Roscoe Wolff

Chanted by Michael LaBash
Background music:
excerpt from “Body Music”
performed by Frank Moore’s Chero Company
Leigh Gates, Michael LaBash, Alexi Malenky & Rourke Smith

Background music:
“Happy Dance”
written by Jerome T. Youngman
performed by Mutant Press
from the album “Strung Out On You”
500 Pound Weasel Records

Background music:
performed by Father of Skins

Closing credits music:
“Jesus Was A Punk”
written by John the Baker
performed by John the Baker with Slimy Penis Breath
from the album “LIVE”

“To Be Free”
written and performed by Tha Archivez
Longhorn Entertainment

Photos by:
Jim Appleton
Les Barany
Julian Cash
Ken Jennings
Tracy Kauffman-Wood
Eric Kroll
Michael LaBash
Daniel Lorenze
Linda Mac
Alexi Malenky
Debbie Moore
Dave Patrick
Kevin Rice
Annie Sprinkle
David Steinberg
Mary Sullivan

Illustrations by:
Lee Kay
Charles R. Knight [Public Domain]
Michael LaBash
Frank Moore
Justin Page
John Seabury

Additional footage:
Dave Swan’s Dog House
Betty Boop: “Minnie The Moocher” by Max Fleischer [Public Domain]
Betty Boop: “I Heared” by Max Fleischer [Public Domain]
Three Stooges: “Disorder In The Court” [Public Domain]
Life and Passion of Christ (1903) [Public Domain]
Stock footage: Mitch Martinez

Editing, Animation, and Title Design:
Michael LaBash

Produced by
Linda Mac & Michael LaBash

Directed by
Frank Moore

Thanks to all of the readers so far ...
Tha Archivez
Kenneth Atchley
Dr. Susan Block
Paul Couillard
Steve Davis
Stephen Emanuel
Paul Escriva
  Edna Floretta
Barbara Golden
Fred Hatt
John the Baker
Dr. Richard Kerbavaz
Michael LaBash
Kirk Lumpkin
Linda Mac
Alexi Malenky
Jake McGee
Kayla Moon
Corey Nicholl
Carl Off
Vinnie Spit Santino
Erika Shaver-Nelson
Russell Shuttleworth
Linda Carmella Sibio
Gerald Smith
Megan Soriano
Annie Sprinkle
David Steinberg
Veronica Vera
Martha Wilson

And thanks to all of the musicians who have created and contributed music for this project so far …
K. Atchley
Stephen Emanuel
Father of Skins
Barbara Golden
Phog Masheeen
Vinnie Spit Santino
Sander Roscoe Wolff
Jerome T. Youngman (Mutant Press)

Thanks to the crew at Coffee Conscious for keeping us going!

Thanks to Vinnie Spit Santino for the title!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Frank Moore interviews The Pope of Punk, Dirk Dirksen

Recorded September 6, 1995

In 1995, I actually got Dirk to come over to the house for the following interview. It was supposed be Part One. But he died before Part Two. He is that kind of guy.

Frank Moore
(written 11/24/2006)

Interview with Dirk, Pt. 1

In the late 70s, Dirk Dirksen “produced”/booked the shows at the North Beach new wave club, The Mabuhay Gardens.

During the rehearsals of my play, Glamour, when the strip joint got unbearably boring after hours upon hours, I took a walk along Broadway, into what then was the West Coast hardcore punk center, the Mabuhay Gardens or the "Fab Mab". Since I did not have anything else to do, I asked the gruff manager if I could do my next production at his club. To my surprise, Dirk Dirksen was a visionary who, instead of seeing a crip asking for a hand-out, saw me somehow as a misfit artist perfect for his new wave cabaret. Dirk gave me a sheltered theatre for six years, with complete artistic freedom and moral support. The first production was a raping of a high-brow comedy, Meb, which I turned into a multi-media farce, full of camp, nudity, sex, violence and rock n'roll. The straight playwright walked out in horror, the club owner wanted us out, and only a handful of people came. But Dirk wanted to extend the run. He loved it.

Interview transcript:

Deep Core Magic #87

Recorded February 25, 2005
“Exploring with Erika” Part 1
More episodes:

Frank Moore at UCB with Med Students

Recorded May 2, 2002 at University Hall, University of California, Berkeley.

Here is the poem that Frank wrote for this class:

by Frank Moore
Sunday, April 28, 2002

Talking to future healers
& teachers
& maybe future
muckrakers & troublemakers
Not really future
Because hopefully
You are doing IT
I’m not talking to the future guards
Of the corporate normalcy
Armed with can nots,
Limiting futures from birth,
Enforcing coloring only within the lines,
Enforcing doing everything

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Censored at Poetry Diversified, World Ground Cafe, Oakland, California

Recorded February 4, 2003

Originally published by East Bay Express Feb 19, 2003
©2003 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.

7 Days
What good is it to gag a man who can't speak?

The dangers of being Frank: Although controversial Berkeley artiste Frank Moore likes to think of his work as dangerous, the cops rarely have to break up his act. But a couple of weeks ago Oakland police officers escorted Moore and his entourage out of the World Ground cafe in the Laurel District.

As Moore tells the tale, Alison "Chokwadi" Fletcher, organizer of the cafe's "Poetry Diversified" series, "freaked out into irrationality" after reading a recent Express cover profile of Moore ("Touching Our Private Parts," January 29) and pulled the plug on his previously scheduled poetry reading at the last moment. The cover story featured a photo of Moore in his wheelchair next to a painted, naked woman, and detailed his fondness for nude "erotic play" in his performance pieces. A few days before the reading, Fletcher asked the artist via e-mail if he planned "to do any of the erotic stuff or just poetry or what?" "My firm policy is to never reveal what I'll do beforehand," he wrote back (due to severe cerebral palsy, Moore cannot speak without an interpreter). "But most places do ask me back!" That was apparently too coy for comfort, and so Fletcher canceled his reading, although she planned to still host an open mic. "World Ground has many patrons, from small children to senior citizens," she explained in another missive to Moore, "and I cannot risk having a show that would offend any of these people."

When Fletcher arrived, she was surprised to find Moore and his posse already present. "What are you doing here?" she recalls asking. "I canceled you. I need you to leave." Instead of leaving, a couple members of Moore's entourage began reading poetry and, Fletcher says, one began yelling at the host, calling her "retarded" and accusing her of censorship. "They were basically attacking me," she says. Fletcher then asked cafe owners Martha and Uffe Gustafsson for backup, and passions escalated further. Moore says Uffe "basically attacked" one of his female cohorts (the one doing most of the yelling) and pulled her outside, only to have her come back in crying, "He hurt me!" Uffe denies hurting the woman. According to Martha, irritated customers suggested calling the cops to break up the fracas. After the cops arrived, Moore took his impromptu reading to the sidewalk and the evening concluded without any arrests.

Moore later sent out a group e-mail titled "CENSORED," blasting Fletcher and the cafe's owners for overreacting. Fletcher, who first saw Moore do his poetry last year at the Art & Soul Festival in Oakland, says she intended only to make sure he wasn't planning anything inappropriate (like getting naked), not censor him. "It's a coffeehouse, it's not a theater," she says.

Martha Gustafsson says her cafe, which hosts many spoken word events, has a rule that artists need to disclose whether they're going to do anything explicit beforehand so she can warn customers. "They didn't respect the rules of the establishment," she says.

The thing is, Moore says, he wasn't planning on any nudity, and Fletcher should have realized that, since he didn't get kinky at the earlier poetry reading she saw. "How ironic," e-mails the artist. "After all I have done, this straight nudity-less poetry reading is the closest I have gotten to being busted."

In another episode earlier this month, Moore's series of twice-monthly performances through UC Berkeley's art department was unexpectedly canceled after just one show (eight were scheduled through May). Art department manager Judith Coyote says the faculty sponsor, Katherine Sherwood, violated department policy by not attending the show, and apparently couldn't guarantee her presence at future performances. Moore claims another reason for the series' demise. According to him, an art department heavy also read the Express story and put the kibosh on future performances. Apparently, some people can't handle the truth. -- Will Harper


This is the poem that Frank wrote about this event.

Frank Moore

Oh this poem is shit!
I might as well
Be writing an essay
Like I told the cops
When they ask me
“Are you with THOSE poets?”
Hey, Peter denied being with Jesus
Three times
Before the cock crowed!
But they ain’t no Jesus!
Just poets whining
About poetry being censored,
Being thrown out of the café
Because they wouldn’t follow
To promise the poetry
Would not offend anybody,
To give a warning
Of possibilities of offense
So that earplugs
Could be inserted!
Now I agreed
Are Fascist.
I told the cultural gatekeepers
My opinion!
I tried to be
Tried to mediate.
After all.
But the immature poets
(obviously age ain’t a sign
Of maturity!)
Started reading poetry
Right here in the café…
After their permit had been
I mean I was embarrassed!
I started chatting loudly
To drown out
The forbidden words,
To not be connected
To the untouchables
Actually yelling about
Thank god
The powers turned up
The musak!
But the savages just screamed
That’s when I started
Writing my poem…
After all
But my focus
Has been shaken by poets
Being dragged,
Very roughly,
Across the floor,
Right in front of my table,
And being booted outside!
It’s a wonder I can
Write at all!
They have put
armed police protection
Around the café
As I write this.
That’s better…
But still the sounds
Of struggle outside
Invade the café
Just like the sweet smoke
Gets into my house
From the soap factory
Next door…
Some fools say it is a death camp!
Fools! No one would put a death camp
In OUR neighborhood!
The loonies are actually
Reading poetry
In the bitter cold,
Right outside the big window
Right next to my table.
They are making eyes at me,
Trying to make me feel guilty
For being a poet
Sitting warm inside,
Sipping coffee,
Writing poetry
When poetry is
Locked out!
Well, it won’t work!
I just moved to another table,
My back towards them.
Don’t they realize
The real censors are rightwingers,
Lady Bush, Helms, brown shirts
With their blacklists?
We nice reasonable people
Ain’t censors!
We are artists and poets,
After all!
We are family,
After all!
We ain’t the enemy,
After all!
And we will make you
Look like feeble-minded whiners
If you dare come after one of us,

Damn, they are still out there!
I can’t leave,
Going through raw poetry
Between home and me!
Listening to Phil Ochs
Singing on the jukebox

© Frank Moore 2003

Raw Footage Part 2 - 100 hojdare aka Filip & Fredrik featuring Frank Moore

This is the raw footage recorded during the second shoot for a Swedish television show. Recorded on January 23, 2008.

Filip & Fredrik, the two hosts of this Swedish television series, came to our house in Berkeley twice with their film crew and made a stop at Suzy Block's in Los Angeles in between.

See Raw Footage Part 1 here:

Watch the episode of 100 hojdare aka Filip & Fredrik featuring Frank Moore here:
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