About Roger Moore
Roger Moore is a writer and musical obsessive who plays percussion instruments from around the world with an equal lack of dexterity. An environmental lawyer in his unplugged moments, he has written on subjects ranging from sustainable development practices to human rights and voting rights, as well as many music reviews. A native Chicagoan, Roger lives in Oakland, California with his wife Paula, who shares his Paul Weller fixation, and two young children, Amelia and Matthew, who enjoy dancing in circles to his Serge Gainsbourg records and falling asleep to his John Coltrane records.
Roger Mooreâ€™s Musical Timeline
1966. Dropped upside down on patio after oldest sister listened to â€œShe Loves Youâ€ on the Beatlesâ€™ Saturday cartoon show. Ears have rung with the words â€œyeah, yeah, yeahâ€ ever since.
1973. Memorized all 932 verses to Don McLeanâ€™s â€œAmerican Pie.â€
1975. Unsuccessfully lobbied to have â€œLouie Louieâ€ named the official song of his grade school class. The teacher altered the lyrics of the winner, the Carpentersâ€™ â€œI Wonâ€™t Last a Day Without You,â€ so that they referred to Jesus.
1977. After a trip to New Orleans, frequently broke drumheads attempting to mimic the style of the Metersâ€™ Zigaboo Modeliste.
1979. In order to see Muddy Waters perform in Chicago, borrowed the birth certificate of a 27 year-old truck driver named Rocco.
1982. Published first music review, a glowing account of the Jamâ€™s three-encore performance for the Chicago Reader. Reading the original, unedited piece would have taken longer than the concert itself.
1982. Spat on just before seeing the Who on the first of their 23 farewell tours, after giving applause to the previous band, the Clash.
1984. Mom: â€œThis sounds perky. Whatâ€™s it called?â€ Roger: â€œ Itâ€™s â€˜Thatâ€™s When I Reach for My Revolverâ€™ by Mission of Burma.â€
1985. Wrote first review of an African recording, King Sunny Adeâ€™s Synchro System. A reader induced to buy the album by this review wrote a letter to the editor, noting that â€œanyone wishing a copy of this record, played only onceâ€ should contact him.
1985. At a Replacements show in Boston, helped redirect a bewildered Bob Stinson to the stage, which Bob had temporarily confused with the ladiesâ€™ bathroom.
1986. Walked forty blocks through a near-hurricane wearing a garbage bag because the Feelies were playing a show at Washington, D.C.â€™s 9:30 Club.
1987. Foolishly asked Alex Chilton why he had just performed â€œVolare.â€ Answer: â€œBecause I can.â€
1988. Moved to Northern California and, at a large outdoor reggae festival, discovered what Bob Marley songs sound like when sung by naked hippies.
1991. Attempted to explain to Flavor-Flav of Public Enemy that the clock hanging from his neck was at least two hours fast.
1992. Under the pseudonym Dr. Smudge, produced and performed for the Underwear of the Gods anthology, recorded live at the North Oakland Rest Home for the Bewildered. Local earplug sales skyrocketed.
1993. Attended first-ever fashion show in Chicago because Liz Phair was the opening act. Declined the complimentary bottles of cologne and moisturizer.
1997. Almost missed appointment with eventual wedding band because Sleater-Kinney performed earlier at Berkeleyâ€™s 924 Gilman Street. Recovered hearing days later.
1997. After sharing a romantic evening with Paula listening to Caetano Veloso at San Franciscoâ€™s Masonic Auditorium, purchased a Portuguese phrasebook that remains unread.
1998. Learned why you do not yell â€œFree Birdâ€ at Whiskeytown's Ryan Adams in a crowded theater.
1999. During an intense bout of flu, made guttural noises bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Throat Singers of Tuva.
2000. Compiled a retrospective of music in the nineties as a fellow at the Coolwater Center for Strategic Studies and Barbecue Hut.
2001. Listened as Kahil Elâ€™Zabar, in the middle of a harrowing and funny duet show with Billy Bang, lowered his voice and spoke of the need to think of the children, whom he was concerned might grow up â€œunhip.â€
2002. During a performance of Wilcoâ€™s â€œAshes of American Flags,â€ barely dodged ashes of Jeff Tweedyâ€™s cigarette.
2002. Arrived at the Alta Bates maternity ward in Berkeley with a world trance anthology specially designed to soothe Paula during Ameliaâ€™s birth, filled with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, and assorted other Khans. The project proved to be irrelevant to the actual process of labor.
2003. Emceed a memorable memorial concert for our friend Matthew Sperry at San Franciscoâ€™s Victoria Theater featuring a lineup of his former collaborators, including improvised music all-stars Orchesperry, Pauline Oliveros, Red Hot Tchotchkes, the cast of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Tom Waits.
2003. Failed to persuade Ted Leo to seek the Democratic nomination for President.
2005. Prevented two-year old daughter Amelia from diving off the balcony during a performance of Pierre Dorgeâ€™s New Jungle Orchestra at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
2006. On a family camping trip in the Sierra Nevadas, experienced the advanced stage of psychosis that comes from listening to the thirtieth rendition of Raffiâ€™s â€œBananaphoneâ€ on the same road trip.
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