Moe Tucker & Half Japanese - Live in Athens, GA (1989) - Disc 1
Moe Tucker & Half Japanese - Live in Athens, GA (1989) - Disc 2
In the early 80s I went into a little shop on Madison's State Street (this is the big commercial street that connects the University with the Capitol building on the hill at the center of the isthmus Madison straddles like a drunken Norwegian whore - just kidding, Madison, you're probably more German than Norwegian!) and I had them make me a big button to wear that said "Moe Lives!"
Yeah, I used to wear band buttons. And a vintage black London Fog raincoat that I covered with said buttons. My sad attempt at style. Until the night at the Guadalcanal Diary show at O'Cayz when this henna-haired girl stole a bunch of them. Even my Stiff Records button! I miss that button.
But I still have my "Moe Lives" and I still love Moe.
Moe, in fact, is why I love the Velvet Underground. My first encounter with the VU was the addict's heartbeat pulse of Moe's drums on "Heroin" in the summer of 1982. (Cue swirly backwards time-travelling memory music!)
It was late afternoon on a hot summer day and I was covered in sweat and grass clippings from a day of mowing lawns - my job every summer during high school - and I just wanted to collapse on my bed...but my brother was taping an album. Album taping was a sacred rite. Normally I wasn't allowed in our shared bedroom while he did this for fear my elephant feet would make the needle skip. But I think he wanted me to hear this album. Only if I lay completely still on my bed and didn't move a muscle, mind you!
Usually, I hated this shit, but I just wanted to get on my bed and maybe take a nap, so I didn't argue. Wow, what would my world be like if I'd gotten mad and gone back downstairs or done something sensible like take a shower instead? Best not to contemplate such madness.
Brother had already taped the A-side and he was flipping the album as I lay down and composed myself. I saw him lower the needle. I saw the levels on the tape deck start to flutter. But I wasn't really hearing anything. Or was I? There, like a heartbeat, was that music? Something, maybe a guitar, but what was that, what were those drums doing? Ohmigod!
And then everything went away for a while. Now, in 2008, I know that it's really less than sixty seconds before Lou starts singing on "Heroin" but on that one day time almost stopped, came almost to a standstill and Lou didn't start singing for at least ten minutes. Damn. For years I was ready to insist that "Heroin" was like, really, twenty or thirty minutes long, man, I swear!
That's what it felt like to fall in love, I guess. It all started with a drumbeat. And about six or seven years later when Moe came to town, backed by Half Japanese, I was there. I didn't wear my button but I was there. And I talked to her and I shook her hand and I got her autograph and I barely remember any of those ten seconds though they seem like they were really ten minutes, man - I swear, I talked to Moe Tucker for ten minutes!
Buy Moe's shit!
Now playing: Sonic Youth - Karen Koltrane