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Louis Hardin aka Moondog (1916 - 1999)

Lifespan: 1916 - 1999

Related: eccentric - American music - jazz

Sax for a Pack (1997) - Moondog
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"He led an extraordinary life for a blind man who came to New York with no contacts and a month's rent, and who lived on the streets of New York for 30 years," said Dr. Robert Scotto, a professor of English at Baruch College of the City University of New York. "Without question, he was the most famous street person of his time, a hero to a generation of hippies and flower children." Scotto has just completed a biography of Hardin, Moondog: The Viking of Sixth Avenue.


Moondog was the nom de plume of Louis T. Hardin (May 26, 1916 - September 8, 1999)

He was a New York City street musician and former beat poet who was blinded as a young adult. From the late 1940s until 1974, he was a permanent fixture on 54th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan. He was known not only for his music and poetry, but also for the distinctive Viking garb that he wore, including a horned helmet.

He had an idealised view of Germany ("The Holy Land with the Holy River" - the Rhine), where he settled in 1974. A young German student named Ilona Goebel accommodated him, first in Oer-Erkenschwick, and later on in Münster in Westphalia, Germany, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Moondog visited America in 1989, at the invitation of the New Music American Festival in Brooklyn, stipulating a renewed interest in his music.

He recorded many albums, and toured both in the US and in Europe. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moondog [Jan 2005]


  • Mr Scruff - Keep it Unreal [Amazon.com]
    I first heard of Scruff on MTV with his jazz-sampling 'Get A Move On' and tracked him down immediatly. From the very Massive Attackesque instrumental numbers to the truly bizarre nautical 'Fish' & 'Shanty Town', there are no fillers on the album. He is undeservedly very obscure, so I doubt he'll ever amount to much. However he knocks Massive Attack's, Groove Armada'a, Air's, Orbital's and Underworld's new albums into a cocked hat. Possibly simultaneously. Sean for Amazon.com

  • Moondog - Moondog [Amazon.com] Some artists are just so unique that it's hard to pin them down or make some kind of comparison to them. Louis Hardin (aka Moondog) is just this kind of artist. He's been active for over a half a century with everyone from symphony orchestras to Janis Joplin and Julie Andrews (yes, the actress!) performing his work. His work includes orchestra and small combo compositions, poetry, theology (as you'll see below) and theory. -- Jason Gross

  • Sax for a Pack () - Moondog [Amazon.com]
    The first new music from Moondog, nee Louis Hardin, in more than 20 years, Sax Pax for A Sax is probably the best introduction to the work of this eccentric former street musician. A joyous outburst, Sax Pax touches on influences ranging from Miles Davis' groundbreaking "Birth of the Cool," sessions ("Dog Trot"), medieval motets ("Tout Suite No. 1 in F Major"), and bebop's harmonic innovations ("Bird's Lament" and "Present for the Prez"). There's even a male chorus showing up occasionally, sounding like they stepped out of a Busby Berkely musical as they jauntily sing the praises of Paris, New York, and London. But the music's precise counterpoint and buoyant inventiveness could only be Moondog; listen and be enthralled. --Steven Mirkin [This is where Mr Scruff sampled "Move On" from]

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