Name: J.B. Moore
After GDA, I went to Drew University for 2 1/2 years and American University in Washington for 1 1/2 more. My mother died the spring of sophomore year after a seven year battle with one of the worst cases of arthritis on record. Her illness was one of the reasons I went to boarding school, Fessenden for 8th Grade the 2nd time and then GDA.
At the end of Senior year at American, I flunked out and went back to Long Island. During that summer, '66, I got a gig playing bass with a folk singer, Steve Baron, who opened for all the headliners at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village and occasionally at the Gaslight. By '66 I had missed Dylan, James Taylor and the Lovin' Spoonful, but I did meet the Mother of Invention, Phil Ochs, Jack Elliot, and some others. Then in the spring of '67, I was offered gigs to go on the road as the bass player for either Tim Rose (his famous song was 'Morning Dew,' or Jake Holmes. Before I could make up my mind, I was drafted.
I spent 2 1/2 years in the army, 1 1/2 in Vietnam. In Vietnam I worked as a personnel clerk at USARV at Long Binh for 10 months and then assigned myself to the 26th Military History Detachment (One Captain, Ray, one enlisted man, me) covering army engineers. We traveled on 3 to 5 day trips all over the Nam, Vinh Long and Me Tho in the Delta, Saigon, Nha Trang and Ban Me Thout in the Central Highland, Hue, Phu Bai and the Ashau Valley in I Corps, the northern most part of South Vietnam. It was very interesting, a stark comparison with the preceding months spent as a personnel clerk which were so boring it was hard to tell the difference between Wednesday and Saturday.
I arrived in back in the States on Halloween of 1969. I mustered out of the army, got my check ($5,000, give or take), and caught a cab from Oakland to San Francisco just in time to catch drag queens arriving at the Fairmont in Duesenberg touring cars for the annual Drag Queens Ball. I was not in Kansas anymore. Back on Long Island I drank a lot for 6 or 8 months. Then I put some of the money into a summer stock production of Meller Drammer Theater (peanut throwers as they are known) in Rapid City, South Dakota where I allegedly acted. Returned in the fall of '70, got into an ill-fated rock band called Kilroy. Today the drummer is a VP at Atlantic Records, the lead guitarist is a songwriter in Nashville (wrote 'Hands Across America' and 'She Used to Be My Girl') and I, the rhythm guitarist, is still producing and I am a grandfather of rap. The bass player lives on a farm south of Albany and drinks a lot.
From there I drove limos in NYC for a year and a half (a few stories there, Joe Namath, etc.) and worked at a retail record store for awhile. After that worked at Billboard for 5 years. At the end of the Billboard stint I saw rap coming and produced 'The Breaks' by Kurtis Blow, a seminal record that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame put on their top 500 influential songs of the rock era.
For a time I was almost famous, The Village Voice called me and my partner the Lieber and Stoller for the '80s, but it eventually tapered off. During my couple of hot years I produced 'Rappin' Rodney' for Rodney Dangerfield, a sound track cut with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks for 'Dragnet' the movie (a very bad song that Aykroyd's brother wrote) and the performance cut for 'Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.'
The saving grace of my producing career is the fact that all kinds of rap artist have sampled a couple of Kurtis Blow songs for which I get paid. One was a number one single a couple of years ago, 'Too Close' by a group called Next.
At the moment I'm doing some producing, some computer consulting (mostly for attorneys) and managing my tiny little publishing empire. For more excitement than that, a man cannot ask.