R. Stevie Moore
|R. Stevie Moore|
R. Stevie Moore performing in New York in 2013.
|Birth name||Robert Steven Moore|
January 18, 1952 |
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Associated acts||The Marlborough, Ariel Pink, Jad Fair, Mike Watt, Jason Falkner|
Robert Steven Moore (born January 18, 1952), also known as R. Stevie Moore and RSM, is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. In addition to having numerous albums released on labels around the world, Moore has self-released over 400 cassette, CD-R, and digitally online albums since 1968, as well as dozens of home videos, mostly through the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club, his home-based label. His eclectic work incorporates a variety of musical styles, both popular and experimental. He is recognized as an early and influential figure of lo-fi music.
From 1978 to November 2010, Moore lived and recorded in his apartment studios in Montclair, New Jersey, and then Bloomfield, New Jersey, before relocating to his native Nashville in December 2010. He is the oldest son of Bob Moore, veteran Nashville A-Team bassist, producer, and orchestra leader, as well as a longtime sideman for Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and many others.
Moore, born in Nashville, Tennessee, made his commercial recording debut at age seven, an overdub 1959 session arranged by his father—legendary Music City session musician Bob Moore (not Presley guitarist Scotty Moore, as many articles mistakenly claim)—singing a duet with popular country recording artist Jim Reeves entitled "But You Love Me, Daddy." The novelty song was withheld from commercial release until 1969 (five years after the death of Reeves), when it became a hit single in the UK on the RCA Victor label.
Moore is proficient on guitar, electric bass, keyboards, percussion, and in songwriting. In 1966, he began pursuing what would become his lifelong passion, home recording as a one-man band, using reel-to-reel tape decks set up in his parents' basement in suburban Madison. In 1967, he and some high school buddies formed a rock combo called The Marlborough. He later began working for his father as a studio musician, and as an assistant at Mimosa Music, his father's music publishing company. His credits during these early years include playing bass on a rare 1973 Perry Como single recorded in Nashville.
He briefly attended Vanderbilt University, but dropped out in 1971 to pursue his passions for writing, recording and performing music. “A lot of it was uncontrollable—compelled without compulsion. I didn’t seek out to do this. It just came out of me,” Moore explained years later. “I had this music inside of me and I wanted to be a pop star. It was like a disease that I had to record and write.”
Moore accumulated enough material to issue his home-recorded 1976 debut album Phonography on his uncle Harry "H.P." Palmer's HP Music label. The initial run was limited to only 100 pressings. New York's Trouser Press magazine gave the album positive reviews, calling it "an outrageous collection of musical brain spewage" and "a true slash of genius" in its December 1977 issue. Moore moved from Nashville to New Jersey shortly afterwards, his uncle then releasing two further vinyl collections, the Stance EP, and second album Delicate Tension in 1978 (Moore's prolific home tape releases continuing at the same time). In 1996 "Phonography" was listed among "the fifty most significant indie records" in Rolling Stone's Alt-Rock-A-Rama.
1980 saw an important tape release, Clack, this time recorded "professionally" in midtown Manhattan. In 1981, Moore made a timely decision to invent the RSM Cassette Club as an outlet for his vast home-recorded work, making available on the newly-popular format all of his original reel-to-reel master tapes stretching back to 1968, each listed with a 'listenability quotient' rating from 1 to 10.
The next LP release was 1984's What's The Point?!! and in the same year Paris' New Rose Records issued a double album compilation, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About R Stevie Moore But Were Afraid To Ask. The label described Moore as "one of the best songwriters of all time". Everything proved briefly popular in France, with a single "Chantilly Lace" from the album becoming a minor sleeper hit there, and prompting Moore to undertake a promotional visit to the country, where he was welcomed with awesome adulation, and caught a small "press-buzz". Further albums followed in the 80s, including Verve, Glad Music (this time recorded in a professional 16-track studio), (1952-19??), and Teenage Spectacular (described by Moore then as "the most enjoyable project of my career".
During the 1980s Moore appeared sporadically on the Uncle Floyd TV show, a tongue-in-cheek, public-access style clown, puppet, and variety show that broadcast out of New Jersey, often providing comedic relief through his quirky vision and snarky comebacks.
Moore recorded two original songs in the mid-1980s whose titles were drawn from Martin Lewis's 1971 article on supposed rare Beatles songs, which were later found to be made up: "Colliding Circles" and "Pink Litmus Paper Shirt."
Around 1988, Moore started working in home video, and he is now very active on YouTube and compiling his own DVDs. In 2012 several film documentaries by others were completed.
In 2002 Moore recorded an album with Half Japanese frontman Jad Fair, titled FairMoore, described as "a lovely, heartfelt effort that shows both in top form" by Dave Mandl, who stated that it "brings together two fiercely original figures in the American music underground", the album consisting of Fair reciting his poetry over Moore's instrumental backing.
Throughout the 2000s Moore continued to license material for official CDs released on various independent labels around the world: UK punk and reissue label Cherry Red put out two well-distributed compilations. Moore has also worked on numerous mail collaborations with a wide array of international artists such as Terry Burrows (aka Yukio Yung), Ariel Pink, Mike Watt, Jason Falkner, Eric Matthews, Penn Jillette, Dr. Dog, The Apples in stereo, Ergo Phizmiz, Mark Vidler, David Fenech, MGMT, The Vaccines, Tim Burgess, Kramer, Lane Steinberg, Eric Slick, John Maus, Boys Age, and others.
Recently, the music blogsite www.sickoftheradio.com created an extensive new Moore online tribute project, Copy Me, inviting and consisting of various underground and DIY artists submitting their own cover versions of his songs for free download compilations.
In 2011, Moore established a new band with guitarist J.R. Thomason and embarked on his first ever tours, including Europe.
In 2012, Moore did a cover of Post Break-Up Sex by The Vaccines. The Vaccines covered his "Why Should I Love You?", which was suggested to them by Albert Hammond Jr, guitarist of New York-based band The Strokes. A limited edition 7" came out in the UK March 21, 2012 on Record Store Day.
Moore now continues to sporadically tour the world (including shows in Mexico City and Moscow, both in June 2013), and plans further recording projects. He continues his prolific diary of sound for online download.
During the 1980s, Moore was an air personality on WFMU, an independent free-form radio station then based in East Orange, New Jersey. Besides hosting live in-studio programs, he produced a show called Bedroom Radio, which was recorded at home, and was part of the team of "Larry and Mookie" with (the late) Frank Balesteri. Moore's 1984 song "Pledge Your Money" was a fundraising pitch for the station and included Moore reciting the phone number of the station's listener pledge line. 
- LaGorce, Tammy. "IN PERSON; Independently Unwealthy", The New York Times, February 13, 2005. Accessed October 29, 2007. People tell me I'm shooting myself in the foot, releasing so much – I've heard that for years, Mr. Moore said in a confessional tone over a cheeseburger at a downtown tavern here in Bloomfield, where he lives."
- "New York Times, Sunday February 13, 2005". Moorestevie.com. February 13, 2005. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- Biography of R. Stevie Moore on Spotify
- allmusic ((( R. Stevie Moore > Biography )))
- "Perfect Sound Forever: R. Stevie Moore retrospective". Furious.com. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- "Love Don't Care"
- Dillingham, Mick (1989) "R. Stevie Moore – The Best Kept Secret in the World", Bucketfull of Brains issue 29, Apr/May 1989, p.6-9
- Friedman, Michael, ph.D., "How R. Stevie Moore is Compelled Without Compulsion", Psychology Today, June 13, 2017
- Schinder, Scott: "Rolling Stone's Alt-Rock-A-Rama", 1996, Delta, ISBN 978-0-385-31360-5
- "R. Stevie Moore". BOMB Magazine. 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- The Brooklyn Rail – Music Archived September 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Joyful Noise Recordings. "2014 Artist in Residence: Jad Fair". Joyful Noise Recordings. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "Archives for R. Stevie Moore". WFMU.org. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- Notable WFMU DJs
- "Pledge Your Money" by R. Stevie Moore on YouTube