Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue: The Authorized Biography” as Want to Read:
Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue: The Authorized Biography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue: The Authorized Biography

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  103 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
"Moondog is one of America’s great originals."—Alan Rich, New York Magazine

Here is one of the most improbable lives of the twentieth century: a blind and homeless man who became the most famous eccentric in New York and who, with enormous diligence, rose to prominence as an internationally respected music presence.

Born Louis Thomas Hardin in 1916, Moondog first made an imp
...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Process
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Tosh
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-bought
Throughout my whole life I have heard of, or was aware of Moondog, but oddly enough I didn't listen to his music till a year ago. My family had the first Moondog album - and it is perhaps one of the first records that I was aware of - nevertheless I avoided him I think mostly because the way he looked. And he was old! So, about a year ago, I began to play his music, and it was a "oh wow" moment for me. Now, I can't get enough of him, and I'm still surprised in finding his music so fresh sounding ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Apr 08, 2015 marked it as filmed
I confess I learned about Moondog via a utoob accident. Frankly I think this minimal movement in music became a horse skeleton already probably even before the Velvets did their Heroin. Nevertheless, one still finds oneself occasionally charmed.

I remember last time I tried to watch Koyaanisqatsi I felt like Alex being reprogrammed at the end of Clockwork Orange. When I first saw it I was literally bolted to my seat in fascination. It's a one=shot deal.

But not only is Moondog a (dead) composer o
...more
Mike
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like good music, funny hats
Man I love Moondog and it's so great to see the ascendancy of his work amongst young listeners thanks to the great Honest Jons comp. from the other year and that sweet grey area reissue of the 'Snaketime' record and etc.

Lots of great, thorough scholarship went into this book. It's not super well written but at least it's not OVER written unlike so many music books. That makes certain clunky passages or repetitious ones a lot less bothersome to me.

The accompanying CD -- which features the debut r
...more
J.
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
That such an interesting life could be the subject of such a tedious, numbing tome is a feat in and of itself. A testament to the author's committment to pretentious prose.
Amy
Jun 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fic
Moondog was a fascinating musician and person. Blinded at 16 by an accidental explosion, he moved from Wyoming(?) to New York City in the late 1940s. Moondog lived on the streets or in hotels for the most part, performing his music for anyone who would hear with instruments of his own making. He made his own clothes, started dressing as a viking, and moved to Europe in the 1970s to be closer to his roots. Moondog made several albums and influenced many artists. This book is an authorized biograp ...more
Tom Shannon, Jr
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Moondog (aka Louis Hardin, American, 1916 - 1999) was a highly unusual blind artist (street musician, accomplished prolific composer, and eccentric cult personality.) I'm glad I got this book by Scotto, who knew Moondog since the 1960's and interviewed him. It's informative and a fine addition to my arcane music library.

I wanted this book because some of Moondog's records are fantastic & catchy, and stand the test of time, so I had to learn more about him. Some of his other records are mere
...more
Matthew
May 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book was a slog to finish, and I really wanted to love it because I like the subject so much. As much as I appreciate the meticulous research and detail that went into this labor of love, the author never quite manages to bring Moondog to life. His treatment of the man's itinerant childhood years felt the most developed and effective, but once Moondog moves to NYC, the author never convincingly evokes his subject. Instead much of the text rambles in repetition of facts, especially recording ...more
Joseph Hirsch
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can't remember the first time I heard Moondog, but, as with Robert Wyatt's post-"Soft Machine" output, I was blown away by how varied the guy's music was, and how impossible to categorize it was. This book does a good job balancing details about Moondog's s personal life with his unorthodox theories of music, which have been admired and appropriated by everyone from minimalist maestro Philip Glass to hip-hop producers. The author neither glosses over nor gets bogged down in the details of Moon ...more
Giles
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Too bad that such a weak story teller tackled such a mysterious subject. i'm really interested to know about moondog's life, but can't get myself to pick the book up again. the author goes on all these digressions about what it must have been like for moondog growing up that are truly vacuous. oh well
Forest Juziuk
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The writing is a touch flowery & the book is a bit of a slog with some peculiar movements between spans of time. Interesting nonetheless, a remarkable if somewhat difficult document.
Craig B
May 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
This nearly ended up in the bath with me after 50 or so pages. Great CD - although there are better Moondog collections/releases on offer.
Lucky
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Super interesting. CD included. really great!
Stevenson
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Inspiring tale of one man's determination to make his music count for something. From blind street musician to one of the 20th century's most inspiring composers. Fantastic - plus a free CD!
Gunnar Hjalmarsson
Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Pretty good, but too dry and academic for my taste.
Ryan
May 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
couldnt even get through it. Found it poorly written, or maybe I just didnt like the authors approach. Either way, I thought it was a turd.
Utrillo Kushner
rated it liked it
Mar 09, 2009
Dantanian
rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2017
Jan
rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2016
Margie
rated it liked it
Aug 01, 2008
Je Gd
rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2014
Karen
rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2017
Tom
rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2012
David Chaffin
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2017
Victoria
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2016
Bill Cohen
rated it liked it
May 26, 2008
Hannah
rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2011
Michael
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2013
Chad
rated it it was ok
Jan 01, 2008
Chris
rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2008
Ben
rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, YaHoWha 13, and The Source Family
  • Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra
  • Cole Porter
  • Genesis of a Music
  • Krautrocksampler
  • Eye Mind: Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators
  • Captain Beefheart: The Biography
  • Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992
  • What's Welsh for Zen: The Autobiography of John Cale
  • Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus
  • Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas
  • Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves
  • Nico: Songs They Never Play on the Radio
  • Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie
  • Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend
  • Beneath the Underdog
  • Ascension: John Coltrane And His Quest
  • Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music

Share This Book