R. Stevie Moore’s April Fool’s Day appearance on the “The Scott & Gary Show” in ’84 was no joke!

By on June 22, 2018

On April Fool’s Day in 1984, Nashville, TN transplant R. Stevie Moore — who is often called “the Godfather of Home Recording,” with more than 400 cassette releases — made a very rare live appearance on The Scott & Gary Show,” performing with his band in Metro Access’s Manhattan TV studio where the dynamic duo taped some of the early episodes of their public access TV show.

Watch this full 30-minute-plus episode — which features Moore and his band, dubbed “The Biggest Names in Show Business”: Lee Miller (drums), Chris Bolger (bass), and Phil Varrallo (double guitar) — playing “Show Biz is Dead,” “Defeating the Purpose,” and “Going Down the Way,” and more, now streaming on Night Flight Plus!

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Here’s some official-sounding bio we found on the interwebs:

Robert Steven Moore — 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.

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Here’s “The Scott & Gary Show” host Scott Lewis’s personal recollections about the taping of the show, which didn’t air until June that same year (better late than never!):

Scott Lewis:

“R. Stevie Moore was the original home/garage/bedroom recording wizard/genius and I was thrilled to have him on our show! I was fascinated by the quality and scope of his material, which around the time of the taping was mostly on cassette.”

“So cool seeing and hearing him in person. Besides his musical talents, R. Stevie was a DJ on WFMU, alternative radio’s alternative radio. Joining him at the taping were other WFMU luminaries, which was very cool.”

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“Minutes after taping, entrepreneurial R. Stevie had the whole episode available on cassette through his mail order catalog! So the audio portion ‘premiered’ before the show was broadcasted. We actually thought about ordering it so we could hear how it sounded before we edited the show!”

“I remember, after the taping, R. Stevie said some to the effect ‘you guys really know your stuff!,’ to which I replied, ‘Thanks, you can’t imagine how much we really know! (That was an inside joke).”

“After all, taping a public access musical variety show with live audio in 1984 was always a cathode-ray logistic adventure!”

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Read more from Scott’s commentary below.

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Scott Lewis:

“Gary and I still reminisce about the guy wearing the Sammy Davis Jr. mask bopping along to the music. Talk about adding show biz sheen to the proceedings!”

“R. Stevie, that old romantic crooner, even inspired those in the audience to slow dance.”

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“An aside: I went to see Stevie when he played Gerdes Folk City a few weeks after the taping. Ellen Foley was also on the bill.”

“I got into a heated conversation with someone who knew about our show but did not like our choice of bands and was not a fan of Stevie. I got so loud praising his talents, that Ellen Foley stopped performing and told me to keep quiet. I was very proud of myself!”

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“R. Stevie continues to be a great friend of the show and we continue to stay in touch with each other. Great artist and a great guy.”

Thanks, Scott!

At his Youtube page, R. Stevie Moore also gives his thanks to: Scott Lewis, Gary Winter, Frank, Jim, Barbara & Margaux Ravis and Debraella.

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“The Scott & Gary Show” featured live performances by great punk rock and indie bands, live audience dance parties with “Hullaballoo”-style dancers, and occasional cornball comedy skits.

Created and hosted by Scott Lewis and Gary Winter, this low-budget cable-TV variety show was filmed in New York City from 1983 to 1986 and then — at the invitation of cable access producer Jeff Krulik, the director of Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Ernest Borgnine on the Bus and so many more great films — the show was produced at Kulik’s studio in the Washington DC metro area, from ’86 until the very last episode, which aired in ’89.

In addition to R. Stevie Moore, Scott and Gary’s cable access TV show is notable for having early appearances by iconic artists and bands like Jad Fair’s Half Japanese, Butthole Surfers (on their first “trip” to NYC) and the Beastie Boys (who appear with drummer Kate Schellenbach, later of Luscious Jackson).

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For you completists out there, here’s the full list of the shows we’re offering on Night Flight Plus: Ben Vaughn Combo (December 1983); Beastie Boys (January 1984); Half Japanese (February 1984); R. Stevie Moore (April 1984); Raunch Hands (April 1984); Curtiss A (May 1984); Butthole Surfers (October 1984); The Johnsons (January 1985); No King (February 1985); Woofing Cookies (March 1985); Shockabilly (March 1985); Alter Boys (December 1985); The Clintons (December 1985); The Rhomboids (March 1986); The Beatnik Flies (February 1987); Das Yahoos (February 1987); The Beatoes (April 1989); and, Ben Vaughn & Aldo Jones (April 1989).

Watch episodes of The Scott & Gary Show — and we hope to have more public access TV shows to offer our subscribers in the near future — over on Night Flight Plus!

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.