Bob Moore, Spacedog
Bob Moore, Spacedog
By Tonya Little
Local legend Bob Moore, more commonly known as Spacedog, has been in the music scene for now over half a century, starting his professional music career at the age of fifteen in 1965. Moore is definitely an interesting character, one with many fantastic stories. He also enjoys conversations and will sit and tell you many of these great stories if you just sit down and ask. Although upon first glance you may not realize what a diamond in the rough he really is. His long white dreadlocks and disheveled manner of dress might make you dismiss him entirely if you didn’t know any better, but the life he has lived has been fascinating and full. The list of musicians and venues he has played with and in during his lifetime is both impressive and lengthy. Moore didn’t just stick around Oklahoma for the whole time either, he has traveled far and wide all over the US as well as Canada.
Moore toured with a band called The Moon Dogs for eight years.
“The Moon Dogs got together in 1976 and we did four albums. The first one was Live at the Cain’s in Tulsa. It’s only half live at the Cain’s, but that opened a ton of doors for me because it was a good band and it was creative,” said Moore. “The second was Creatures of the Mind, and 16 year old Wayne Coyne did the album cover, but no one knew who he was then. Then we did two albums live in Canada, one was called Live at the Dive and one Dog Shits. It went from being a band basically like a country rock band and by the end it was kind of a wide variety band.”
Moore’s business sense and sheer determination were major factors in The Moon Dog’s success. By taking out a card sized ad that he actually hand drew in a very expensive magazine called Performance he was able to get the band booked on a tour with David Alan Coe, which led to many other shows and opportunities opening up for them.
“I’ve done Coe and the Daredevils and the Flying Burrito Brothers right after Gram Parsons died, and Commander Cody. Everyone respected our band at Cain’s, we became an entity up there,” he explained.
After the Moon Dogs went separate ways Moore came back to Norman and started working himself into the music scene in various ways.
“I just started building myself up down here, in 88 I took over the Deli. I made it into the 7 day a week music place it is, I created the possibility of it. I had it from 88-95 emphasizing as much creative music as I could,” said Moore.
The Deli Jam wasn’t the only one Moore ran, he ran several others all around town at many different venues including Hawaiian Don’s and JJ’s Blues Saloon. These jams put him right in the middle of the music scene in many ways, making him a well known name all around. Moore also taught music to many different people, including Scott Keeton. Moore taught Keeton, who is now in his forties, to play guitar when he was only seventeen years old. Recent students Moore has worked with include classically trained opera singer Emily Atkinson, Eliza Bee, Katie Williams, and many more.
“I’ve always been someone that can take someone and just quantum leap them, I won’t take students unless they are geniuses and are already there and I‘ll just be a catalyst kind of thing. So I taught, but I never did charge anyone for teaching,” explained Moore. “I just love watching people grow and I like helping people make their dreams come true.”
Moore also helped John Nordlinger get his first album made.
“I ended up singing his first album for him and helping him. He had kind of like a blueprint, he had 50 songs. Then I took all those songs with a computer and a studio and made like 4 versions of each. Then he hired pros to play them. I ended up doing a lot of work with him,” said Moore. “He’s doing a documentary about me right now, with a high budget. And I’m making a movie for him called the Oklahoma Weedeater Massacre.”
Moore has so many different musical projects, as well as several albums that he has put out over the years.
“I’m a freelancer now, I don’t have a band. I have shows at the Deli some, and I have a whole new crop of new promising people I work with,” said Moore of what he is up to these days musically. “I can play bass guitar at the professional level, I can play piano, and then I’m adequate on the saxophone and slide, especially at the studio. My songs are funny, many of them are political in nature.”
But Moore isn’t just a musician, he’s also an artist and writer among other things. He has done over 500 paintings as well as written many things including stories and musicals. Moore is an excellent mechanic and gardener. He has a degree in journalism and helped write Parker Millsap’s promos as well as many things for The Damn Quails. Moore got his Masters in computer animation and has taught students how to do it for fourteen years, retiring from it just a couple years ago.
“I’ve taught at OU, I’ve taught at OCC, I’ve taught Children at Seeworth Academy Charter school and Dove Science Academy, and many many residencies,” said Moore. “When I walk in people are wondering what is going on but 10 minutes later and I’ll have the room under control because I’m really like Hitler with 5th graders. When you go to a school and there’s 30 kids in a class and 6 classes each day that’s 180 kids. You do that 10 times, and you are up in the 2000s of the kids that I have made computer literate.”
Moore lives in an alternative structure, which he builds onto and changes as needed. There’s a tower on the property that I have heard many a story about from various local musicians. Moore hosts an annual party at his place. This year it will take place on the night of the full moon in August.
“I’ve been having these parties for the last 10 years called Burning Dog. The Burning Dog has turned into a party for people who just come out to see me. There’s an open stage and there’s an open art gallery and this year just for the hell of it we were trying to make a 5 minute movie but it’s coming out to more like 15,” said Moore.
Moore currently makes many animations for both his and other local musician’s music. He posts videos for them regularly on his various Facebook pages, including the Moondog Okiextremist page. These musical animations are very interesting and unique. One might even use the terms bizarre and peculiar to describe them, although in the best way possible. They are definitely worth checking out. You can find Moore on Facebook under his personal account as well, which is a great place to keep up with his shows and parties.
“I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences,” said Moore.
Of this I have no doubts.