"CHUCK MOONCHOW IS MY GURU"
I don't think I've ever had a dream that didn't come true. I was lonely and I was granted friends. It's funny how it still works that way. The friend you need is the one you find. Like a poor kid at Christmas I didn't know what I was getting, but I got 'em.
They came in a trinity.
Two sisters and a brother from West Virginia. Mary, Charles, and Louella Gibson. I had crushes on all of them. Mary had a glam name. She called herself Candy and I had a big imagination as to why. I wrote a song about her when she was alive called CANDY AND THE GANG and I wrote a song about her when she died called CANDYS DEAD. (In the ROCKROACHES and FINGERS LIKE SATURN, respectively).
Her brother Charles chose his name in front of me one day in Saltillo. That's the little town where Elvis got laid for the first time. Charles called himself CHUCK MOONCHOW. Their younger sister Louella wasn't around very much. She was gorgeous, almost my age. She had a good head on her shoulders. I had no idea how to act around her or any girl, so she was safe, from me anyway.
Actually I was pretty damn cool, but who could know that? Given the cultural milieu of Mississippi 1976-83. I was waiting for collaborators. These are my Moonchow years.
Chuck Moonchow was my guru.
As I have stated in the Chuck Moonchow interview, I met Chuck at Candy's house in 1978. I was fifteen and he was twenty five. I have also introduced Chuck in my ROCKROACHES; PHASE TWO discourse. So you you're probably wondering, what more could be said. In stating 'how' and 'why', maybe it's the 'WHAT' that should follow. This little esoteric block (and how it fits with all the other esoteric material on my loser-god-site.) can be chalked up as more of Mike's weird little essays on strange influences.
So be it. So bite me.
1978: I meet Chuck Moonchow in Saltillo Mississippi. I immediately note that his subconsciously punk way of dealing with life reveals no difference between the sublime and the mundane. His zen is in check. I decide to make him my guru then and there. Since Chuck has just moved to my neck of the woods he works alongside me in his sister Candy's road side fruit stand on 45 Highway where I learn to eat strawberries and watch Chuck master the flying kick. We sketch barbarians on sheet rock walls in pastel and wait for customers, (This would have been the back cover to KID ANARCHY #4, had it been published.) I start to get the feeling that life is passing me by if I stay in Mississippi for much longer (I still have six years to go). His tattoo "Crazy Oakie" has a story that would later appear in KID ANARCHY #1.
1980: Chuck and go see Kubrick's THE SHINING in Tupelo with my 10th grade air guitar buddy Ricky Palmer. Ricky has introduced me to gravel road beer and marihuana at the late(?) age of seventeen but that night no one drinks. I don't care much for cheap beer (still don't). Chuck's approach to beer drinking is to slip and hide, as if he were eternally seventeen. Chuck is ageless. I remember Busch beer, WARLOCK comics and FRIDAY NIGHT VIDEOS in our new FHA home, but Chuck was too slick to have my dad catch him drinking in the house. He hid the beer can in the bathroom and that's where we took turns. Later my dad would question our sobriety by "eyeball checks" after all night D&D games in my grandfathers "car shed". The same car shed that held the first (and last) ANGRY REDNECKS practice. Chuck unplugged us in the carport.
1981, 82: Chuck paints what he knows: bass fishing, the last supper (all lost)and he and I begin to play Dungeons and Dragons.
1983: My new friends at Junior College (John and George: The ROCKROACHES) have turned me onto punk and I turn them onto underground comics - and Chuck Moonchow. We begin a six month D&D game. Chuck becomes "DRAZIW" ("Wizard" backwards). The game comes to a finish in the house depicted in KID ANARCHY #1 (Fantagraphics). The audio is recorded and lost.
1983: Rockroach George Cole and I take Chuck to see "YOR, HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE". A visit to the thrift store that day inspires moments from KID ANARCHY #3 ten years later. Chuck writes an honest poem about his own experiences as a caveman from the future called "UNK". But George changes it to "Let's Book", a key expression from Chuck.
1983: St. Patricks Day: Chuck Moonchow steps inside the Antenna Club in Memphis for the first and only time. (the second time for me and George).
1984: I'm pretty sure this is the year that we shot the super 8 footage of a shirtless Chuck in Tupelo singing JOURNEY WITH ME. In finally restoring this footage in 2004, it's seems incomplete and there is no sound. At this stage Chuck is distracted by his second of three wives who we cared so little for, we could not lampoon.
1984: With more Super 8 film to burn and editing 'in-camera'. I shoot a 3 minute film called "DORM" in my bedroom starring 'high school-gone-college' brothers Ronnie and Tink Nolan. Their boarding experience turns sour when Chuck shows up, arm outstretched like the Watcher, offering doom in my Don Post Chewbacca mask. This film came back to Medical Arts Pharmacy all black with no sound.
1985: Chuck gives our new post-roaches punk band DISTEMPER it's name.
1985: At art school I create a bronze statue of the pirate Black Michael (I clung to pulp as Linus would a security blanket). But still, his stature, his face, is that of Chuck Moonchow.
1985: Our latest 'soon-to-be-defunct' ; 'one-off clique' the BATPUNKS travels to Tupelo to play D&D with Chuck. The photo booth shots at McCrory's in the Tupelo Mall are some of the best. It is our last game.
1987, 88: I interview Chuck over the phone and meticulously transcribe everything he says onto paper. This interview is published in POPCORN, a limited run fanzine initially only given to the groomsmen at my wedding.
1989: George Cole and I write and draw four pages of KID ANARCHY and show it Gary Groth. This leads to three issues (1990-1993). Chuck Moonchow is a main character. His dialogue is almost verbatim from the interview tapes.
1992: I write a song called CANDY & THE GANG about Chucks sister and her seemingly endless relations (with everyone but me). (hear song)
1993: My directorial debut DAMSELVIS DAUGHTER OF HELVIS features three characters named 'Candy', 'Louella', and 'Charles'. Fantagraphics publishes a photo book with a 'making of' essay.
1993: Somehow George and I pay Chuck a visit and give him all three issues of KID ANARCHY. Therein a cameo by his third wife. Chuck loses the comics in another move.
George writes the script for KID ANARCY #4 which I never draw. Chuck was to be featured on the cover.
1995: My mother passes away while I am editing TEENAGE TUPELO. Candy, Louella, and Chuck come to the Baldwyn, Mississippi funeral. I give them copies of DAMSELVIS. In my car during Visitation, I record Chuck's voice (and image) on video tape to be used as Capt. Crypt. dialogue in the movie. (Where is that $&*#*#@ tape?!)
Following my mothers funeral, I don't see Chuck Moonchow for 12 years. Turns out he only lived one hundred miles away.
1997: Artist Ellis Chappell plays a character named CHUCK MOONCHOW presides over the hippie death scene in Sore Losers wherein Jack Taylor Experience plays. (the real Chuck could not be found to play himself and Jack Taylor is dead).
2007: My band FINGERS LIKE SATURN records a song I wrote called CANDYS DEAD based on Candy's untimely death in November, 2006. I see Louella and her family and Chuck and his dad Charlie at Christmas. His wanton years have caused him some health problems but he's alive.
Chuck is still "the Crazy Oakie".
These thoughts dedicated to Mary Gibson and Candy McCord.
WHY ARE YOU LYING IN THE FUTURE
WHEN ALL YOUR PAST IS GONE
AND NOW DEATH SURROUNDS YOU
AND EVEN FREEDOM HAS NO SONG
FOR MEN IN ALL THEIR WISDOM
HAVE PROVEN TO BE BUT FOOLS
FOR THEY HAVE DESTROYED ALL LIFE
AND BROKEN ALL THE RULES
AND NOW I STAND HERE
THE DAWNING OF A NEW DAY
SEARCHING FOR EXISTENCE
AND KNOWING THERE'S NO WAY
FOR LIFE WAS BUT A DREAM
AND DEATH A REALITY
AND NOW I LOOK FOR TOMORROW
WHEREVER IT MAY LIE
TO FIND TRUE PURPOSE AND MEANING
(EVEN IF I SHOULD DIE)
FOR LIFE WAS BUT A DREAM
AND DEATH A REALITY
FOR EVERYTHING THAT EXISTED
IS TRULY, TRULY GONE
NOW THERE IS NO RIGHT
THERE JUST IS
Copyright 1984 Chuck Moonchow
|JMM:||Chuck, what have you been doing these last few years?|
|CHUCK:||TRYING TO KEEP, UH, OH I GUESS YOU COULD HONESTLY SAY THAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GRASP THE LIFESTYLE OF MY OWN LIFESTYLE. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE LIFESTYLE OF THE PRIMITIVES I HAVE BEEN LIVING AROUND. (laughter, Chuck's sister Candy thinks he's talking about her...)|
|JMM:||What did you think about the atmosphere of the '80's? Now that's over with.|
|CHUCK:||WELL ACTUALLY WE STILL HAVE ONE MORE YEAR, AND WITHIN THAT YEAR IT CAN COMPLETELY UNDERMINE THE WHOLE BACKGROUND OF THE '80'S!|
|JMM:||You think on year could undermine everything Reagan has put into motion?|
|CHUCK:||THAT ONE YEAR COULD BE COMPLETE SUBTOTAL OF ALL THOSE YEARS AND COULD BE A COMPLETE CATASTROPHE AND DISASTER.|
|JMM:||What's your prediction for 1989?|
|CHUCK:||IT WILL BE FOUND OUT THAT REAGAN WAS MORE OR LESS A PUSSYCAT COMPARED TO BUSH.|
|JMM:||But what will happen in 1989?|
|CHUCK:||ALTERNATE LIFESTYLES....CHANGE OF MANY NATIONS,INCLUDING THE USA. IF MAN DECIDES TO VENTURE FORWARD IN THE STAR WARS ACT THAT WILL HAVE TO PASS, AND THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE OLD WAYS WILL COME TO PASS TOO.|
|JMM:||We were all such good friends, Chuck. What makes people drift apart?
|CHUCK:||THE DRIFTING APART OF FRIENDS IS THE SAME WAY THAT FAMILIES CAN OFTEN DRIFT APART. PEOPLE FORGET THE REAL VALUE OF THEIR LIVES AND THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM.|
|JMM:||What will happen in the Nineties to our friendships?|
|CHUCK:||YOU PERCEIVE AN ALTERATION OF FRIENDSHIP ON TOP OF FRIENDSHIP. A NEW FRIENDSHIP THA WE MAKE WILL OVERCOME AND OVERRIDE THE OLD. THIS IS THE CHANGING OF THE NEW THAT I SPOKE OF IN THE '80'S.|
|JMM:||Do you think the world will end in our lifetime?|
|CHUCK:||THAT IS A PREDICTION THAT I CANNOT PERCEIVE. THOSE INSIGHTS HAVE NOT BEEN GRANTED TO ME.|
|JMM:||How important is friendship to you?|
(At this point in the conversation Chuck says he must leave the phone...)
|JMM:||Okay Chuck, you perceived that our friendships would be redefined in the '90's like you said the entire decade of the '80's would be defined by the last year. So I want you to explain that. How do you redefine something that's already been set into motion?|
|CHUCK:||TO REDEFINE ONE DECADE OR A FRIENDSHIP...TO BE ABLE TO ALTER EVERYTHING AT THAT LAST MOMENT...AT THAT LAST PERIOD OF TIME. FOR INSTANCE; WE KNOW THAT EVERYTHING THAT HAS TOOK PLACE INTHE LAST EIGHT YEARS WAS THE DOING OF RONALD WILSON REAGAN. EVEN THOUGH HIS LAST NAMES CORRESPOND WITH 666, HE IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS EVER HELD OFFICE AS A COINCIDENCE WITH THAT PATTERN OF NUMBERS IN HIS NAME. SO TO REDEFINE WHAT HE HAS DONE TO THE UNITED STATES AND TO REDEFINE FRIENDSHIP OF PEOPLE ITSELF IS TO ALTER, AND BECOME... A PART OF THE NEW. AND THE NEW TO BECOME A PART OF US.|
|JMM:||And you took a long breath when I asked you would the world end in our lifetime. Would you care to speculate?|
|CHUCK:||YES! CITIES THAT WE KNEW AT ONE TIME TO BE GREAT...WILL BE NO MORE!|
|CHUCK:||CITIES THAT ARE PART OF THE STAR WARS.|
|JMM:||Which cities? What are the old cities you are talking about?|
|CHUCK:||LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK, CHICAGO, HONG KONG. ALL WILL BE NO MORE. BECAUSE OF THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE.|
|JMM:||What date would you put on this?|
|CHUCK:||FROM THE OLD WILL COME THE NEW...|
|CHUCK:||SOMEPLACE AROUND MAY 22, 1989.|
|JMM:||Okay. How important is friendship to you Chuck?|
|CHUCK:||IT DEPENDS ON THE GREATNESS OF THE FRIENDSHIP AND TO DEFINE FRIENDSHIP IN A GREAT MANNER: FRIENDSHIP CAN BE NO GREATER FOR A FRIEND TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR A FRIEND. THAT'S THE GREATEST.|
|CHUCK:||AND THE LOWEST, FOR A FRIEND TO ABANDON A FRIEND IN NEED.|
|JMM:||If the universe could be assigned a number, what would it be?|
THE D&D YEARS ('83-84).
|JMM:||Looking back on our great D&D trilogy that you, George Cole, John Prescott and I played, what are you thoughts on that now?|
|CHUCK:||WONDERMENT, FANTASY, FICTION, A TOUCH OF MEDIEVAL REALITY...OF THE 14TH, 15TH, 16TH CENTURY.|
Chuck is incoherent over the phone.
|JMM:||Were Sarcaz's tactics ethical against you? When you were "Draziw the Wizard"?|
|CHUCK:||GEORGE WAS IRRESPONSIBLE! HIS TACTICS WERE THOSE OF ADOLESCENTS! HE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO ATATCK. BUT HE KNEW, BUT HE DID NOT KNOW THE THINGS HE HAD TO GO AGAINST...FOR THE SIMPLE REASON WHY HE COULD NOT DO IT.|
|JMM:||Are we all Misfits and Outcasts?|
|CHUCK:||WE ARE DRIFTING IN EMBRYOS. IN THE WOMB OF A WOMAN, THE WATER OF LIFE FLOWS ALL AROUND US AND WE EXIST WITHIN IT. BUT WE ONLY RE-EXIST. AND WE ENTER AND OUTER THE WOMB OF LIFE.|
|JMM:||You were at a peak in popularity a few years ago Chuck, but now you've gone underground. Why is that?|
|CHUCK:||MY LIFE HAS REVOLVED AROUND ANOTHER CENTER AND THIS LIFE EXISTS AND DIES AROUND THIS CENTER. AND IS ASK YOU, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THIS LIFE AND DEATH?|
|CHUCK:||THIS LIFE AND DEATH IS SIMPLE. WE EXIST MERELY TO UNDERSTAND AND COMPREHEND THE ULTIMATE TRUTH. AND THAT TRUTH IS: THERE IS NO RIGHT, THERE IS NO WRONG, THERE JUST IS!|
THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE MURANIAN
JMM: Why were you married so many times, Chuck Moonchow?
CM: BECAUSE OF FREEDOM! SIMPLY THAT FREEDOM IS LOST UNLESS YOU EXPRESS THE ULTIMATE FREEDOM. THE FREE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD EXIST ONLYIN THE EXPRESSION, "THE FREEDOM OF LIFE" AND NOT DEFENDING IT.
JMM: What is your personal philosophy of women?
CM: OF WOMAN? SHE IS A CREATION OF BEAUTY, OF LOVE, OF LIFE, AND THE CREATION OF LIFE, OF LUST, AND A WHORE. BECAUSE HER CUP RUNNETH OVER AND SHE CAN SPILL OUT TO LUST.
CM: What happened to music?
CM: MUSIC BEGAN WITH A SIMPLE TUNE. THAT TUNE WAS A SIMPLE MELODY. IT BEGAN LIKE THIS (Chuck begins to chant...) "OOOOOHHHHHMMMM."
JMM: Kind of like a monk's chant?
CM: Yes. And it grew. It achieved greatness and the greatness was deceived, polluted. It was corrupted by those who chose to lead those in the direction of not an upper space but a downer space.
JMM: Okay, that's cool, that's cool. (Chuck hesitates.) Is everything okay? Do you need a glass of water?
JMM: What face will intellectualism take in the '90's?
CM: IT WILL COMPLETELY CHANGE DIRECTIONS. THE MORAL VALUE OF MAN WILL LESSEN AND BECOME SO CORRUPT THAT LIFE WILL BE LIKE AN INSECT THAT WE WILL STEP ON.
JMM: Are you corrupt, Chuck?
CM: I ONLY EXPRESS CHUCK MOONCHOW AND THE THEO-REALISTIC THEORIES I BROUGHT FROM MY PLANET, MURANIA.
JMM: Are you afraid of offending people?
CM: NO. I WISH TO OFFEND ALL.
JMM: Chuck, have you had any problems with alcohol?
CM: I HAVE RECEIVED MANY GIFTS FROM THIS PLANET. SOME HAVE BEEN A CURSE. I HAVE EXPERIMENTED WITH MANY UNKNOWN AND KNOWN DRUGS AND FOUND ONE REALITY: IT EXISTS IN INSANITY.
JMM: Tell me about your early days with the Master. How did you become a Guru?
CM: WHERE I BEGAN TO LEARN THE THEORIES OF A SERIOUS, BUT AN ILLOGICAL, MIND WAS THAT WE WOULD TAKE ACID AND PLAY CHESS AND THE PHILOSOPHIZE AT THE SAME TIME.
JMM: So three things at once?
CM: HE TAUGHT ME THAT THE MIND IS ACTUALLY TWO MINDS IN ONE SKULL. AND THE THIRD DIVISION OF THAT MIND IS THE SUBCONSCIOUS. IF YOU SEPARATE ALL THREE YOU CAN TAKE IN DATA AND THAT INPUT YOU RECEIVE ISF ROM ALL THREE FIELDS.
JMM: What were your last days like with him?
CM: VERY CONFUSING. HE SEEMED TO LOSE ALL CONTROL OF HIS REALITY.
JMM: You told me once about you and he in your apartment...
CM: I WAS ON ACID FOR THE FIRST TIME SO I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. I BEGAN TO SEE THE COLORS WHICH I HAD FIGURED OUT WERE STATIC ELECTRICITY AROUND US CONSTANTLY.
(...At this point in the conversation, Chuck tells me there is another call. Afterward, I found out it was someone wanting a "Dr. Yeoman's Office.)
CM: I TOLD THEM THIS WAS DOCTOR MOONCHOW'S OFFICE.
JMM: What did they say?
CM: THEY SAID, "ARE YOU A DOCTOR?". I SAID, "YES. OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE." FOR MY DOCTRINE IS THE MENTAL CONCEPT OF REALITY, FACT, FICTION, THEORY, AND ALL BULLSHIT ABOVE!"
JMM: And he says?
CM: "THANK YOU. I MUST HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER."
JMM: So, you were on acid and then...?
CM: I WENT DOWN TO THE STREET AND SAT IN THE LOTUS POSITION. AND I WAS ACTUALLY ENJOYING ALL THE TRAFFIC GO BACK AND FORTH. ALL THE BRILLIANT LIGHTS THAT THE CARS CAUSED WHEN THEY BROKE THROUGH THE STATIC ELECTRICITY THAT IS IN THE AIR CONSTANTLY.
JMM: What year was this?
CM: THIS WAS IN THE YEAR OF 1973. MAYBE 4.
JMM: Give me your thoughts on the year 1974.
CM: 1974 WAS A YEAR OF DECEPTION AND CORRUPTION. WE HAD A PRESIDENT WHO STOOD IN FRONT OF THE PEOPLE WITH A PEACE SIGN IN HIS HAND, TWO FINGERS UP, SAYING, "MORE POWER TO THE PEOPLE!" AT THE TIME AND THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER, HE WAS SAYING MORE POWER TO ME!
KILL ME LIKE HITLER
JMM: What makes some people scum and others the kings of the earth?
CM: I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE SCUM CAN BE THE KINGS OF THE EARTH. AND THE SO-CALLED KINGS OF THE EARTH CAN ALSO BE THE SCUM.
JMM: Have you ever met any Kings in Disguise? Men, who if not for there background, could have been fortunate and worldly?
CM: I'VE MET YOUNG PEOPLE AND BECAUSE OF THEIR BACKGROUND AND POOR FAMILIES (DID NOT ATTAIN STATURE), THEY COULD HAVE BECOME SOME OF THE GREATEST MEN.
JMM: Are you talking about yourself?
CM: IN GENERAL, AS ONE. AS IN TWO, YOU. AS IN THREE, GEORGE. AND AS IN FOUR, MY BROTHER-IN-LAW TIMOTHY. MY COUSIN, EDDY AND SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE THAT I'VE KNOWN OVER THE DECADES.
JMM: You told us the story of how you stayed out of the Army when we ate at Pancho's that night. (A dinner in Tupelo following a screening of YOR, HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE at the Lyric Theater). Could you tell it again for posterity?
CM: THEY HAD MY NUMBER AND IT WAS COMING UP ON THE 25TH OF SEPTEMBER (Chuck's Birthday). THAT'S WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DRAFTED. SO I BEAT 'EM TO THE PUNCH AND WENT DOWN AND ENLISTED! I PASSED ALL MY TESTS EXCEPT ONE AND THIS ONE OTHER BOY TOLD ME I COULD GET OUTTA BEING DRAFTED AND ENLISTING IF I FAIL THIS TEST. I ASKED HIM WHAT KIND OF TEST THIS WAS AND HE REPLIED: I.Q. TEST.
"WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY TO FAIL IT", I ASKED. HE SAID TO IMPRESS THE SARGEANT THAT WAS SITTING IN FRONT OF US MAKING SURE NO ONE CHEATED. WHEN HE SAID, "BEGIN, YOU HAVE 45 MINUTES.", I CAME UP LIKE A GENIUS! I FINISHED THE WHOLE BOOK IN FIVE MINUTES.
I WALKED UP AND HANDED IT TO HIM. HE LOOKED AT ME LIKE I WAS EINSTEIN. AFTER HE LOOKED TO GRADE THE TEST, I THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA KILL ME LIKE HITLER!
(On this note, Chuck goes to the shitter. Upon returning, I allow him to finish.)
CM: HE ASKED ME WHY DID I GO TO ALL THE TROUBLE TO ENLIST AND GET AS FAR AS I DID AND THEN DELIBERATELY FAIL THE TEST? AND I LOOKED AT HIM, AND I SAID "IF YOU HAVE TO ASK ME THAT QUESTION THEN YOU'RE NOT AS SMART AS YOU LOOK." I TURNED AROUND AND WALKED OUT THE DOOR.
JMM: You love war movies. Why wouldn't you want to go off to the Army?
CM: BECAUSE FACT AND REALITY OF LIFE AND DEATH IS SIMPLY THAT: REALITY. WAR MOVIES IS FICTION.
JMM: And this was during Viet Nam?
THE END IS OVER
JMM: Do you think that "Just Say No" thing works?
CM: FOR THE CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP WITH HONOR AND MORAL VALUES, THERE MIGHT BE A CHANCE FOR THAT. BUT THE SKINHEADS AND THE ROCK PUNKS THAT ROAM THE STREETS IN THE SUMMERTIME LOOKING FOR ESCAPE, THOSE CHILDREN ARE ALREADY DEAD TO A LIFE OF DRUGS.
JMM: You understand that punk rockers as bad people is an unfair stereotype, don't you?
CM: YES, I UNDERSTAND THAT. THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT PUNK ROCKERS IS THAT THEY'RE DECENT CHILDREN AT ONE STAGE IN THEIR LIFE. BUT BECAUSE OF ABUSE; PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND SPIRITUAL, THEY BEGIN TO HAVE A DIM VIEW OF LIFE. THEY TEND TO GROW COLD ABOUT THE FEELINGS OF OTHERS.
JMM: Why did you leave home so young?
CM: I HAD QUESTIONS I COULDN'T GET ANSWERED ON MURANIA. AT THE TIME WE HAD A STUDENT TRADE PROGRAM WITH THE EARTH. THIS WAS TIED INTO OUR GOVERNMENT. THEY WOULD TAKE THEIR TOP MINDS AND WE WOLD TAKE OUR TOP MINDS AND WE WOULD SWAP FOR A PERIOD OF NO MORE THAN 25 YEARS. THEN THE TRADE PROGRAM WOULD BE BROKEN AND THE STUDENTS WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK TO THEIR OWN PLANET.
JMM: What friends do you remember from the Seventies?
CM: My truthful friends? Leonard Pinola. He was a full-blooded Indian. Pomo.
JMM: Oh, POMO. And that's all?
CM: And Leonard Priest.
JMM: Was he a homo?
CM: NO. HE WAS A HERMORPHADITE.
JMM: Some are looking for truth and freedom like you did. You would deny them that?
CM: I DON'T DENY NO ONE THE TRUTH! I DON'T DENY THE REALITY OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS. FOR ALL SHOULD KNOW AND WILL KNOW BEFORE THE END IS OVER.
ALL I SAY IS TO ALL: NO MATTER WHO THEY MAY BE; SKINHEAD, PUNK ROCKER, HEAVY METAL FREAKS, AND THOSE DEAL IN THE HEAVIEST DRUGS - THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND ONE THING. BECAUSE THE WORLD HAS GROWN COLD TO THEIR FEELINGS, TO THEIR SYMPATHIES, AND THEIR LIVES - AND THEIR LIVES AND REALITY HAS GROWN COLD ITSELF.
THEY SHOULD NOT FORGET THE TRUE TRUTH: THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE THAN A FRIEND TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR A FRIEND.
JMM: What is the thin line betwix love and hate?
CM: JEALOUSY. PRIDE. ENVY AND REVENGE. THOSE TEND TO THE BALANCE OF LOVE AND HATE TO BE THROWN OUT OF BALANCE. I BELIEVE LOVE SHOULD BE STRONGER THAN HATE ANYWAY.
JMM: When you lived in California, did you come close to the Manson Family?
CM: NO. BUT I CAME CLOSE TO THE IDEALISM OF THE MANSON FAMILY.
JMM: Didn't you tell me years ago that you had slept with someone from the Manson Family?
CM: UH...NO, I MENTIONED THAT I KNEW SOMEONE. HIS MORBID SENSE OF HUMOR WAS RIGHT UP THERE WITH THE MANSON FAMILY.
JMM: Okay. I guess I was wrong. Do you think you're a risk to the AIDS virus?
CM: I THINK EVERY HUMAN BEING ON EARTH IS AT RISK TO GOD'S PLAGUE. IT'S ONE MEANS. ONE EXPLANATION.
THE FRUITS OF THE SEA
JMM: Were you ever a vegetarian?
CM: YES. I ENJOY THE FRUITS OF THE SEA, THE FRUITS OF THE VINE, AND THE FRUITS OF THE TREE.
JMM: What are your favorite foods?
CM: THE FRUITS OF THE SEA. LOBSTER, SHRIMP, HALIBUT. I REMEMBER A SMOKED HALIBUT AND A SMOKED TUNA THAT I USE TO BE ABLE TO BUY YEARS AGO. I LIKE CRAB MEAT, SHARK, AND A VARIETY OF OTHER SEAFOODS. I ENJOY EXPERIMENTING BECAUSE THIS IS THE SAME IDEALISM I HAD IN THE '70'S WITH DRUGS. I LIKE TO EXPERIMENT WITH ANYTHING I DEAL WITH.
JMM: Why do older people blame comic books, rock and roll, D&D, etc, for destroying young people?
CM: BECAUSE SOCIETY IS A PAINTED PICTURE AND THIS PICTURE, FOR A LOT OF ELDERLY PEOPLE, IS ONLY NARROW TUNNEL. IN THIS TUNNEL THERE IS ONLY ONE PARTICULAR WAY TO WALK, TO BE, TO THINK, TO ACT, TO LOOK LIKE, AND TO SIMPLY "BE".
ANYTHING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THIS TUNNEL THAT DOES NOT FIT THIS DIAGRAM, THEY DO NOT ACCEPT. THEY DENY. THEY REFUSE TO EVEN OPEN THEIR MIND TO THE CONCEPT OF OTHERS AND THEIR FEELINGS.
JMM: Are kids today getting more and more stupid?
CM: YES AND NO. THEY ARE ALLOWING THE USE OF DRUGS AND THEOROLOGICAL" BEHAVIOR WITH THEIR MANNERS.
JMM: Who killed Marilyn?
CM: OH. THAT'S EASY. A COMBINATION. THE SAME COMBINATION THAT KILLED KENNEDY AND HIS BROTHER. THAT'S A POLITICAL AND MAFIA BACKGROUND, THERE WAS TOO MANY THINGS THAT WAS REVEALED. THERE WERE TOO MANY ENEMIES THAT WERE REVEALED.
JMM: Who do you think killed "Stringbean"? - off the "HEE HAW" t.v. show?
CM: I DON'T REMEMBER STRINGBEAN.
JMM: What do you think should be done with rednecks?
CM: DENUT THEM.
JMM: You're a hillbilly, right? So...
CM: NO. A RIDGE RUNNER.
JMM: What's the difference between a Ridge Runner and a Redneck?
CM: RIDGE RUNNERS RUN RIDGES. REDNECKS WALK AROUND WITH THEIR NECKS RED.
(Popcorn should note here that Chuck Moonchow has a tattoo on his arm that reads "Crazy Oakie".)
JMM: Do you remember the evening at your home in Saltillo? Um, we went to Wendy's and George bought you a burger?
JMM: Okay, change the subject. On this eve of a Rockroaches revival, what do you think our chances are?
CM: ARE YOU GUYS PLAYIN'?
JMM: Yes. We bought drums yesterday.
CM: CAN I MAKE A SUGGESTION?
JMM: Yeah, anything you care to offer.
CM: TO CULMINATE PUNK ROCK, HEAVY METAL, AND MAYBE JUST A TOUCH OF THE OLD FASHION ROCK AND ROLL. IF YOU CAN COMBINATE THESE 3 PARTS IN ONE TUPE OF MUSIC, YOU'LL HAVE SOMETHING NOT ONLY UNIQUE, BUT ORIGINAL.
JMM: What is your definition of punk rock?
CM: A BUNCH OF PUNKS OUT ON THE FLOOR ROCKIN'.
CM: I WAS JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE FUCKED UP!
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM CHUCK MOONCHOW
(At this point in the conversation, CHUCK begins to discuss alien life, UFO's, etc.)
CM: THIS IS FROM CHUCK MOONCHOW. ON MY PLANET MURANIA, WE HAVE TWO MOONS - AND TWO POLAR ICE CAPS AS EARTH DOES (A SOUTH AND A NORTH). AND ALSO ON OUR PLANET WE HAVE GREAT MONUMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. SOME IN THE SHAPE OF PYRAMIDS AS ON EARTH.
NOW WITHOUT EXPLAINING ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT MURANIA, WE ALSO AVE ONE GREAT STATUE. THIS STATUE IS A MILE LONG, A HALF-MILE TALL AND A HALF-MILE WIDE. AND THIS STATUE IS THE SAME STATUE THAT IS IN EGYPT. IT IS THE THE SPHINX.
YOU SEE...THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN INFILTRATED BY EXTRATERRESTRIALS. THAT'S WHERE WE LEARNED ABOUT THE SHUTTLE. WHAT WE DID NOT KNOW WAS THAT THE REALITY OF SPACE AND OUR EXISTENCE WAS CONSISTENT.
WE AS A PEOPLE WERE GOVERNED BY A GREATER PEOPLE. THEY COLONATED OUR EARTH AND GAVE US TEH POWER AND THEY EXTRACTED OUR - HOW DO I SAY IT - "LIFE FORCE".
WE ARE A PART OF THEM. THEY ARE A PART OF US.THEY HAVE BEEN A PART OF US SINCE THE CREATION OF ATLANTIS WHERE I CAME DOWN.
MY FOREFATHERS MADE SEVERAL ERRORS IN GOVERNING SEVERAL NATIONS. WE TOOK LIFE AS IT WAS AND WE ALTERED IT. AS YOU KNOW NOW, A GENETIC CHANGE BETWEEN GENETIC GENES IS POSSIBLE. WE DID THAT ALSO.
WE CREATED BEINGS AS LABOR TO WORK IN MINES THOUSANDS OF FEET BELOW THE SURFACE. WE, BY OUR FOREFATHERS, WERE PUNISHED. ATLANTIS AND OUR OTHER NATIONS WERE DESTROYED. WE WERE FORCED TO GO BACK TO OUR ORIGIN OF LIFE FORCE.
THAT WAS MURANIA.
JMM: So you are a Citizen of Murania. Do the people of Murania favor you?
CM: THEY DISFAVOR ME IN TALKING. IN TELLING. IN EXPRESSING THOSE THINGS THAT WAS UNWRITTEN. FOR THOSE THINGS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE LOST AND DESTROYED WITH ATLANTIS THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO...
JMM: No, I mean do they physically resemble you?
CM: THEY PHYSICALLY RESENT ME.
JMM: Okay. Why do you have facial hair?
CM: THAT IS A PART OF MY TIME. EARTHLINGS, THEY SEEM TO EXPECT MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN, THAT HAS THE HAIR CONTENT. ON OUR PLANET, WE DO NOT NEED IT FOR WE EXIST MENTALLY AND THAT IS OUR WHOLE EXISTENCE BESIDES OUR FORM AND YOU HAVE NOT ASKED ME WHAT OUR FORM IS...
JMM: So what is your form?
CM: OUR FORM EXISTS OF SIMPLY THREE THINGS AND WE CAN EXCHANGE THOSE THREE THINGS, WE PLANTED A BEING UPON PLANET AND HE GAVE THE THEORY OF OUR EXISTENCE IN THE UNIVERSE AND THAT IS E=MC2.
JMM: I noticed that in your prime, Chuck, you wore leisure suits. Does this have anything to do with that theory?
CM: YES. IT CONFINES OUR ENERGY AND MASS AND OUR LIFE FORMS.
JMM: Are you saying that only the material in a leisure suit can do that?
JMM: So when we see people in leisure suits there's a good chance they're Muranian?
CM: THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE IF YOU TEAR THAT SUIT THAT YOU'RE GONNA UNLEASH ENERGY EQUALS MASS AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU'RE GONNA ALLOW THAT MURANIAN TO BECOME HIS TRUE SELF.
JMM: Well, you were heavily into Karate at one time. Weren't you afraid your suit would rip?
CM: WE HAVE LEARNED TO CHANNEL OURSELVES IN A SHIELD. THAT SHIELD CAN ONLY LAST FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF MINUTES. WE CAN TAKE DAMAGE BUT WE CANNOT CONTINUE BUT WE ARE ALLOWED TO EXERT ENERGY, MASS, BUT NO LIGHT BECAUSE A LIGHT FORM IS A SPEED 186,000 MILES PER SECOND. MATTER, AS YOU KNOW, ON EARTH, WOULD DISINTEGRATE.
THE ART OF CHUCK MOONCHOW
JMM: Chuck, you've painted quite an impressive amount of paintings, some of which no longer exist. Can you tell us what was going though your mind when you painted "The Bass" and "The Last Supper"?
CM: "THE BASS" WAS NOT BEING CAUGHT. HE WAS COMING OUT OF THE WATER. AS AN EXISTENCE OF HIS OWN EXISTENCE.AND HE WAS CONSUMING A 'SNAKE DOCTOR'. WHAT THEY CALL A DRAGONFLY. THE LAST SUPPER? WAIT... I GOTTA GO TAKE A PISS.
JMM: Hello? Hello?
(Chuck comes back to the phone)
JMM: We were talking about the Last Supper.
CM: WHAT I'M RELATING TO IT WAS THAT I SIMPLY SAW A 3-DIMENSIONAL YET ONE DIMENSIONAL FORM. ALL I SAW WHEN I BEGAN WAS THE CREATOR. FROM THE CREATOR I CREATED WHAT THE PAINTER CREATED AND THEN ADDED A DIMENSIONAL CHALK AND OIL. A WATER AND PAINT ALLOY. FROM THAT I TOOK A SIMPLE PICTURE AND I ADDED MY OWN CHUCK MOONCHOW ASPECT OF REALITY AND THAT WAS EXPRESSION OF TOTAL FREEDOM.
JMM: Do these paintings still exist?
JMM: I thought The Last Supper had burned?
CM: I SALVAGED IT. THE BASS PAINTING TOO.
JMM: Was it painted with the same technique too?
CM: NO. IT WAS MORE OF A PRIMITIVE MURANIAN ASPECT BECAUSE THE WAY I LOOKED AT IT, SIMPLY A CREATURE EXISTING.
NICOTINE, DISTEMPER, & THE ANGRY REDNECKS,
JMM: Okay. Chuck are you happy?
CM: AM I HAPPY? YES.
CM: CAN I EXIST WITH MY HAPPINESS? I AM EXISTING WITH THESE THINGS ...AND WRITE 'EM DOWN: CHUCK MOONCHOW TO GEORGE: I EXIST WITH PAIN, WITH SORROW, WITH GRIEF AND REGRET AND THE LAST SORROW.
JMM: Why do you smoke?
CM: I CHOOSE A SYSTEMATIC LIFE LIKE THE LIFEFORMS I LIVE AROUND - TO DESTROY MYSELF.
JMM: Is smoking still cool?
CM: NO. NEIN. NAVA. NONE.
JMM: When did it stop being cool?
CM: WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED IN THE 1930'S THAT IT WAS KILLING MY KIND.
JMM: If you could play an instrument, what would it be?
CM: THE FLUTE. WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHY?
JMM: Yeah. That kinda took me by surprise.
CM: BECAUSE THE MELODY OF THE FLUTE EXPRESSES SO MUCH FREEDOM AND IT SOARS GREATER THAN ANY INSTRUMENT.
JMM: Were you happy with DISTEMPER's limited success, being that you came up with the name?
CM: NO. BECAUSE I BELIEVE OUT OF ALL THAT THERE WAS, ALL THAT THERE WOULD BE MORE - THAN THE SIMPLE NAME, THE REALITY, THE EXISTENCE OF DISTEMPER. FOR IT IS SIMPLE, AND IT HAS, IN MY REALITY, NO EXISTENCE.
JMM: Were you sad over the break-up?
CM: YES. I HAD FOUND THAT THERE WAS "DISINUNION" OF LIFE BETWEEN FRIENDS WHO THOUGHT THEY UNDERSTOOD LIFE AND THEY ALLOWED THE REALITY OF DISRUPTION, DESTRUCTION TO DISTURB, AND DESTROY THEIR REALITY.
JMM: That was the Summer of pissing and spitting and broken windshields on cop cars.
CM: THE ADOLESCENCE OF THOSE THAT DONE THAT, WITHIN DISTEMPER, SHOULD HAVE BEEN CORRECTED. THEY WHO HAVE - WERE TO BEEN - AND THOSE WHO WOULD BE - CORRECTED BY DISTEMPER.
FOR THOSE REASONS DISTEMPER HAS BEEN PUT UNDER JUDGEMENT.
(Chuck leaves again...)
JMM: Do you remember the day you were introduced to George and John when you unplugged our ANGRY REDNECKS practice session?
CM: I THOUGHT THEY WERE EXPRESSING AN IRRESPONSIBLE ACT OF ... REBELUISM (sic) AGAINST SOCIETY AND THAT'S WHY I UNPLUGGED THEM.
"AS IF AN OCEAN"
JMM: Why do you think George left you out of the POPCORN strip?
CM: I THINK THE REASON THAT GEORGE DID THAT WAS BECAUSE CHUCK WAS A STRONG AND INFLUENTIAL CHARACTER AND HE SAID A STATEMENT. THAT STATEMENT IS:
THERE IS NO RIGHT. THERE IS NO WRONG. THERE JUST IS!
JMM: (laughter) ...Okay... Okay.
CM: I HOPE THAT SLAPS GEORGE BETWEEN THE FACE! THAT'S FOR GEORGE.
JMM: What else did you wanna say on George?
CM: WELL, YOU KNOW HOW SADISTIC GEORGE CAN BE IN HIS OPINION OF CERTAIN PEOPLE AND CERTAIN BOOKS? IF GEORGE PICKS THIS UP, THAT YOU HAVE TYPED, AND HE DON'T LAY IT BACK DOWN AND HE DON'T COME UP WITH ANY REMARKS A HE IS READING IT - THEN YOU KNOW THIS IS GOOD.
JMM: That was your ultimate criticism of George?
CM: I THINK THAT THE BEST THING THAT GEORGE EVER DID FOR ME WAS SHOW ME A STILLNESS, A CALM WATER. AS IF AN OCEAN, FULL OF IDEAS, STILL AND AT PEACE WITH ITSELF.
AND YET AT TIMES, IT ERUPTS INTO A FULL STORM. AND SOME TIMES EVEN A HURRICANE. THIS WAS GEORGE.
JMM: Okay. I was just curious.
CM: You make sure he sees this.
JMM: Oh, I will.
(Chuck is watching GREMLINS while being interviewed. This leads to the next obvious (to me) topic:
JMM: Hey! Remember when we - and some friends, went to see GREMLINS? Do you remember what you did?
CM: I GOT DRUNK.
JMM: You took my car to meet John, his brother, and Ron (Nolan) at the (Lyric) theater while I worked, but first you made a Pit stop at the liquor store.
CM: I MADE A DETOUR.
JMM: When John and Ron came by to get me, I asked where you were. They looked at each other and said, "You're not gonna believe this but..." So I wound up taking you home. What a weird night.
CM: DEFINITELY ONE OF THE STRANGEST THINGS THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ALL FOUR OF US.
CM: LISTEN. I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU DIDN'T ASK THIS QUESTION: WHAT WAS THE ULTIMATE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS HIGH?
JMM: Go for it.
CM: THAT WAS WHEN 'DRAZIW' (Chuck's character) COMPLETELY ALTERED AND CHANGED HIS WHOLE BEING FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER.
JMM: I don't remember that.
CM: AT THE LAST PART OF THE GAME, I BATTLED IT OUT WITH SARCAZ (George's character)...WELL, WITH EVERYBODY I GUESS. WE WERE THE ONLY ONES THAT WERE LEFT. I REACHED MY HAND OUT TO SARCAZ. I THOUGHT HE WAS A GREAT WARRIOR AND I WANTED TO SHAKE HANDS WITH HIM. BUT HE WAS LEARY BECAUSE I WAS SO CONNIVING AND FULL OF DECEPTION.
HE TOOK MY CHANCE AND OUTSTRETCHED HIS HAND IN FRIENDSHIP. WHEN HE DID THAT, THE TOTAL LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP OF THAT HANDSHAKE CONVERTED ME FROM 'DRAZIW' TO A FREE FALCON AND THEN I FLEW OFF.
JMM: Oh, sure, I remember that. What does that say to you?
CM: IT SAYS WE'RE MENTALLY CAPABLE OF DEALING WITH ANY SITUATION. JUST REMEMBER NOT TO BE AFRAID TO TRY NEW SITUATIONS. THIS IS THE TRANSFORMATION, THE COMPLETE SWITCH-AROUND I WAS TALKING ABOUT WITH DRAZIW. IF THE PERSON IS NOT CAPABLE OR WILLING TO ALLOW SUCH CONCESSIONS THEN THAT PERSON HAS DONE THE VERY CONCEPT OF THE EARLIER DISCUSSION. THAT IS THE TUNNEL THE OLD THINK. VERY NARROW-MINDED, LITTLE VIEWED, A FEELING OF OTHER PEOPLES FEELINGS.
JMM: I'll buy that. Did I leave anything out?
CM: DOES THE PLANET EARTH HAVE A CHANCE?
JMM: I've brought that up. the apocalypse stuff...
CM: THE ENDING WILL BE VERY BRIEF AND VERY GREAT. BY FIRE.
JMM: Can you still do one-handed push-ups?
JMM: I don't believe it. You've stayed in shape?
CM: EVERY TIME I DRINK A BEER I DO ONE LEFT AND RIGHT HANDED PUSH-UP. IT WOULD TAKE ME THREE MONTHS TO GET IN SHAPE TO DO 50 NORMAL PUSH-UPS.
JMM: If you would, Chuck, please give us your last words.
CM: I JUST WANT TO SAY TO ALL WHO READ MY IDEAS, THAT TRY TO SEE MY THOUGHTS AS I PORTRAY THEM TO THEM: ALWAYS BE CLEAR-MINDED. ALWAYS LOOK AHEAD, NEVER BEHIND. NEVER SLOW DOWN AND COMPLETELY STOP, ALWAYS BE ON THE MOVE FOR THE TRUTH.
SEARCH FOR THE LOVE AND THE LIGHT WHEREVER IT MAY BE, FOR THERE IS NO MAN, NO ANIMAL, NO BEAST THAT CAN KEEP THE TRUE MAN'S NATURE FROM BEING THE HIGHEST THAT HE CAN BE.
JMM: Well thank you, Chuck.
CM: YOU'RE WELCOME!
This interview was conducted over several months in 1988 for print in a small (12 copy) print run fanzine POCORN.
copyright 2012 by Mike McCarthy
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