As a child, Vic Moan listened attentively to the radio, asking his parents to explain the lyrics of the songs he heard. "Another song about love?" he asked his mother. She answered "Yes, love is a universal subject". One day, while listening to Eddie Fisher sing "Oh My Papa", he began to cry because the song made him think that his own father will die.. And this song is the same one he tried to sing when he made his first recording at the age of six: while on vacation in Atlantic City with his family, he discovered a booth where, for 25 cents, you could record your voice on a record…
Adolescent, he takes some violin lessons, starts buying 45rpm records (Yakety Yak by the Coasters was the first) and he discovers jazz. The music of Charles Mingus ignites his desire to play the stand up bass, so he steals one from the high school and spends many happy hours playing along with his records. Thanks to his tallness he has no trouble getting into jazz clubs in NY, particularly The Village Vanguard, where he hears artists like Ornette Coleman, The MJQ, and Bill Evans. In 1964, at the folk festival in Newport, he discovers Bob Dylan, Skip james, and Dave Van Ronk. Soon after, he buys a guitar and starts writing songs. He hears a voice which asks: "Are you prepared to write many bad songs before you can write a good one?" And he answers "YES"
At the age of 17, he leaves to study at Goddard College, in Vermont, an "alternative" school (where Archie Shepp had been a student). While there, he begins playing electric bass in a blues band and, after two years, leaves with the band for New York. They move into a loft, and one day return to find all their instruments have been stolen, which forces them to find jobs. The band breaks up, Vic becomes the bassist in a rock band, The Seventh Sons, and makes the acquaintance of musicians like Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and Richard Manuel of The Band. He rehearses at night and sleeps during the day in hotel rooms.
In 1967, in New York, the sound of free jazz is everywhere; in the clubs, in the parks. Vic enrolls in an art school where Phillip Guston, Morton Feldman, and John Cage are his teachers. He stays for two years and then moves, with his new wife, to Woodstock where he finds a job in a local paper factory. One day, while hitchhiking, he is given a ride by Tim Hardin, who offers him the job of bass player in his band. Vic politely declines, and soon after, accompanied by wife and dog, he drives across the US and settles in Berkeley, California, where, for the next twelve years, he works as a bookseller.
It is 1970. Good music fills the air. Vic discovers English bands: The Who, Roxy Music, David Bowie, also Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Dr. John, and Bobby Womack. But there is one disc which touches him more than the others: There's A Riot Goin' On, by Sly Stone. His good friend, Joady Guthrie, (Woody's son) makes him a gift of his father's mandolin. Vic buys a Telecaster bass at don Wehr's Music City, then find out that it belonged to Sly Stone.
A friend who just returned from Jamaica brings him a record: The Mystic Revelations Of Rastafari. This is
the golden age of reggae and Vic begins to absorb the influence of Augustus Pablo, Lee Perry, U Roy. The Mabuhay Gardens is the club in San Francisco where the latest new wave and punk bands play regularly. His new band, X-Ray Ted, plays there often. Threy put out a single, Santa Claustrophobia, for Christmas.
In 1982, Vic decides to move to Belleville, collaborates with Les Rita Mitsouko who take him (and his new band) into the studio to record four of his songs. In the early 1990's, Vic becomes friends with Vincent Segal, who presents Seb Martel, Cyril Atef, Hilaire Penda, Matthieu Chedid, Emily Loizeau, Hervé Salters (General Elektriks) and Fred Pallem. In 1999 Vic records a first cd for the label Tôt Ou Tard. Bumcello records his song Nude For Love. In 2013 a book of his poems, Noir de Monde, is published (Bookmachine Press/Centre Pompidou) containing 49 poems, in English and French.
Skinny Man, the new record by Vic Moan, will appear in October 2016, produced and arranged by Fred Pallem (le Sacre du Tympan), recorded in the US with long time collaborators Herbie Hynde, Manny Balestrero, and Ben Dover, and in Paris with Emiliano Turi (Ornette, Jeanne Added, Rokia Traoré), with the mix by Bertrand Fresel (Katerine, Odezenne). The new record reveals Vic's unique songwriting style, his roots in funk and reggae (you can hear the influence of David Byrne and Lee Perry), topped off by the soul harmonies and the killer riffs which might bring to mind James Chance and the Contortions.
released October 25, 2016
Vic Moan (Lead Vocals, Mandocaster)
Herbie Hynde (Clavinet, Synthesizers)
Fred Pallem (Guitars, Arrangements)
Ben Dover (Bass Guitar)
Emiliano Turi (Drums, Percussions)
Rémi Sciuto (Alto Sax)
Manny Balestrero (Tenor Saxophone)
Barbecue Bob (Barytone saxophone)
Joss Mienniel (tenor sax on Who's Laughing)
Lisa Spada (1-2-3-4-5-8-10)
Sandra Nkaké (3-9)
Nathalie Reaux (3-6)
Lucrece Sassela (3-6)
Words & Music by VIC MOAN
Produced & Arranged by Fred Pallem
Additional arrangements by Vic Moan & Emiliano Turi
Recorded at Midnight Snack Studios, Newark, New Jersey USA by Emiliano Turi & Bertrand Fresel
Girls choir recorded at Taitbout Studios Paris by Emiliano Turi, Bertrand Fresel
Mixed By Bertrand Fresel at Studio Juno, Yerres - France
Mastered by Alexis Bardinet @ Globe Audio
Vic Moan & Fred Pallem would like to thank Emiliano Turi, Bertrand Fresel, Vincent Segal, Seb Martel, Marie le Moigne, Hervé Salters, Louis Morel L'Horset, Anais Prosaic, Magalie Libong, Claudia Phillips, Blaise Parmentier, Emilie Honnart, Nicholas Petibon (DNG Guitares), Céline Bary, Reza Ackbarally
From New York to Belleville, the singular destiny of a 70 year old Skinny Man (truly!). Vic Moan, has crossed paths with
Vincent Segal, Seb Martel, Emily Loizeau, Les Rita Mitsouko (and refused to be the bassist for Tim Hardin), returns now, in 2016 with a new album produced by Fred Pallem (Le Sacre du Tympan)....more