‘The Viking of 6th Avenue’ Is A Crowfunded Documentary On The Life And Times Of Moondog

June 2, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Even if you lived in New York while Louis Hardin aka Moondog was stationed on the corner of 6th Avenue and 54th Street, you might pass off the story as a typical eccentric tale of the city. But Moondog who busked and sold poetry dressed in Viking garb for 30 years, was much more than that.

A classically trained modern composer, blind since the age of 16, he wrote his music in Braille and went on to become an internationally renowned musical and counterculture figure. He lived and played with Phillip Glass and had his music covered by Janis Joplin, among others. He was an icon of the times, admired by Allen Ginsberg, Benny Goodman and others. A current Kickstarter campaign is raising funds to complete a documentary on the fascinating life and times of Moondog, interweaving original recordings of his music, archival footage and previously unheard interviews with commentary by Jarvis Cocker, John Zorn, Debbie Harry and more.

The Kickstarter’s argument is pretty compelling:

Moondog, the original crowd-funded artist, relied on the generosity of strangers, people who saw him on the street and recognized that he was something special.Now we hope to do the same – we’re asking you to help make this film happen.

Plus, the rewards are pretty rad. The lower levels include a Moondog shirt or bag and a vinyl album featuring performances of his music.