For local author, musician and professional research expert Steve Moore, joining Birchmere founder Gary Oelze in writing a book about the history of the renowned and legendary Alexandria music venue, due out in June, is a true joy beyond compare.
Moore, who joins host Steve Houk on Living On Music this Monday night at 7pm, has also written books about famed DC-born actress Helen Hayes, former WHFS DJ Cerphe Colwell, and bluegrass musician John Duffey of The Seldom Scene. Moore also wrote two books with revered local sportscaster — and a beloved former DJ himself — Johnny Holliday, who makes a very special guest appearance on Monday’s show to talk about his experience working with Moore. But diving head first into a sea of amazing tales and fascinating stories based on the five and a half decades of the storied Birchmere has deeply enriched Moore’s musical soul and more.
“I’m enjoying the real approbation of doing this project, it is all very flattering to me, to be able to write a book about the Birchmere,” said Moore, “and to be able to interview some of the most well-known musicians in the world who’ve played there. And this book with Gary also puts me at a different level as far as how many people might really be interested in this book given the Birchmere’s storied past. So I really have to thank Gary for letting me use his place, even use his office, as I do my research, and for bringing me into his world of the Birchmere.”
Moore, 68, began his writing career with an article in Washingtonian magazine about local DC disc jockey Carroll James, who was the first DJ in America to play The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand”; Moore and James also released the exclusive early 60’s interview James did with The Beatles. Moore also wrote for the Journal newspapers, as well as working as a Senior Research Director at Georgetown University for 44 years.
And for the first time ever, Moore revealed on Living On Music the remarkably unique story of how his research life began, when he was the caretaker of 14 chimpanzees at a secret facility in Kensington, an experience that still moves him deeply to this day.
“Imagine you’re the only person that these chimpanzees love,” Moore says fondly, “because you take care of them and feed them and play games with them. They would be happy when I arrived in the morning, and cry when I left at night. It was incredibly special. I got a surprise call around that time from Jane Goodall, we talked for forty minutes, and I realized she’s the only person who understood what this experience is like when she said, ‘Steve, I also have chimpanzee friends.'”
For more about Steve Moore’s new Birchmere book, Catch the entire interview this Monday at 7pm by clicking the invite below and hitting GOING or INTERESTED to get pinged at showtime.