Filmed by Imogen Putler and Monika Baran, with additional footage from Alex Parkyn-Smith, Jon DeMiglio, Nuno Monteiro, Al DiGiacomo and R. Stevie Moore.
Edited by Imogen Putler
Images by R. Stevie Moore, Bob Moore and Steve Keros
Colour grading by Nathaniel J. Cooke
With thanks to James Richardson, Mac DeMarco, Irwin Chusid, JR Thomason, Nick Noto, Matt Ingram, Bob Moore, Freddie Cowan, Árni Arnason, David Shrigley, Mari Morton, Mikey Please, Jim Price, Al DiGiacomo and David Garland.
“Phonography is one of the fifty most significant indie records ever made” - Rolling Stone
“R. Stevie Moore is one of America’s truly iconoclastic modern musicians” - Wire Magazine
“…a true original…he has remained true to his fiercely independent vision” - All Music Guide
‘COOL DADDIO - The Second Youth of R. Stevie Moore’ is a documentary film exploring the life of struggling cult musician, unconventional entertainer and genuine eccentric: R. Stevie Moore. Cool Daddio is a project developed, directed and produced by Imogen Putler and Monika Baran.
Help us spread the story of R. Stevie Moore, 'one of the most neglected composers of the 20th century'!
“What do you mean you've not heard of R. Stevie Moore? You're not alone, nobody has heard of him” (R. Stevie Moore.)
Genius, seminal, lo-fi legend, grandfather of DIY music, cult icon: all are words frequently used to describe American musician R. Stevie Moore. And yet after 40 years of making music and 400 albums (mostly recorded in his bedroom), only a devoted circle of fans and "rock snobs" remain aware of him. RSM's body of work epitomises diversity - a concept he vigorously preaches - so that his music spans across multiples genres: pure power-pop, post-punk, indie rock, electronic avant-garde, even hip-hop. Stevie has self-released thousands of songs, which until early 90s were almost exclusively available on tapes via mail order through his home-based label, the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club.
He’s enjoyed critical acclaim from sources such as Rolling Stone magazine, Trouser Press and Wire Magazine and has gained a cult following amongst alternative music fans and fellow musicians, collaborating with Ariel Pink, Tim Burgess, The Vaccines, members of MGMT, XTC and others. Despite his prolific musical output and influence on others, commercial success has eluded R. Stevie, making him one of the most overlooked composers, songwriters and performers of the past decades..
AND here's R. Stevie telling us all what it is "NOT ABOUT". He too appreciates your patronage.
We met Stevie after his gig at Café Oto in Hackney, London in May 2014. Amazed by his eccentric performance and desperate to know more about this bizarre yet fascinating character, we introduced ourselves and immediately proposed to make a documentary about him. Although initially reluctant, Stevie eventually agreed to let us into his life and tell his story. And the more research we did, the more determined we became to make this film. By November, we’d flown out to New York and Nashville to start shooting. We followed RSM around, filming his gigs in NYC, checking out his home and hometown of Madison, going through his never-ending record collection, conducting countless interviews as well as meeting his partner, peers, even his estranged father.
And boy wasn't it a blast…
Although initially RSM’s work and innovative sound was met with praise from the industry, he always remained an underground figure, never reaching out to wider audiences.... until recently. In the past few years, Stevie's name has become a reference point for young alternative music fans. And at the age of 60, RSM landed two coups: he went on his first international tour and appeared on his first magazine cover.
Around the same time, R. Stevie began to garner more media attention, with articles in Vice, WIRE and Pitchfork. In spring 2014 he went on another US and Europe wide tour, enjoying access to whole new audiences. Despite the fact that this recent spotlight has breathed a new life into RSM’s career, it may be short-lived. Age and various health problems have meant that he may not be able to play live much longer and he has slowed down from making music. Recently Stevie has announced he is no longer sure of ever touring again.
This recent flurry of attention has come at an all too critical time in his career: ageing, broke and in ill-health, there is a growing sense that this might be a final opportunity to recognise the influence of a man within his own lifetime.
“In talking with him, the sense that the right kind of documentarian – an indie filmmaker with a flair for the tragicomic – would have a field day with him is inescapable.” - Tammy La Gorce (New York Times)
R. Stevie is an incredible character whose compelling story begs to be told to many, many more people. There have been other attempts at capturing Stevie’s story on camera, but they revealed snippets of his life rather than the full account, and served only to make us more determined to find out more about him. Why with such monumental creative output is he only now enjoying a certain amount of recognition?
With 'Cool Daddio', we want to contextualise the importance of RSM and showcase his music to audiences that are unfamiliar with him. We will provide a full biography of the artist, using interviews and archival footage to present a comprehensive and chronological overview of his life, creativity and career, as well as first-hand footage of RSM today.
During our weeks with Stevie in NYC in Nashville, we tried to explore some recurring themes in his life and career, in particular the lack of commercial recognition he's had and his inability to compromise. RSM admits he has been an obstacle to his own success, but despite this he remains desperate for fame and recognition. Although his recent rise in popularity has changed Stevie's career in an unexpected way, it has also never brought a real revolution to his day-to-day. RSM may have toured all over the world yet he still resides in the same suburban house in Madison, TN.
We were also the first film crew who managed to talk to Stevie's dad about his son on camera. A complicated relationship with Bob has been an important element to Stevie’s life and career. Bob Moore was a long-time sideman for Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison and highly successful Nashville A Team bassist, producer, and orchestra leader. A difficult childhood meant that Stevie distanced himself from his family, Nashville and – one could make the leap - maybe even notions of similar mainstream success. Interviewing Bob made an invaluable contribution to our film, and was an incredible privilege.
Despite our limited resources, we have been self-funding this project and fearlessly dedicating ourselves to working on this film. So far we've accumulated over hundred of hours of footage with Stevie as well as rare interviews with musicians, friends, his father, and tons of archival clips and home videos. And if you are even remotely familiar with RSM, you'd know that that's a lot.
Unfortunately, at this point we need some very necessary financial backing in order to finish the film and provide a full, comprehensive story of R. Stevie Moore. We will not be able to do it without your help!
We have calculated that we need at least £9,000 to complete the project. Firstly, we need to return to the US to capture some key footage and interviews in both LA and NYC.
The rest of the money will be spent on:
- music and video licences
- full post-production process including: additional editing, sound mixing, colour correction
- artwork and graphics
- renting additional equipment
We have carefully set out a goal with the bare minimum needed to finish the film. Providing we reach the goal, all the money pledged over £9000 will be spent towards promoting our documentary and applying for film festivals.
How proud will you be to know you helped make it happen?
PLEASE consider how much you can contribute, look over our fantastic rewards, and become part of helping RSM's story and music reach a wider audience.
We tried to be very careful with the rewards we offer and to not make any promises that we can't fulfil. We plan to deliver all rewards by Autumn 2016 but will do our best to get them all to you sooner if possible.
Detailed list on your right ---->
For those of you who are particularly generous with the pledges - R. Stevie has agreed to virtually meet, perform, give a tour of his house and WRITE A SONG - now that's what we call a treat!
Apart from the limited "Cool Daddio" merchandise - posters and tote bags, we also have some very special rewards including RSM signed vinyls and exclusive re-prints of past RSM concert posters designed by David Shrigley signed by both the artist himself and R. Stevie Moore.
Risks and challenges
Providing we manage to reach our Kickstarter goal we are aiming to finish the film by Spring 2016. Although film production is certainly a lot of fun, it is also a lengthy, arduous process and unexpected obstacles aren't unheard of. We keep in mind that our interviewees keep very busy schedules and timing might prove difficult. Fortunately, a big part of the film has already been shot and we've also gathered most of the archival material. This leads us to believe we are definitely capable of finishing the film on time.
We will keep all of our backers updated about our progress. We have set out a 'safe' rewards delivery deadline for September 2016 so even in case our final deadline is postponed by a couple of months, we will be able to deliver rewards on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)