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    Klingman, Mark “Moogy” (7 September 1950 – 15th November 2011)

    Keyboardist and singer-songwriter from New York, New York, who was kicked out of school for his part in a concert espousing civil rights with his childhood friend, Andy Kaufman.  He was in a band called The Living Few and they recorded a demonstration reel, but nothing much came of it.  Then he joined Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which was Jimi Hendrix’s first band. 

     

    In 1967, he joined The Glitterhouse (nee-Justice League) just in time for the group to change its name to The Dave Heenan Set.  They released “Alice in Wonderland” backed with “So Many Roads”.  Dave and Mark did not get along, however, and soon the band was reformed with its original lead singer, Mike Gayle. 

     

    They went back to their old name, The Glitterhouse, and attracted the attention of producer Bob Crewe, who heard them play at a book-release party hosted by Mark’s father, who had just had his photography book, The Birds of Britain, published.  Bob seemed eager to ensure that Mark and his band have similar success, and invited them to the recording studio to lay down some tracks for a demonstration reel.  They inked a deal that paid them about one hundred dollars a week. 

     

    Bob kept the band on a short leash and would not allow them to perform in public until their first album Color Blind was recorded and released.  His idea, apparently, was to surprise the music world with this incredible band he had discovered.  He was a very hands-on producer who liked to write and arrange songs and even sing backing vocals. 

     

    So impressed was Bob with his new band that he arranged to have them record some songs for the Jane Fonda science fiction film, Barbarella.  Bob’s idea was to release the soundtrack of Barbarella first, then follow it up with Color Blind.  However, when Color Blind was finally released, it was with little fanfare. 

     

    One of the tracks, “Tinkerbell’s Mind” cracked the top fifty in The Big Apple, but that was it.  Their gigs included lip-synching their songs on local television stations and performing live in the book section of a department store as the follow-up “act” to Joan Crawford, who was unveiling her biography.  Bob relieved them of their recording obligations, and The Glitterhouse was no more. 

     

    In 1969, Mark met Todd Rundgren and the two of them set up shop in their own recording studio, Secret Sound.  This led to Mark becoming the associate producer and musical director of the album, Music from Free Creek, an all-star extravaganza featuring Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Dr. John and Linda Ronstadt, which was released on vinyl in 1976 and CD in 2003. 

     

    In 1970, Mark appeared on several albums, including Great Speckled Bird, Taking Care of Business by the James Cotton Blues Band, Kooper Session – Al Kooper Introduces Shuggie Otis, a pair of singles by Allan Nicholls, and Runt by Todd.  He collaborated with Buzzy Linhart on Buzzy Linhart is Music and Music, Oliver on Prisms, Carly Simon on her self-titled effort, and Johnny Winter on Johnny Winter And in 1971. 

     

    In 1972, he was approached by Lou Reed to contract some musicians for a tour in support of his new album, Transformer.  It was a busy year for Mark, who released his own debut, simply titled Mark “MoogyKlingman, which spawned the single, “Making the Rounds at Midnight”.  He also squeezed in time to work with Buzzy on Buzzy (The Black Album) and The Time to Live is Now, Bette Midler on The Divine Miss M, and Todd on Something/Anything?, all the while fronting Moogy & The Rhythm Kings.  The Kings would merge with Todd Rundgren and morph into Utopia. 

     

    In 1973, he appeared on Johnny’s Still Alive and Well  and Todd’s A Wizard, A True Star.  These were followed by The Handsome Devils by Hello People and self-titled albums by Todd and Utopia in 1974.  In 1975, he played on Initiation by Todd and Another Live by Utopia.  Then he produced Bette Midler’s 1976 album, Songs for the New Depression, and had a hand in her 1977 LP, Live at Last.  In 1978, he released his second solo album, Moogy II, and appeared on Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell and Todd’s Back to the Bars, which was recorded at The Bottom Line in New York City. 

     

    He reunited with Carly Simon on 1981’s You’re So Vain and wrote the soundtrack of the film, Fear, Anxiety & Depression, which hit the screens in 1989.  In between, he occupied himself by writing a play doing a cable television and radio program, and fronting Moogy & the Mojo’s. 

     

    Recordings on which he participated in the 1990s include Bette of Roses and Experience the Divine by Bette, the soundtrack of Hail Caesar by Anthony Michael Hall, Free Soul by Todd, City in My Head by Utopia, and White Hot Blues by Johnny Winter.  In 1999, he released Old Times, Good Times:  A Musical History Part I, a real mixed bag that includes guest artists such as Randy Brecker, Rick Derringer, Fanny, Todd, and Luther Vandross.  He followed this up with The First Recordings in 2000, and reunited with Bette on 3 for One and Todd on Reconstructed. 

     

    Around this time, Kevin Ellman approached him about co-founding a new band—Mark was still busy with the Mojo’s but most of them followed suit—and Freak Parade was formed.  In 2001, they issued Take Your Place in the Freak Parade and Mark pitched in No Time to Live by Johnny and Another Side of Roxy by Todd. 

     

    On 1st February 2002, The Moogy Klingman Band played Live at the Triad in New York and the concert has been captured on CD.  He also spearheaded a benefit concert for Buzzy which included the talents of David Amram Eric Andersen, John Sebastian, and Phoebe Snow.  On 2nd October, he returned to the Triad in concert with Freak Parade and Todd Rundgren. 

     

    In 2003, he collaborated with Todd on Can’t Stop Running.  It was an appropriate title for an artist who has gone on to start yet another band, The Peaceniks, who are mainstays at the P & G Bar in Manhattan, New York, and have recorded a pair of albums, Here Come the Peaceniks and New World Coming. 

     

    Around 2010 he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and a series of benefit concerts starting in January 2011 was given by the original members of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, which was the first time they had all played together for more than 30 years.   He passed away eleven months later in November 2011 when he was 61 years old. 

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moogy_Klingman
    2. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/arts/music/moogy-klingman-songwriter-and-original-member-of-utopia-dies-at-61.html?_r=0
    3. http://www.moogymusic.com/CDs/glitterhouse.html
    4. http://www.moogymusic.com/Reviews/allmusicguide.html
    5. http://www.moogymusic.com/main.html
    6. http://www.moogymusic.com/History/mojochronic.htm
    7. http://www.moogymusic.com/CDs/oldt.htm
    8. http://www.moogymusic.com/CDs/cds.html
    9. http://www.answers.com/topic/moogy-klingman

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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