Aerosmith for children
Slick the snake doesn’t have any hands, so he hits the bass with his face.
So sings Jim Moore, the impetus behind the Animal Band. He performs at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek Monday at 6 p.m. Tickets are still available.
“It’s not just for kids, it’s a family show,” said Moore. “Adults like it. The lyrics are more pop-rock and blues, but it’s geared toward a family audience.”
So there are songs like “Going to School Blues,” with messy hair and untied shoes. “Are We There Yet?” is another title, a familiar refrain to any family who travels more than 30 seconds together. Moore’s received kudos nationwide when a little boy, age 4, saved his father’s life by calling 911.
“His father had a serious heart problem, and actually clinically died,” said Moore. “Nobody else was home. The little boy remembered what to do with 911. The cool thing was, they had him on national news, and he said he knew what number to call from his Animal Rock tape.”
Moore teaches dance steps with it when he’s on stage. His signature song is “The All Animal Band,” which started it all. In it he introduces Willy the squirrel, Ollie the owl and Slick the snake.
“That one minute and 48 second song really changed my life,” he said. “It’s taken me all over the world.”
Thirteen years ago, Moore had no idea a life in performance awaited him. He designed eyewear frames, which were distributed in eight states. His daughter, Amber, was a third-grader with a reputation for volunteering her father for things. One day, Amber’s teacher called Moore to see what time he’d be performing for the class the next day. It was the first he’d heard of it, and he didn’t feel he could squirm out. He’d been in a band during high school, but that was the extent of his experience. He hadn’t touched the guitar in years.
“I panicked,” he said. “I started rehearsing The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and my wife yelled from the kitchen, “I don’t think that’s going to work.'”
So he gave “The Hokey Pokey” a whirl, but it didn’t seem to last 30 minutes. That’s when he decided to sit down and write something specific for the kids.
“Well, kids like animals,” he said. “It needed to be something different. A band, an animal band, a band of animals. They get together and they want to be musicians more than anything, and they pursue their dream.”
And that was it. He’s been on the road ever since, from libraries to 1,000-seat theaters. It’s a big year for him, as he’s recorded his first one-hour special which is now out on DVD. In September, Animal Band figures come out. Think action figures.
He’s coming solo, but will be performing many of the same tracks that are on the Animal Band albums.
“There will be backdrops,” said Moore, “all very colorful, like the two-and-a-half feet lady bugs crawling on the floor.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Vilar Center Box Office at 845-TIXS or visit http://www.vilarcenter.org.
Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.