Down and In: Life in the Underground, New York 1987, p. 30-31
After a while, I also became familiar with the strange figure of Moondog in medieval-looking leather, blanket, and Viking horns, usually stationed in the middle of the sidewalk on Broadway or Sixth Avenue, selling sheet music. Moondog, crackpot composer and inventor of bizarre instruments such as the "oo" and the "trimbas," like the clownish Puerto Rican street poet Jorge Brandon, whom I later encounter with his talking coconut in the East Village, turns out to be a fairly interesting artist, or so say those who attend his occasional rooftop concerts. Philip Glass once let Moondog live at his place when he had nowhere to go. It's not the oddball quality of these figures that attracts me, but rather the way they throw themselves on the mercy of others, their willed destruction of pride, self-respect, and even ego itself. If you are seeking distinctions from the aggressive egoism of the fifties success cult, Gould and Bodenheim are especially instructive examples.