Tim Madison aka Vadge Moore has seen a lot in his life – born in America during the tail end of the 60s; he discovered punk rock and the occult in his teens. Becoming deeply involved in the nascent Californian punk scene, eventually joining debauched punk n rollers The Dwarves as drummer.
With Vadge noting:
“I first became interested in Punk when I saw a story on the Sex Pistols American tour in Creem Magazine around 1978-79. Before that I’d been a huge fan of Kiss, Cheap Trick, The Who, Rolling Stones…
Once I saw the Sex Pistols in Creem, Kiss’ makeup and fake blood looked pretty ridiculous. I wanted real blood and The Pistols clearly provided that. After that I got a hold of Black Flag’s Jealous Again EP.
That record changed my whole life…
At this age (15 or so) I was seriously into the Hardcore scene in California: Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys; went to all the shows, began drinking a lot and doing drugs; mostly acid and crystal meth; ran away from home, lived on the streets, under over-passes, in squats, in a van.
I discovered Aleister Crowley at this time and read everything I could by him…
I then met some fine fellows who had just relocated from Chicago, called The Dwarves. That’s when my life went into over-drive.“
Aside from his many years spent playing with The Dwarves, Vadge has also formed his own band – ‘Chthonic Force’, played in ‘Neither / Neither World’ as well as ‘Phoenix Thunderstone’; and used what spare time he could find to immerse himself in the occult and write.
With Vadge having recently released two books through esoteric publisher ‘Aeon Sophia Press’ and currently working on a book of his memories of touring the world with ‘The Dwarves’; we thought now was the perfect time to ask him some questions about his illustrious life and career.
You can read our interview with Vadge below…
Name + D.O.B?
Tim Madison, aka Vadge Moore.
February 26, 1967.
City, State and Country you currently call home?
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
City, State and Country you’re from?
San Francisco, California, USA.
When and why did you first become interested in everything punk, outre, occult and underground?
… and what impact has such a brew of influences had on your life and art?
I first became interested in Punk when I saw a story on the Sex Pistols American tour in Creem Magazine around 1978-79. Before that I’d been a huge fan of Kiss, Cheap Trick, The Who, Rolling Stones. My sister had gone to College and left vinyl of The Stones Beggars Banquet LP and an Eight Track of The Who, Who’s Next behind.
Once I saw the Sex Pistols in Creem, Kiss’ makeup and fake blood looked pretty ridiculous. I wanted real blood and The Pistols clearly provided that. After that I got a hold of Black Flag’s Jealous Again EP. That record changed my whole life.
I also discovered Aleister Crowley and began reading everything by him that I could get my hands on.
(Photos of Vadge’s book Malevolence – released in 2015 by ‘Aeon Sophia Press’)
Please describe some memories (such as concerts, art, toys, romance, comic books, hunting, sport, school, politics, crime, religion… anything really) from the stages of your life noted below:
* Age 5 – beginnings:
Can’t remember much from this age.
Loved to suck my thumb and not poop my pants, I’d imagine.
* Age 10 – continuations:
Loved Evel Knievel and had that great hand crank Knievel doll on a motorcycle. Used to jump him down the stairs, into furniture, a pile of rocks. Loved that doll.
Around this time I began experimenting with being a daredevil myself; building ramps to jump over friends, pets, etc but on my bicycle. Tried jumping over my mothers’ Four Door Buick, trunk to hood. I almost made it!
Fell in love with Kiss at this time and actually saw them with Cheap Trick at the Cow Palace in San Francisco; August 16th, 1977; the day Elvis died. I’ll never forget the feeling of those flames shooting out of the stage.
Became seriously obsessed with comic books at this time; Spiderman and Howard the Duck were my favourites. I actually got in a lot of trouble for stealing money from my Mother’s purse in order to buy some rare comic books.
* Age 15 – getting serious:
At this age I was seriously into the Hardcore scene in California: Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys; went to all the shows, began drinking a lot and doing drugs; mostly acid and crystal meth; ran away from home, lived on the streets, under over-passes, in squats, in a van.
I discovered Aleister Crowley at this time and read everything I could by him.
Played in my first band called The Rat Boys, later named Crypt.
At eighteen I began living in that aforementioned van and playing in a band called the Test Subjects; aptly so named because the founders of the band got the money to buy the van by being test subjects for drug experiments at the UCSF Medical Center.
* Age 20 – young adult:
I left the Test Subjects and was pretty much floating rudderless for a while. I then joined a band called Sonic Brain Jam and began rehearsing and playing shows with them…
I then met some fine fellows who had just relocated from Chicago, called The Dwarves. That’s when my life went into over-drive.
My first full-length release with them was the, now legendary album Blood, Guts & Pussy.
* Age 25 – adult mode:
In full-blown Dwarves mode at this point; recording, touring the world and having the time of my life. I had finally reached that place that I had dreamed of. The Dwarves felt to me like a perfect combination of Kiss and Black Flag and all my dreams were coming true.
It was a hell of a ride and I’m currently working on a book that is detailing every sick, fun, nasty and dirty element of my life with The Dwarves. Satan willing, the book should be out sometime in 2021.
* Age 30 – fully formed:
Around this time The Dwarves had just released what I consider to be our best album; Young & Good Looking. This really felt like the peak of success for me; the album was excellent, we were a better live unit then we had ever been; but the alcohol and drugs were starting to wear me down. I knew I had to either leave the band or die; I chose to live.
I left The Dwarves in 2000, after completing the album Come Clean. I don’t regret it in the least; my time with them was amazing, but I felt a pull in other directions. Having been interested in experimental noise music for a long time (Throbbing Gristle, NoN/Boyd Rice, Psychic TV, Whitehouse) I decided to form my own band in that genre; hence, Chthonic Force with my old friend Wendy Van Dusen.
Chthonic Force put out two LP’s a couple of singles, played shows in Oakland, S.F. and London.
Recently Discriminate Audio has re-released the 2007 Best of Chthonic Force CD. Don’t know if I’ll ever do any more Chthonic Force, but if the right situation presents itself, why not?
* Age 35 – meanderings:
Started doing a lot of writing; articles for web zines and various compilation books, mostly on the occult and Aleister Crowley.
* Age 40 – adult meanderings:
Got married, moved to Atlanta, Georgia; began work on my first book, to be called Chthonic Prose & Theory.
It’s a study on what chthonic means, what it represents; the prose part is an actual example of how chthonic effects the mind through poetry and prose. This book was severely inspired by the Marquis DeSade and Georges Bataille.
* Age 45 – middle age approaches:
Struggling with my alcohol addiction, a few trips to rehab; pancreas almost exploded on me; but I kept writing.
Doing a lot of ritual experiments with Crowley’s Magickal system; my living room in Atlanta became a ritual chamber. I was obsessed with Thelemic Ritual work and later realized why; I was literally calling the love of my life to me.
I left my wife and ran off with my soul mate; she and I have had some pretty phenomenal Magickal experiences together; things that I will explain completely in another book I’ve been working on called Communications From Aiwass.
No release date for that yet.
* Age 50 – middle age:
At 53 I’ve never been so happy and content; I’ve been studying deeply the works of Tibetan Tantric Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa and finding incredible parallels between Trungpa’s system and Crowley’s; my life consists of meditation, writing and jogging; not too bad for a guy that should have been dead years ago.
One motto that I have always followed comes from the late, great Hunter S Thompson: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.“
Whatever you involve yourself with, go all the way; no half-measures and no fucking around. All the way in; I’ve done this since I was a kid and I continue to do this today.
This has made for a very interesting life; a life that people would want to make a movie about.
Music and Writing Questions
When and why did you first start to create art of any type?
… and any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?
I started writing in my journals at a early age; at 16 me and some friends put out a literary magazine, and I actually Xeroxed my own book of poetry, heavily inspired by Black Flag lead singer Henry Rollins.
A pivotal artistic moment was when I lived in a squat in SF and realized I could never lead a regular life; I knew I would always be writing, exploring and making music in some fashion.
Please describe the usual process involved with creating your music and writings – from initial idea, to creation and finish?
* your music?
With both genres I usually would utilize alcohol to get to an extreme atavistic, animalistic mind set; I was exploring my subconscious and allowing that state of mind to dictate my art.
It was a great method, although it almost killed me.
* your writing?
Especially with writing, alcohol and the delirious states of consciousness I would experience helped get me to that chthonic state of mind that I think was best exemplified by the perverted works of DeSade.
You have played in a few bands over the years – And we would like you to share a memory, tour tale or some stories about your experience with each of them for our readers:
* The Dwarves?
So many memories, although fuzzy, with The Dwarves that will be detailed in my upcoming book on my time with them; but one memory that really stands out was my last show with them at The Fillmore in San Francisco:
I had seen so many incredible shows at that club, shows that changed my life, from the Dead Kennedys to the Bad Brains and Fear; here I was playing my final show with The Dwarves and at the end of it I reflected back on how my life had come full-circle. Now I was in that band, at this club and was probably inspiring an audience member to do what I did; follow my dreams, desires and inclinations.
Doing this has served me well.
* Neither / Neither World?
Living in West Oakland in a large warehouse with Wendy Van Dusen and making the first Neither/Neither World recordings on a little four track machine.
The neighbourhood was pretty dangerous and I remember on New Years night having to crawl around on the floor to get food, go to the bathroom, because our huge bay windows were a perfect target for any stray bullets that might head our way; our neighbours were firing their guns in anticipation of the new year; scary and exhilarating at the same time.
Playing with this band in Japan was a wonderful experience. I remember us visiting a Zen Buddhist Monastery in Kyoto. It was like paradise; would love to go back there some time.
Never played with the Idiots, but I seem to recall giving my consent to have me listed as a member on one of their records; just for shits and giggles.
* Phoenix Thunderstone?
Loved playing in Phoenix Thunderstone. Sean Heskett, the lead singer was a mad man; incredibly intelligent and completely insane.
* Chthonic Force?
Having some of my heroes, like Monte Cazazza, Boyd Rice and author Peter Sotos contribute to the first record and single gave me quite a rush.
Favorite other writers and musicians?
… and please also note some of your favourite works of theirs.
Greg Ginn from Black Flag; his guitar sound completely changed my life.
Everything that Genesis P Orridge did, from Throbbing Gristle to Psychic TV.
Boyd Rice; his music and books.
Aleister Crowley; everything he wrote has inspired me and recently Chogyam Trungpa; I’ve always been attracted to Buddhism but every time I would explore it I’d have to stop, because it seemed too restricting; Trungpa was a different animal altogether; very much a Buddhist Crowley in my estimation, and everything he had written is of value, but a strongly recommend his book Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, for anybody interested in what he had to teach.
Any projects you want to hype?
I’m currently writing the final chapters to my book on my years in The Dwarves; keep your eyes peeled for that.
Discriminate Audio has just re-released The Best of Chthonic Force; you can go to their various sites to order that and my Dwarves book is just the first in a trilogy of books that will describe my entire life; I’m starting in the middle with The Dwarves, then I describe my life after The Dwarves and the final book in the trilogy will be my childhood, teenage years living on the streets and being involved in the California Hardcore scene.
If people wanted to work with you, have a chat or buy something – how should they get in touch?
I can be reached through Email at Chthonic666@aol.com or on my Vadge Moore Facebook page. The Facebook page will give you details on how to purchase the Chthonic Force CD and upcoming posts will show you how to obtain my Dwarves book.
Odds and Ends
If you could live in any place, during any historical era – when and where would that be?
…and why would you choose that time and place?
I would choose right now; no other time would I want to be alive.
The technology gives me unprecedented access to books, movies, music, you name it; it gives me the ability to express myself in a myriad of ways and get my work to a large amount of people.
The Hindus call this the Kali Age, the Buddhists call it the Dark Age and Thelemites (students of Crowley) call this the Aeon of Horus and I think it’s just fine; the chaos and destruction is simply a natural process that will lead to an eventual re-birth; give me more!
What role did toys play in your childhood(s)?
My Evel Kneivel toy really inspired me to live dangerously, or I should say, Kneivel himself did, but his toy just inspired me more.
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
A wonderful gateway that can lead one to heaven and to hell; that’s ok. A little bit of both is good for the soul.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
Kathleen Mathewson; a sexy little blonde girl who broke my heart; it was she that started me on my obsession with beautiful blondes.
Does sex change everything?
If utilized properly, the sex force can completely alter your body and mind, principally through the primordial current known as Kundalini.
What are the top 3 items you own?
I’d say my fiance, but I don’t think she’d appreciate me calling her a thing, my dog ( a red-nosed Pitbull who is the sweetest boy you’d ever want to meet; unless you met him in a dark alleyway) and my cell phone because it is the gateway to so much information; I download a book a week on that thing and being a voracious reader it is a fantastic little item.
(Two flyers for recent spoken word performances by Vadge)
Please describe your last dream in detail…
Not a lot of dreams lately; I think my meditation practices have quelled a lot of subconscious chatter.
Of everything you have done, what would you most like to be remembered for; and why?
The entirety of my life; seen as a whole, my life is a testament to what kind of life a person cam lead if they just follow their deepest inclinations.
- Vadge Moore – Website
- Vadge Moore – Facebook (personal)
- Vadge Moore – Facebook (public)
- Vadge Moore – Discogs entry
- Chthonic Force – The Aither Review of Delirium Tremens
- Chthonic Force – Facebook Page
- Chthonic Force – Discogs entry
- Neither / Neither World – Discogs entry
- Phoenix Thunderstone – Discogs entry
- Aeon Sophia Press – Website