The Genius of Moondog, New York’s Homeless Composer: On September 8, 1999, at the age of 83, Louis ‘Moondog’ Hardin passed away in Munster, Germany, presumably from heart failure.
In his time, Moondog had influenced hundreds of artists, including some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century -- Philip Glass, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Janis Joplin among them. Today everyone from rock band Mars Volta to trip-hop group Portishead cites him as a source of inspiration.
He’d willed himself through the harsh streets of New York, found ways to dazzle onlookers, and signed record deals as a homeless man -- all the while pridefully defending his eccentricities. And after all of this, he’d redefined himself abroad -- had come to life more brilliantly than ever before, in unfamiliar territory.