Ann Moses: On The Beat
by Daniel Coston
Big Takeover Magazine, Winter 2017 edition
“I knew all about writing a three page article,” says Ann Moses when asked about what took so long to write a book on her life, “but a book seemed a much bigger deal.” For the longtime editor of Tiger Beat Magazine, and contributor to the New Music Express during the 1960s and early ‘70s, it wasn’t until her then co-workers searched her on Google. “They said, ‘You’ve got over 60 pages on Google,” she says. “I started reading them, and found all of these people who said that I was very influential in becoming a writer. That floored me.” One of those people was Ann Wicker, who helped to bring Moses’ new book, “Meow! My Groovy Life With Tiger Beat’s Teen Idols” to fruition.
The book is full of stories that would make even the most casual rock & roll fan envious. Sitting in the audience for Elvis Presley’s 1968 Comeback Special, and his triumphant Las Vegas shows. Watching and photographing every show at the Monterey Pop Festival. Meeting and befriending the likes of Harry Nilsson, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their way to stardom. Stories of bringing the likes of then-Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page to the set of The Monkees TV show to meet the band. Exciting times with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Paul Revere & The Raiders, the Monkees (Moses edited the monthly Monkees Spectacular, as well), the Beatles (Ann’s brother was also a guard at their 1966 Dodger Stadium show, and it is his badge with John asked to have, and can be seen wearing in Jim Marshall’s backstage photos of their Candlestick Park show), and much, much more. Along the way, there are stories of a relationship with Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees (“He picked me up in London in John Lennon’s Rolls Royce,” recalls Moses), star musicians that could be difficult to deal with, and interacting with some of the greatest musicians during what Moses describes as “a very groovy time.”
“Somebody asked me recently, ‘Did I realize at the time how what a big deal that you were experiencing?’” says Moses. “I did. I recount the story of ending up being backstage with the Rolling Stones at the Cow Palace, in San Francisco. I had flown up there with Jefferson Airplane, who were opening, but I knew none of this when I got on the plane. And here I am standing two feet below Mick Jagger, and I’m getting these amazing photographs.
“I look back now, and I’m amazed by how tenacious I was. I was twenty years old when I started writing for Tiger Beat, around the same age as the musicians I was interviewing. And I would find a way to get an interview, or get a story written. I didn’t see it at the time as being that driven, I was just trying to make it happen. But now I look back, and I realize how much determination that I had. As much as I was in awe of everything that was happening, I was able to maintain composure, and do my job. It was seriously cool stuff.”