Yesterday, The New York Post’s Page Six broke the story of Severin Films’ improbable discovery of a young Demi Moore’s early second career – as a rock and roll songwriter. It’s also the story of how Demi got her famous last name…
As we Severins were putting the finishing touches on the unhooking of our historically pristine restoration of Loose Screws, Sev Publicity Maven Christoph Buerger pointed out an unnoticed detail; one of Loose Screws‘ songs, the Nu Kats’ ebullient “Changing,” was co-written by someone named Demi Moore.
Admittedly not entirely up on my Moore lore, I quickly concluded it had to be a coincidence, but just to be sure, I wrote Maurice Smith, legendary producer of Screwballs, Loose Screws, and countless other Canuxsploitation classics. Maurice couldn’t quite remember, but didn’t think it was that Demi Moore.
Case closed. But back at Severin headquarters, perhaps for lack of something better to talk about, the debate raged on.
Finally, in desperation, I turned to the internet and happened upon a little website called www.demophonic.com, which happens to be the website of Freddy Moore, late of the Nu Kats and still an active singer-songwriter. And there, just two inches to the right, lo and behold, was a link to a page on the site that told the story of Freddy’s marriage to one Demi Moore, yes, that Demi Moore, late of Mr. Brooks and St. Elmo’s Fire!
Turns out, Freddy was Demi’s original husband. And even though they split in 1985, she kept the classy sounding surname.
Now our curiosity was piqued.
And when we saw that Freddy was not only in Los Angeles, but was performing that Friday at Genghis Cohen? We immediately deigned to drop in on Freddy post-show to see if we could find out more about the Moore-Moore songwriting team.
So that Friday, after finishing our duck, we went into the back room at Genghis Cohen, and there was the man himself, still performing songs from a copious back catalog of songs that now stands tall at 40 years old.
After the show, Freddy graciously sat down and told our camera his tale.
Turns out that in the 70s and 80s Freddy was a well-respected member of LA’s pop underground. His band, The Kats (later changed to The Nu Kats) was one of the leading lights of the Chinatown-based New Wave explosion. The crowds at Kats shows began to feature a young ingenue named Demi Guynes, whose attachment to Freddy eventually became legal in 1980.
By now a music business veteran, Freddy advised Demi that lasting financial reward in the entertainment industry often revolved around the writing and creation of content. He encouraged her to help write a couple of songs. Soon, one of their compositions, the irrepressibly catchy “It’s Not a Rumor,” ended up being a regional hit. Its video, shot by the Jan De Bont, featured a fresh faced Demi Moore strutting in and around the Nu Kats, occasionally pausing to paw at the ever-80s-omnipresent brick wall.
After “It’s Not a Rumor,” Demi’s other big co-composition, “Changing” (complete with a sophisticated temporary 5/4 beat), soon found its way onto the soundtrack for 80s Teen Sex Comedy Classic Loose Screws. But if Demi’s songwriting was just about to take off, her acting career was about to really, really take off…and one can imagine that priorities were about to shift.
Well, you probably can guess how the story ended; as Demi’s star ascended, she became firmly ensconced in the Hollywood scene and her marriage to Freddy waned. They formally divorced in 1985.
The Moore-Moore partnership is over. But their music lives on. It lives on in hearts, minds, and in a really memorable scene in Loose Screws. We won’t tell you what scene the song is in, but it features a somewhat oversized personal relaxation device…you’ll know it when you see it.