Shaun Moss is broke, owns a piece-of-shit car, and has no career prospects — hardly anyone's definition of a hero.
Because Shaun Moss loves punk. Because Shaun Moss is punk. He's the guy all the girls in high school said they hated but secretly wanted to hang out with. He's the persona of everything my Catholic upbringing said I shouldn't be. He's the image I saw in movies like Over the Edge and The Outsiders, and he was listening to the Rolling Stones when he was 8 years old. When I was 8 years old, my parents were splitting up, my mom was listening to light rock and crying all the time, and I was mad as hell. I could've used some punk. I could've used some Shaun Moss.
I found him three years ago, just after I moved to Phoenix. He was spinning records at Rogue West (one of the few true rock 'n' roll joints in Phoenix) and the sounds of bands like the Dead Boys, Radio Birdman, and Turbonegro made me want to get to know this soldier of the punk rock scene. Clad in a denim jacket, a Maker's Mark Ambassador pin, and flashing a set of bright blue eyes to rival Matt Dillon's brown ones any day, Shaun Moss plays rock 'n' roll and promotes local shows as if the scene were on life support — and some say it is.
But that's not why he does it. He does it because he loves music. He does it because it's all he knows, more than making tons of money, driving an SUV, or investing in a 401(k). And if you don't like it, he doesn't care — like a punk superhero. — Laura Hahnefeld
New Times contributor Laura Hahnefeld, who writes the paper's Fry Girl column, interviewed Shaun Moss on August 19 at Rogue West, where he DJs every Thursday night.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional skateboarder.
While I'm driving, I'm listening to music or thinking about music.
Phoenix could use more of a solid music scene.
Phoenix could use fewer scenesters and hipsters.
My best musician impression is Mick Jagger. I do a pretty good imitation of him in the "Start Me Up" video.
The first concert I saw was Conway Twitty, Mel Tillis, and T.G. Sheppard at the Phoenix Civic Center. My parents took me. It was cool 'cause Conway Twitty was kind of an outlaw. The one thing I remember to this day was that the guitar player had a silver-faced guitar, and every time he would turn, it would shine in our eyes.
Kids today are listening to punk rock that's out right now and don't know about the stuff that started it all. It's cool to see those kids getting into the people that laid the groundwork.
My hero is my friend Shag. He's like a brother to me. I help him fix tattoo machines on the side. He's helped me out more than anybody and I owe him a lot. He keeps me in line.
Right before I go to bed, I always have a smoke.
The power of flight or invisibility? Flight. If I could fly, I'd be, like, "I'm outta here. Later."