October 6, 1958 - June 13, 2012
Tim’s contributions to the Midgets were great and many, as a musician, as a graphic artist, and at times, as a friend, but in all the stuff written about Tim after his passing I didn’t see a Tim I knew.
When we met we were 19, we met because we were in bands. We met because we were at a certain place at a special time. And we met because we saw similarities in each other then.
I'd never seen anyone play like him, utterly original and instantly familiar. A look of boredom , a dangling cigarette, effortless, boneless playing. I’ve never played with anyone like him, intuitive and instinctual, it was unique.
He played and recorded a song I'd co-written with Michael Belfer before we even played together. Then we were playing in the same band. It changed Negative Trend, it changed me. I could play whatever I wanted at whatever tempo I wanted and Tim would do the rest.
And then that was over so we put together the Midgets. Fuck singers, his drums sang, Paul's guitar sang. Even still, we made a record with a singer, Ricky of course and then Mark, but those are other enigmas for another time. Onstage we watched each other, listened, offstage we read, wrote, made stuff and misbehaved.
All was well in Midgetland then Tim met Annie, I met heroin, Annie reintroduced herself to heroin, alcohol came along and speed had been there for awhile. We drifted and fell apart. Tim left for Amsterdam with Annie and without a word. The other Tim.
Six years later Will Shatter died and Tim phoned me in England, I came back and we played again, we were 31. It was good but it was different. We no longer saw many similarities in each other. The musical connection was still there but the personal one was slowly on it's way to gone.
We began to make a record, then Lisa Davis and Tim broke up. Joe Goldring replaced her on bass and we finished the record. It was a good record but it got AMC'ed which was OK but not my idea. Tim and I got along but were not close, even though we lived together. Then I got AMC'ed again. I reacted by being an asshole. Tim left the Midgets after a gig in Boston, he quit through Joe at a donut shop a month later. I tried to give him copies of the UK SON but he would not speak to me. The other Tim.
I did not speak to him for 13 years. I ran into him on the street in about 2004. We spoke briefly, nothing of consequence because, you know, I never really knew Tim. CG2013
Tim Mooney was a lovable opportunist. He did some messed up shit - like stealing from his friends and family, and before he cleaned up his act he cheated himself time and time again. However, he always performed his craft like no other drummer I know. Ours was a long and complicated relationship and unfortunately for our band, Tim was on a one way trip through addiction.
I came from Seattle to the San Francisco scene and I became aware of Tim's work and reputation in advance of our playing together. It seemed we were destined to play music together following a series of coincidences just made it hard to ignore and/or deny. His was a unique voice and a musical force literally, easily the most interesting drummer I have had the pleasure to experience.
In the early days Tim was not a complete person unless his girlfriend was with him. The first girlfriend got the blame for Tim's missing rehearsals and some gigs, and got the blame for introducing him to all sorts of black and unsavory people and bad behavior. Then he had a succession of musician girlfriends before figuring things out.
So it all came down to us speaking the same language as musicians. Improvise as easily as writing a song. He and Craig were spellbinding to listen to. We just imagined sounds to make together while they happened - or something like that. Tim told me he finally got my song writing style by imagining an XTC plus dub reggae rhythm.
After the Midgets broke up the first time, I went briefly up to Seattle in 1984 and soon, Tim showed up with Michael Belfer. They did not stay long and burned a few bridges, but we did play together in a band Perfect Circles. He and Paula Keyth later lured me away from Seattle in 1986 with George Miller's Nimbus and I moved back to San Francisco January of 87, But that band was short lived too.
Tim cleaned up after that, and we met to jam and record, and when Craig rolled into town with the Royal Ballet from London one Halloween evening, we decided to give the Midgets another go. Craig s brother Jason sang at our return gig, but soon Tim was wrangling Mark Eitzel into the group.
At the end of the 1992 tour Northern US tour supporting "SON" he told me he was leaving the band again as I drove him to the airport. We knew he'd joined American Music Club who had a record producer working with him - but we felt that going that direction would take the unique edge off of his playing, and not in a good way.
I sorta lost track of him after that. We would run into each other occasionally, but in 1998 I'd moved back to Seattle to settle into a job with the Seattle Mariners, as well as the Feedback Seed recording project that would go on until 2007, and we occasionally exchanged some music that we were each working on. Paul Hood May 2013