Like father, like son

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

After greeting me at the door, grizzled local legend Eric Moore immediately started showing me his handguns.

Frontman-guitarist for Columbus' own The Godz, perennial champions of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, he was in the process of taking the bullets out of a pistol's chamber. When he finished setting rounds of ammunition on the living room table, he asked, "You think your cameraman would object to me pointing this at him if I showed him the gun is empty?"

I thought he was joking.

Moore's fan-bestowed title of "Rock 'n' Roll Machine" was earned over the course of 35 years. He first played with Elektra Records band Capital City Rockets, then for the bulk of his career with The Godz, who at one point were Casablanca labelmates with Parliament, Kiss, Cameo and The Village People.

He's shared stages with Kiss, not to mention Blue Oyster Cult, Iggy Pop, Metallica and Motorhead. The Godz's most recent highlight: playing the 2008 South Texas Rock Fest alongside Skid Row, Jackyl, Faster Pussycat and Tesla.

Now his quick clinic in gun safety is over and the 55-year-old rocker's 24-year-old son Alex - known as Lev Don when he's rapping alongside Tyreless One and DJ Self in local hip-hop outfit Bootleggers - hands me a jar of moonshine direct from Marion County.

Aside from sharing spirits, the Bootleggers have made a name for themselves by opening for acts like RJD2 and Envelope. They're currently signed to Nice Lyfe records, the imprint of legitimate alcohol establishment Carabar.

On Wednesday, the bar hosts an auspicious event - the first performance pairing the two generations of Moore family bands.

Despite the pistols and high-proof-liquor machismo, there's something pure about the bond the Moores share.

Eric admitted he didn't like much of rap early on because it "lacked melody and originality," but he learned to appreciate the genre and his son's talents when Alex was a teenager. The elder Moore was playing acoustic guitar in the living room one day while the younger was rapping with a neighbor in the basement. After the visitor left, the two had an impromptu session, Eric playing guitar while Alex freestyled.

Eric was impressed with his son's ability "to make magic out of thin air."

These days, the two are writing songs inspired by each other. Eric's is called "We," while Alex's song poses the question, "Daddy, Why Aren't You Dead?"

For the record, Eric offered a response that doubles as good advice.

"Because I have a wonderful wife and two brilliant sons. That's what kept me alive. I am the luckiest man on the planet," he said. "That and staying away from go-go dancers."

What: The Godz & Bootleggers

When: Wednesday, Nov. 26

Where: Carabar, Olde Town East