I don’t know, I just thought it was a funny word and it’s too late to walk away now.
The Moho bit I can explain, but I need to take you back, way, way back to Berlin in the distant past, some point in the mid ’00s. It was spring and I was on a boat tour of the Spree with my girlfriend. Same lady as now, just a title change following an expensive party, and a set of photographs we still need to print off to prove we ever got married.
The tour promised to be filled with delight, information and hilarity. The delight we got, it’s a glorious part of the world, but the information was concealed thanks to the entire tour being conducted in German; a language we don’t speak. The hilarity we definitely spotted because the tour guide would talk for a while and then turn around to address the group, add on a wee bit and everyone else would erupt with laughter, while we remained none the wiser.
We were passing the ‘Boho’ quarter and spotted a couple of homeless people, aka ‘Hobos’, saw some bars with a couple of rainbow flags, and, well, you can see where I’m going…maybe it was the inspirational Germanic vibes, or maybe it was the absolute gibberish being passed off as ‘hilarious’ local historical fact, but my mind started to work. I quietly began riffing on the desire to invent a four letter abbreviation that still meant something…but they all seemed to be taken.
Nothing came to me, and something shiny went past to distract me, so I forgot all about it.
Not long after that trip I got kicked out of the band I was singing in. The reason for my dismissal was apparently my reluctance to sing in an American accent. I am not, never have been, and in line with available projections at the time, was not going to become an American. I’m from the North West of England, raised about 8 miles from Manchester city centre and grew up in the late ’80s/early ’90s age of ‘Madchester’. I came through in the wake of the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, James, et al. My reference points for my singing voice were mostly a bunch of northern lads who might have battered me in secondary school. So adopting a transatlantic lilt wasn’t my first presumption. The fact that I also refused to sing the lyrics I was given, instead insisting on “collaborating” (writing my own words to be honest) probably didn’t help.
So anyway, I got binned off and ended up having to go solo, which sucks compared to being in a band. Being part of a group brings with it a gang mentality that is somewhat depleted when there’s just you. Taking an imaginary friend to soundcheck isn’t as cool as it obviously sounds. I was desperate to pull a band together but had no idea of the sort it should be. Most of my songs were a bit whiny, and broadly about how wonderful “girls” are, but oh so very mean, and typically prone to subjecting me to heartbreak. You know the sort.
Not wanting to perform under my given or family name, I played under a couple of assumed names, the most embarrassing of which was Johnny Palomino. It doesn’t seem too bad a name, except that my name wasn’t Johnny, and my old band had just changed its name to The Palominos!!! What was I thinking!?!?!
Getting back on track, at some point I must have picked up a bug, and took to my bed feeling particularly unwell. I was a bit clammy, had a temperature, and started to lose track of reality, while not quite being completely asleep. I found myself getting caught in loops of tormenting, minute detail, about things that didn’t matter, or have any basis in reality. It was during one of the lesser infuriating episodes that I had a vision. There was a band playing something that sounded familiar, set up in the front part of a real bistro called Keith’s, on Lark Lane, Liverpool. South Liverpool’s most legendary eatery home to generation after generation of aspiring bohemian’s each bemoaning that it’s “not as good as it used to be”, yet it’s constantly packed, and buzzing with artistic flare. There was someone on keys that I knew could also play guitar, a bass player, a drummer, a guitarist and fiddle player with pianist’s hands. And out front, mumbling away, was ME, and we were called “moho”…
I woke up in a shimmer of sweat, feeling horrible, but filled with hope.
This was my destiny.
It was set.
It was wrong, but it was set…
Having told my tale to a local would be impresario, he suggested it could be an anagram for Music Of Heartbroken Origin…Perfect.
Now bung a ‘sapien’ on the end, and Bob’s your uncle, which in my case is actually true.
And there, quite abruptly, ends the tale.
It’s not a good story, but it is a true* story.
*Some artistic license may have been employed, but percentage wise, it’s in the high 90s.