Frenchie Moe, New Orleans, LA

Frenchie Moe: Music is my life. It’s all I ever wanted to do. I’m from France, in the countryside. People there didn’t get the music I was playing. Like I told my band yesterday, “the reason why I wanted to be here in the states and here in New Orleans is because I wanted to be in a place where people had an understanding of soulful music. Soulful music is my life. I couldn’t be in a place where people don’t understand blues and jazz. So, the little town I’m from, people can’t relate to the music like they relate to it here. 

BW: Sure, but why do you think you related to the music since you came from the same place they did? 

Frenchie Moe: Yeah, it’s very weird. Actually my dad loved music and he would go see live music. Basically my dad never really worked much. He hung out in bars and would take me with him.  

BW: Was your dad a musician at all?

Frenchie Moe: Not at all. He just liked to hang out and drink *laugh*. In the area we were from there weren’t any bars with music, so we would drive to the next town and every now and then there would be a band. One day we were in this bar and there was this English musician named Victor Brox. My dad became friends with him and one thing lead to another and he ended up mentoring me when I was just a little girl so I was really blessed. 

It’s the story of my life, being mentored by so many people that are really great artists. A few years ago, I hooked up with her dad (referring to her baby) and fell in love with him. I had been a fan of his for several years. His name is Walter Wolfman Washington. He was my hero. I just wanted to play like him. He was a God. 

BW: What happened with your relationship?

Frenchie Moe: I think we’re still in love but he doesn’t want to make a commitment. I can’t say I’m totally through with him because I’m still in love with him. I think he still loves me too. The fact that he’s married doesn’t help *laugh*. No… he’s separated from his wife because we had the baby. The thing is, she’s pretty sick so he’s around to help her out. 

You know, musicians here who are well known, even if they aren’t known nationally, are like Gods in New Orleans. They eat and drink for free. So, I think he’s worried about his reputation too. If he were to live with us while his wife is sick and something were to happen to her…

BW: Do you understand?

Frenchie Moe: No, not really. It’s been heartbreaking. There’s this side of him that’s an artist and a free spirit and this other side that worries about his reputation. What I’ve realized, being around these famous people is that there are really two sides to that coin. It’s kind of a curse in a way. To the point of not wanting to be famous myself. I mean, I want people to hear my music. But, you have so many people watching you all the time. 

BW: You came into the relationship with him being a fan. Now, obviously you have a different relationship but how has it changed? Do you still look up to him?

Frenchie Moe: I look up to him musically and I always will. When I met him, I feel like he changed my life philosophically cause he’s a very spiritual person. We used to talk about things like, every day is a new beginning and how material things aren’t important. So, that is what he was preaching but when I got to know him further… I’m not saying he doesn’t believe in all that stuff but there’s a whole other side to him that’s a player and likes to gamble and party. 

I forgot to tell you that he’s 71 years old and I’m 29. 

BW: Wow… that’s a big difference. Have you always been attracted to older men?

Frenchie Moe: Yeah, I have but not that old. I never thought I’d be involved with someone that old. But I can’t compare him to other people who are that age. He’s not like that. His personality is very dynamic. He doesn’t talk about the past all the time. He’s very much about the present and that’s what I fell in love with. It’s all about now and I just love that. His mind is wide open. I would say he is the grooviest person I’ve ever met. 

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A few days after I interviewed Frenchie Moe, I received this email from her that further explains the situation and, in the spirit of telling her story as accurately as possible, I decided to share it here:

Hey Brent,
Well you kinda caught me off-guard here, asking about life stories etc… I thought about what you first asked, life changing event and I realize now I forgot some major details. The story in a nutshell is: When I first met Walter Wolfman Washington, saw him perform and fell in love, I was married to somebody else and also pretty happy. But I ended up leaving my husband for him, feeling he was the real love of my life. Then I even had his child, which we both wanted by the way. Meanwhile he pretty much stayed with his wife, they never really separated, even though she knows everything. So that’s the heartbreak I was mentioning. We still see each other and I don’t know how our story ends yet, but I feel like everyday that goes by makes it less likely that one day we’ll be officially together raising our daughter like we were supposed to. This due to his age, his wife’s condition and financial ties to her, his career, etc. I think he might still be the love of my life but sometime I resent him for breaking our deal and making me a single mother, having to deal with so much, mostly by myself, while I have no family here in America.

So yeah that’s it. Two people vow to “jump off a cliff” together, at the same time, out of crazy, insane love, but only one of them actually jumps when the moment comes. And someone gets stranded. By themselves.

- Frenchie Moe