Moscone, Jon: Moscone's love of arts


Jon Moscone: George loved jazz standards. He loved a lot of that. We had that playing in the house all the time. I think he and Gina, my mom, shared that a great deal. The love of that kind of music. The music that was played in the house was the music that he liked. It wasn’t the music that we were liking at the time so Blossom [Dearie] was in my head when I was growing up. That was music that I heard. That wasn’t adult music. Woody Herman. He loved Woody Herman, and listening to that. Dave Brubeck. That music was in our lives, but he also loved the opera a great deal. And he loved theatre. He took me to theatre. He kinda sense quickly who liked what in the family. It was a very quick judge of what would be an appealing mode of connection to the outside world within his family. Chris and Rebecca, sports. Jennifer and Jonathon, culture. He knew it, figured it out and could play both sides. He could play tennis with my sister. He could play basketball with my brother. He could take me to the theatre. He could take my sister to the opera. He loved all of that, and he knew which way to go with each of us. And he knew after a while that sports was not working for me. I didn’t have the competitive gene so he took it off the table, and he took me in that direction. You know he was instinctual as a parent. He certainly didn’t spend 24/7 parenting us. When he was in Senate he wasn’t around, but he knew how to connect with us, and he brought us into the adult world. My mother took us to the Exploratorium, but that wasn’t what would interest him. He took me to a club. He took me to my first R-rated movie when I was thirteen. Took me to see The Longest Yard. He was so proud of it, taking his son to a bar – I can’t even remember where this bar was that we went into that was south of Market somewhere. I want to say it was off of New Montgomery or … I keep thinking it was in that area, next to the Palace Hotel. Jon Rubin: The House of Shields. Jon Moscone: The House of Shields, that’s exactly what it was. That’s exactly right. I knew the area, but I couldn’t name it. But that’s right. I remember him taking me there and he ordered a Manhattan or something, and I had a Shirley Temple which I always had. And he told the bartender, he told the folks there that he was taking his son to see his first R-rated movie. He loved that! Took us to see Blazing Saddles as a family. Most people don’t take their families to see Blazing Saddles which is a pretty adult comedy as it goes, and we all learned adult humor from him. He would let us situp and watch Sergeant Bilko with him which was his favorite TV show. That, and The Odd Couple. He thought Jack Klugman was the Second Coming. So when you watch The Odd Couple as a kid that’s adult humor, that’s adult laughter on the screen. And what Bilko was doing was scammin’ and schemin’ in the army, and it was kinda Borscht Belt meets Vaudeville meets some kind of 50’s sort of sensibility that made him… He just loved it. He loved Bilko and we would go around saying “Sarge, sarge!” I forget who the short chubby guy was. Jon Rubin: [ ] Doberman. Jon Moscone: Doberman, exactly. He loved that stuff and he wanted us to be part of that. I think we have a pretty good sense of humor as a family because of that, and I think our interest in our particular passions was very pure and very genuine because of that.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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