This will take some ‘splainin. Roger Moore passed away today. More correctly, Sir Roger George Moore, KBE, at the age of 89 after a short illness. Best known as James Bond, following Sean Connery’s term as 007, Roger Moore was also known as The Saint. Why this matters will become clearer as we go.
In 1977, I got my first job in radio, on-air, at a joint up the line called CKOB in Renfrew, Ontario. Two hundred and fifty booming watts of power and about as barebones a place as you could imagine. They hired me on a Tuesday in November, still in second-year of college and I took the job, starting on the next Monday, as their mid-day announcer-operator, news reader, commercial producer and what ever the hell else the boss wanted me to do. Why? Call letters after your name was the idea. Get hired, then work your way up in the industry.
In talking with other colleagues in the Radio-Television Arts course, I knew I didn’t want to use my real name on the air, for two reasons: One, so one could hide in plain sight, in a small town. Two, if I mightily screwed up my first on-air job, I could always disappear, dropping my faux on-air name and applying for other jobs at other stations. (An air name is very common in the business)
We hashed a few names back and forth and soon tired of coming up with an on-air handle. A few hours later, we were talking about old television shows and one that came up was The Saint with Roger Moore. Moore was already known as 007, but we looked at the obscure references first.
There was a moment of clarity. David Moore. Two sharp syllables. Easy to spell, easy to pronounce. If someone called out “David!” I’d answer, even if the last name wasn’t mine, it at least might give me a cloak of near-invisibility. Done. David Moore.
Through my on-air career and even into television days, I was David Moore (nee Smith). There are various credits I have (several hundred commercials, many industrial and training films and interactive media) that have David Moore as a credit. I still have some around somewhere in my archives of old commercials and films I wrote, produced or directed.
All thanks to Sir Roger George Moore, KBE. May he rest in peace. With thanks for my last name on-air back in the day.