We are very saddened to hear of the passing of our friend and Buffalo music legend Bruce Moser. If you saw a band in Buffalo from the 70’s to early 90’s, Moser was most likely responsible. Some of the once little-known acts he could be credited for breaking in the Northeast U.S. include U2 and The Cars.
Moser was born in Buffalo and spent his life here. He earned a BA in History from the University at Buffalo, worked at Record Theatre and sang in his band The Restless. He met his wife Mary here in the ’70s. In 2014 after Moser’s wife suffered a brain injury, the family put on a benefit event for her at Town Ballroom. Gord Downie offered to perform.
The Tragically Hip were one of the many artists Moser championed at his promotions company Could Be Wild. Others included INXS, AC/DC, the Goo Goo Dolls and Tom Petty. Even after his promotions days, he continued to influence the scene and mentored concert promoters in Buffalo such as Donny Kutzbach who now runs Town Ballroom and Funtime Presents alongside Artie Kwitchoff. Moser was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
He talked to WGRZ in 2017 when U2 played New Era Field about their first show in Buffalo, that he was responsible for, at Stage One December 8th, 1980. It was the night John Lenon was shot.
“After the show the only video game at the time was pong, so my wife was playing pong with Bono, and some drunk guy pushed his way between them, and said hey man – did you hear John Lennon just got shot? And Bono turned around and goes “That’s a sick joke!” and then they found out later that night it happened. So U2 has a lot of memories of Buffalo, but being in Buffalo the night John Lennon got shot – they definitely remember. Bono always talks about that on stage when he plays Buffalo,” Moser told Channel 2.
Friends have been sharing their memories of Moser on social media after learning of his passing.
“I can’t even begin to express the greatness that is and always will be Bruce Moser. He was so much beyond a friend. He was a mentor. He was someone who opened doors. He was an endless stream of knowledge about music and culture. He was a great storyteller. He was generous with anything and everything that he had to give. He was a fan of pizza. I’m going to miss him so much,” Donny Kutzbach posted on Facebook.
Recording artist Willie Nile shared on his official page, “Bruce Moser, who we lost today, was a legendary radio promotion man in the music business and a dear friend of mine and of so many other musicians in the world. He had a huge hand in breaking U2 in North America and Bryan Adams as well and many others. I’ve been to at least five U2 shows where Bono gave him a personal shout out when he was in the audience. So many rock people loved and respected him for who he was, for his passion, his fierce loyalty, and for his honesty. He was a true Buffalo, NY legend.”
Our thoughts are with his daughters Grace and Erin. We know his life will continue to be celebrated in Buffalo and the torch will be carried on by the many he influenced. Feel free to share your memories and stories here.