My dad took this photograph of Moondog (Louis Hardin), an interesting character who was well-known to New Yorkers for standing mostly at 6th Ave and 54th St from the 1940s until the mid 1970s.
The death of Louis Hardin, known to countless New Yorkers as "The Viking of Sixth Avenue", has ended one of the most colourful careers in 20th century music. Hardin, who was best known under his self-chosen nom de plume of Moondog, eventually won acceptance as a serious composer, but had been a cult figure for several decades prior to that recognition.
From the late 40s until his move to Germany in 1974, Hardin was a familiar fixture on Sixth Avenue in Manhatten. He was hard to miss -- tall, gaunt, and blind, he dressed in a Viking helmet, a homemade flowing robe, and carried a spear, a regalia inspired by his love of Norse culture. He lived on the street, performing and selling his music in all weathers, and became a cult figure in Manhatten lore, and a hero to both the Beat Generation poets and the hippie movement of the 60s.