A Musical About Robert Moses?

DEC. 11, 2017, TDF.ORG, by Brian Scott LiptonWhy a rocker was inspired to pen a bio-show about the polarizing urban planner – "There's no question that Moses viewed the city from aerial photographs; to him, it was just lines on a map."

If Peter Galperin hadn't moved to New York, he would have never written Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses, a bio musical about the controversial master builder who reshaped the metropolitan area in the 20th century. "I first came across Moses's name on a highway sign on Long Island shortly after I arrived around 30 years ago," says Galperin, who penned the show's songs and co-authored the book. "As I began to travel more around the region, his name kept popping up everywhere. I've always been a history buff, perhaps because my mom was a history teacher. I soon found Robert Caro's book about Moses, The Power Broker, and reading that was an epiphany. It explained so much about modern New York, especially how much of a mess it is traffic-wise and why there are so many highways on top of or next to each other. I read the book five or six times in just a few years." 

But it wasn't until Galperin entered a songwriting contest sponsored by the New York City Parks Department in 2012 that he decided to musicalize his Moses mania. "I tried to write an up-tempo tune, something they could use as a theme song," he recalls. "But what I ended up writing was a nine-minute folk song called 'The Ballad of Robert Moses.' Not surprisingly, they rejected it." Read the full article...

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