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September 14, 2009

Moby and the sleeping seals at the National Aquarium

mobyI just got off the phone with Moby (the DJ), who comes to Baltimore Thursday for a show at Rams Head Live.

At the end of the interview, Moby tossed out this funny little story about Baltimore. Here is what he said:

In 1994, I came down to DJ with Scott Henry and I remember I went to the Aquarium at night. They had the seals and walruses sleeping where you could watch them sleep.

I remember so distinctly, I stood there for about 20 minutes watching all the sea mammals sleep.

They were all having REM dreams. Not dreams of Michael Stipe, but, you know, rapid eye movement dreams ...

I just remember thinking to myself, 'What do seals dream about? Do they dream about conch shells or do they dream about finally getting off their shackles and overthrowing their human overlords?'

I was going to ask Moby exactly what (if any) substance he was on at the time, but, alas, we ran out of time. I'll link to the finished piece, which will hopefully come out in Thursday's paper.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:02 PM | | Comments (11)


He must have been on something pretty good to imagine seals and walruses at the Baltimore Aquarium. They haven't had them in the years I've lived here.

md, how long have you been living here? as he said, it was 1994.

I don't remember any walruses, but they used to have seals in an outdoor area just around the corner from the main entrance. I saw them a few times in the early to mid 90s. I'm not certain, but I think they might have gotten rid of them when they started construction on the Australia addition.

Moby is high on life. <3

There were both harbor seals and grey seals. The grey seals are large, but no walrus - no tusks.

They were the BEST! You could just stand and watch them play and sleep and then a trainer would come out and feed them. Sometimes, when they were asleep on the rocks, they'd start rolling over the edge, and would always catch themselves before they fell in.

They also had those gross pictures of a seal gut cut open and filled with pennies. It was to discourage kids (or dumb adults, I guess) from throwing pennies into the enclosure.

Oh wow, I remember that. The outdoor seal tank. It was really great. You could walk up to this area just past the entrance to the Aquarium and see all the seals swimming around and sleeping right out in the open. Man, you could never do that in this town today which is really sad. But, I think they were gone by 1994 though. That date seems really too late to me. I remember them in the early to mid 80's but that's it. Maybe I just quit going down there, I dunno.

And DJ Scott Henry. Now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time. Is he still around? Talk about memories. He's been in the gay dance music scene since way back. He first got his feet wet playing records at a long-gone dance bar on South Calvert Street called Marshall's. I would say he was about 22 years old then. I still have a cassette tape made from the dance floor in that bar that he recorded and autographed to me. Ain't that cute? I always wondered what happened to him. I guess he didn't become popular like Moby or Peter Rauhofer.

Next door to Marshalls was Calvert Street Cafe which has been closed for years too. Both of those places used to be packed to the walls on weekends back then. Those were some good times.

I remember the seal tank but I seem to recall it being there more recently. I haven't walked by there in a while but I know it was there after 2000.

and johnnycat it's nice to see you have something positive to say for a change. It's ok to be happy.....don't fight the feeling!

Oh Cardwell, I always have nice things to say, as long as people aren't being retarded. I wish the seals were back. I really liked seeing them. As far as Scott Henry goes, I don't know WHAT I was thinking about in those days.

I remember seals, walruses? I don't think so.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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