Soap Opera Digest: Your name is Ronn M. Moss. What does the “M” stand for?
Ronn Moss: Montague.
Digest: How did you get that? Is it a family name?
Moss: Yes, it’s a family name on my father’s side. I’m looking for my Capulet, if you happen to know where she is.
Digest: Montague is a cool name. It could have been much more, well, unusual than that.
Moss: Believe it or not, my uncle’s name was Lancelot Nigel. It’s true.
Digest: Ever get teased for being Ronn Montague Moss?
Moss: When I was kid, I got unmercifully razzed because of my middle name. Because it was an unusual name, it made me ripe for the attempted humorous commentary from the local kids.
Digest: Did you grow up trying to hide Montague from the masses?
Moss: I would try to keep it under wraps as long as I could, but eventually, someone would get wind of it.
Digest: What was your most embarrassing memory concerning Montague?
Moss: In my early teens, my rock ‘n’ roll garage band was playing a gig late at night somewhere in Santa Monica, CA. We were all obviously well underage to be in this particular establishment. The function was also a sort of left-wing political fund-raiser. Well, sometime around 1 a.m., the local cops raided the place. They shut everything down and amid much pandemonium, took us, the underage band, away in handcuffs. We, along with the two people at the door taking “donations,” were unceremoniously thrown into a heavily armored vehicle and whisked off to the police station, where we spent the majority of the night in a stinky cell.
Digest: I have a feeling where this is going.
Moss: Early that morning, one of the guy’s fathers trudged down there and bailed us out. But the point of this story is, during the interrogation part of the penal institution stay, I was asked for my full name. I did one of those under-my-breath, hand-over-my-mouth, trying-to-project-across-the-room-into-the-captain’s-ears-only type of answers. But then he said rather gruffly, “What was your middle name again?” Well, all eyes were then on me.
Digest: Of course, everything was also suddenly quiet, right?
Moss: The silence was deafening. Even the handcuff chains stopped jangling. I took the necessary time to gather every bit of strength and finally managed to squeeze out of my lips, “Montague.”
Digest: I’m almost afraid to ask, but then what happened?
Moss: Well, I may as well have said, “I just s–t my pants!” because the roar of laughter that came out of all those hardened 14-year-old criminals — I formerly called my bandmates — was to echo in my mind for the next many years.
Digest: I think with a No. 1 hit song (“Baby Come Back”) and a long-time job in TV, it’s safe to say that you got the last laugh.