They shaved the best for last
The '60s punk prototype band The Monks have reunited without their trademark tonsures and robes but with a new album and an almost religious following.
By DAWN EDEN
The Monks, a group of ex-G.I.'s
who recorded in Germany during the mid-1960s, were loud, rude, sophomoric,
and atonal. In other words, ahead of their time.
In recent years, with the Infinite Zero label's release of the CD of the
Monks' lone album, "Black Monk Time" (1966), and bass player Eddie
Shaw's autobiographical book of the same name (Carson Street Publishing), the group has become far more popular than it ever was in its time.
|Gary Burger (guitar, vocals)|
Larry Clark (organ, vocals)
Dave Day (banjo, vocals)
Roger Johnston (drums, vocals)
Eddie Shaw (bass, vocals).
Related links: Official site
Proto-punk anthems like "I Hate You," "Shut Up," and "Boys Are Boys and
Girls Are Choice" (the closest they ever got to a Brill Building song
title) have endeared them to arty, downtown, "we really listen to Side 2 of
the Velvets' 'White Light, White Heat'" types as well as garage-rock
enthusiasts. When the organizers of the Cavestomp! '99 Garage Rock
Festacular taking place this weekend at the Westbeth Theatre Centre
announced that the Monks would reunite for their first U.S. show ever on
November 5, ticket demand was so high that the group was added to the
event's November 7 bill as well.
Although the Monks no longer sport tonsures and robes, their sound
hasn't changed one iota, if the music that WFMU DJ Bill Kelly has been
anything to go by. This Wednesday night, November 3, at the Greenwich
Village record store Other Music, the band will be signing albums including a new disc of vintage rarities, "Five Upstart
Americans" and anything else fans bring. The following evening, around
the corner at Shakespeare & Co., Eddie Shaw will read from his book "Black
A project is currently under way to develop Shaw's book, which Rolling
Stone called "a true collision of rock 'n' roll history and hysteria," into
a feature film. One can only imagine how the Monks' stranger-than-fiction
story will translate to the screen. Picture "A Hard Day's Night" as
directed by Leni Riefenstahl.
|NOVEMBER 2, 1999|
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