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  •  BAND: THE MONKS

      The Monks
    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
    Offoffoff.com


    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.

    THE MONKS
    Gary Burger (guitar, vocals)
    Larry Clark (organ, vocals)
    Dave Day (banjo, vocals)
    Roger Johnston (drums, vocals)
    Eddie Shaw (bass, vocals).

    Related links: Official site
      
    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.

    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.

    The Monks

    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 playing is 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 Monk Time."

    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
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on The Monks:

  • The Monks Rule!   from Mark, Dec 5, 2001

  • Post a comment on "The Monks"