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Sunday, May 04, 2008

THE MONKS : Monk Time (1966)

R.I.P. Dave Day (1941-2008)
The Monks were/are one of the strangest rock bands in history. A bunch of American GIs stationed in Germany, and post-discharge decided to stay and start a band. Their gimmick was dressing up as Franciscan monks (in complete monk garbs and haircuts), but with nooses tied around their necks! They are now credited with early use of feedback, minimalist rock sound, screaming vocals, social commentary and all-around punk influence. And now there's a documentary hitting the theatres around the world (coming soon here!).
Mr. Day was the group's banjo player (yes, BANJO), who recently passed. Here's an obit:

"Dave Havlicek (Dave Day), banjo player, guitarist, singer and songwriter: born 1941; married; died Renton, Washington 10 January 2008.

Dave Day was the electric banjo player with the Monks, the rock'n'roll band made up of GIs stationed in Germany in the Sixties. They first played surf and beat music in the style of the Ventures and the Sonics, but soon developed a striking look – involving tonsures and the occasional cassock – to match their proto-punk sound.

Using chanting, feedback, improvisation, repetitive riffs and primal rhythms, and delivering subversive tirades against the Vietnam war and the atomic bomb, the Monks were ahead of the times. The debt that bands such as the Fall, the Fuzztones and the Gossip owe them was repaid when these musicians took part in Silver Monk Time: a tribute to the Monks in 2006. The Krautrock connoisseur Julian Cope has called the Monks' only album Black Monk Time "a gem born of isolation and the horrible deep-down knowledge that no-one is really listening to what you're saying"."

Here's the opening track from their first classic album. Rock and protest!

Song : "Monk Time"
From the LP "BLACK MONK TIME" (Polydor) Mar. 1966

Gary Burger : vocals, guitar
Larry Clark : organ
Roger Johnston : drums (R.I.P. 2004)
Eddie Shaw : bass
Dave Day : banjo (R.I.P. 2008)

Get it here : Monk Time

1 comment:

Dana said...

Where the heck did you come across this R.I.P.??

And what drugs were they on.. ? hehe.. I enjoyed the song, sober surprisingly.