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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Music: Black Monk Time -- R.I.P. Dave Day of Groundbreaking 60s Punks The Monks

Dave Day, one of the few people who can be said to have truly shredded on the electric banjo, died January 9th. The Monks are one of the most unique bands in the history of rock, and one of the least known in proportion to influence. Formed in 1964 by four American GI's in Germany, their 1966 debut was chock-full of stomping beats, chugging guitars, odd and abrasive instrumental and arrangement choices and the songs that lashed out at the Vietnam War and society's mores (at this point they were all civilians). Any of the reissues out there of The Monks seminal 60s works are worth having, as a garage band they were first rank, the equal of the Seeds or ? and The Mysterians and Thirteenth Floor Elevators and a damn sight stranger. They broke up in the late 60s having found little success, but the records would become prized collectors items in the 70s and 80s. The band reunited in 1999 at the Cavestomp garage rock festival to great acclaim and have toured on and off ever since.

Here are The Monks in their prime doing "Oh How to Do Now" on German television:

And here they are doing "Complication" to a totally confused audience:

And here they are in 2006:

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