Sunday, January 27, 2008

Monk Punk 1966

Talk about being waaay before their time. The Monks. American army guys who met in post-war Germany and formed a band, doing "beat music." But it was really a genius precursor to punk. They all shaved little tonsures into the tops of their heads, wore black shirts, with ties made out of rope. They were anti-war, anti-pop. They rocked. They came out with their first album in 1966, Black Monk Time. They may have been the first to use feedback in their music:

One of the components in this alchemy of sound was feedback. Burger discovered feedback independently of the many English players who have all been heralded at one time or another as the inventor of said effect.

"We were practicing and I had to take a leak," Burger said. "I laid the guitar against the amp and walked off the stage. I forgot to turn it off and the thing began to make this god-awful racket. It started off humming and then it increased in volume. Roger started hitting his drums and it sounded so right together."

Eddie Shaw went one step further when describing that initial bout with feedback. "Just imagine the sound of the Titanic scraping along an iceberg," he said. "It was like discovering fire."

Here are The Monks on German TV in 1966. Pay attention to the amazing drummer, the amazing bass player, well, it's all amazing:



A documentary was recently made. Here's the trailer to the official theatrical release in Germany on October 4, 2007:


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