Monks, The

Monks, TheFrom: Germany

The Monks are one of rock history’s more interesting bands.  The band formed in the early ’60s by American G.I.s stationed in Germany. Members of the band were Gary Burger (vocals, guitar), Larry Clark (organ, vocals), Eddie Shaw (bass, vocals), Dave Day (banjo, guitar, vocals), and Roger Johnston (drums, vocals). After they were discharged, they remained in Germany and performed under the name the Torquays. Once the band changed their name to their name to the Monks, their music, attitude, and appearance changed drastically. The band no longer performed old covers, instead opting for minimalist original material that was blunt, furious, and harsh, and anticipated the punk era. The Monks were known for their insistent rhythms that sounded like martial beats and polkas as much as they did garage rock. Their instrumentation also set the Monks apart from other bands. The use of electric banjo, berserk organs, and maddening feedback guitar were essential to the band’s sound. As a way of making a statement, the Monks shaved the top of their heads and performed their anti-war, protest songs in actual monks’ clothing.

When the Monks appeared on the German music scene, they were met with more confusion than hostility or warmth. The band became known for their live act, and their sole album and subsequent singles never really took off. In fact, they were never released in America. Although the Monks disbanded in 1967, their album has gained a cult following among collectors.

Artist information sources include: an article by Richie Unterberger at Allmusic.com and Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1966 album Black Monk Time
Black Monk Time

  •  Complication