Tony, Scott And Gary

The Grim Reaper has taken his toll recently and while the rush to Tweet/blog/post about celebrity deaths is a bit odd sometimes I thought I should pay tribute to three men who’ve all affected me at one time or another.

Tony Benn has been the subject of many words, now that he’s died all complimentary, many spoken by people who wouldn’t have had much good to say about him in his heyday- but that’s politics. I saw him speak in the late 80s, the best political orator I’ve had the pleasure to listen to. He was a constant champion of the left. I’ve read some of his diaries and can recommend them thoroughly. He was pipe smoker of the year at least once.

Scott Asheton was the drummer of The Stooges and if you listen to Funhouse or the first album you’ll know why he was such a crucial part of their neanderthal sound. He had a stroke a few years ago and tried to continue with Iggy and the reformed Stooges. He died at the weekend.

TV Eye (Take 1)

Gary Burger was the lead singer of mid-60s proto-punks The Monks, surely one of the most bizarre bands ever- a group of US G.I.’s with tonsures and robes, stationed in Germany, playing organ led garage rock, freaking out the flower children with songs of hate.


Do You Know How I Hate You Baby?

Let’s have some bile.

The first time I heard about The Monks part of me thought they were some Bill Drummond style prank. Five American G.I.s stationed in Germany form a beat/garage band, wear monks black habits and shave their hair into tonsures, play basic, fuzzy proto-punk using heavy and simplistic rhythm, with a banjo player, singing about how they hate you, at the dawn of the peace and love 60s. It all sounded too good to be true.

I hate you baby (but call me)
Well I hate you with a passion
Do you know you make me hate you baby?
and so on…

There’s more, much more. If you havn’t got the Black Monk Time lp then get out and get it from somewhere, and check out the footage of them on German TV on Youtube. One of the best blasts of 60s garage rock.