The silver lining around the passing on January 10th of banjo player Dave Day Havlicek of Sixties extreme-beat band the Monks (he died of heart failure at age sixty-six) is that he lived long enough to see the group ascend to its rightful place on garage-rock Olympus. Five ex-GIs based in Germany, the Monks dressed like Franciscans (complete with the clerical haircuts) and played a severe rock descended from the Star Club-era Beatles but shorn of the rockabilly and Motown influences and standard pop-song grammar ("Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice," "Oh, How to Do Now"), with Day's rapid-fire banjo chords sounding like he was strumming bamboo. At once ultraprimitive and the future of rock two decades hence, the Monks were post-punk before there were punks, an achievement nailed on the group's sole album, 1966's Black Monk Time (of the various reissues, get one with the non-LP singles). Deeper listening: Demo Tapes 1965 (Play Loud!), a one-day session even more rude and brittle than the '66 album, and Silver Monk Time: A Tribute to the Monks (Play Loud!), two CDs of homage by assorted Monks spawn, including the Fall, the Gossip, Jon Spencer and a combo called the Havletones — with Day himself pummeling that banjo.
Fricke's Picks: The Monks
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Around the Web
- The Koch Brothers' Dirty War on Solar Power
- The Ten Things That Piss Off Tom Petty
- Rick Rubin: My Life in 21 Songs
- Watch Kristen Wiig's Awkward Peyton Manning Impersonation on 'Fallon'
- Inside the Replacements' Disastrous 'Saturday Night Live' Debut
- 'Silence of the Lambs' at 25: 'It Broke All the Rules'
- 500 Greatest Albums of All Time