13. October 2007

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

The Monks

Dave Day (USA): banjo, vocals
Gary Burger (USA): guitar, vocals
Eddie Shaw (USA): bass, vocals
Mike Fornatale (USA): organ, vocals
Len Curiel (USA): drums

The Monks are coming! The Monks are coming back! To the Church! The beat legend’s resurrection. Culture? - Cult in its pure form! 42 years after its foundation, it was all but easy to convince the band of playing their first and exclusive Austria performance at the Minorite Church in Krems.

The reunited Monks were one of the most extraordinary bands of the 60s. Hardly any other musical project knew how to decline the formative variances of the time in such a meaningful and also personally painful way. As five young American GIs, based in the Hessian town of Gelnhausen the band members had little in common except for their affinity to music. It was mere coincidence that they ran into a number of Folkwang-educated German avant-garde and pop-art activists. The rest has become history: the former Torquays transformed into the “anti-Beatles” The Monks. Cowl, plaited cord and tonsure haircut replaced the casual wear of earlier days. Heavy feedback orgies, absurd staccato statements (“I hate you – but call me”) over repetitive, primitive rhythms confused press and audience alike: “Noise, noise and no music” was the Bild paper’s apt quotation.

While the Monks disaggregated in 1967 only 2 years after their founding as a result of their managers Walter Niemann and Karl H. Remy’s discord, the band unfolded its absolute effects only much later through their heritage, their only album “Black Monk Time”. Several subsequent pop music generations refer back to the band’s radicalness: go ask Genesis P. Orridge or Jack White!

Since the mid-90s, the Monks have gathered to play from time to time. Yet, this is not a nostalgic event, but an event of fire, of experiments and of the unruly emotions of earlier days. The band’s timelessness was demonstrated last year through the tribute album release “Silver Monk Time”, as well as through the award-winning documentary “The Transatlantic Feedback”.

Following the Monks concert we will show the film
“monks – the transatlantic feedback” (documentary film).

Here you will find mor information:

Everybody knows Elvis Presley served Uncle Sam in West Germany, but have you ever heard of the five American G.I.s who stayed on after their military discharge and formed one of the wildest and most influential rock bands of the 60s? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage the first avant-garde band, The Monks. Combining rare archival footage of the band’s amazing performances on live TV with contemporary interviews with band members, eye witnesses and music commentators, this documentary traces the evolution of a combo determined to expand the frontiers of popular music. What emerges is a vital and illuminating picture of German-American cross-cultural experience, and a tribute to genuine rock and roll pioneers. “A loving and penetrating documentary film.” (Hollywood Reporter) “An overdue history lesson.” (Rolling Stone) “The filmmakers do a vivid job etching the creatively fervid times, with an editing style whose dynamism echoes that of Monk music.” (Variety) “Like Fechner’s film about the Comedian Harmonists, this documentary combines beautifully the private with the political. The Monks were the essence of the 60s art world.” (Berthold Seliger)

© NOE Festival

© NOE Festival