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The Monks

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There are two bands with this name:

1. The Monks (US) are a rock n roll band, primarily active in Germany in the mid to late sixties. They reunited in 1999 and have continued to play concerts, although no new studio recordings have been made. The Monks stood out from the music of the time, and have developed a cult following amongst many musicians and music fans.

Artists to have acknowledged the Monks as an influence include Henry Rollins, the Beastie Boys and Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, as well as The Fall. The latter covered both I Hate You and Oh, How To Do Now on their 1990 album Extricate (under the titles Black Monk Theme Part I and Black Monk Theme Part II, respectively), as well as the song Shut Up! on their 1994 album Middle Class Revolt. The Fall have also covered “higgledy-piggledy” for the Monks tribute CD Silver Monk Time.

All the members were American GIs stationed in Germany in the mid-sixties. They began playing together in 1964, calling themselves The Torquays. The Torquays differed little from stinctive name and image to go with it. At the beginning of 1965, Dave Day and Roger Johnston, on a whim, got their heads shaved into monks’ tonsures. The rest of the band followed their lead, and to complete the image, the band took to wearing a uniform - all black, sometimes in cassocks, with nooses worn as neckties. Eddie Shaw later claimed in his band autobiography “Black Monk Time” that the nooses were symbolic of the metaphorical nooses that all humanity wear.

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