The Monks – Monk Time

by admin  29th Apr 2012 Comments [2913]

This article was the cover story of Issue #11 of UGLY THINGS in the spring of 1992. At this point in time, only two of the original Monks had been located. In the years that followed there would be a book (Eddie Shaw’s Black Monk Time), reunion concerts, an award-winning documentary (Transatlantic Feedback, directed by Dietmar Post and Lucia Palacios), tribute albums, and numerous reissues. But UGLY THINGS got there first.

I’d like to dedicate this article to the memories of Dave Day Havlicek and Roger Johnston.


MONKS STORY by Mike Stax / INTERVIEWS by Keith Patterson and Mike Stax


The music of the Monks is the stuff of true greatness: huge chunks of reverberating bass and drum rhythms, beaten into further frenzied overdrive by the atonal gash of an electrified banjo; this overlaid with the rapid-fire piercing squeals of delirious organ wailings and the hum and howl of fuzz and feedback as some maniac jaggedly assaults an electric guitar; this all pushing forward the angst-driven, aggressive voices shouting: “I hate you baby with a passion…” “People go to their deaths for you…” “Boys are boys and girls are joys…” “Pussy galore is coming down and we like it… we don’t like the atomic bomb…” “Shut up! Don’t cry!” and “Higgle-Dy Piggle-Dy—let’s do it!”


Bert Jansch – 1943-2011

by admin  25th Apr 2012 Comments [227]

by Alan Bisbort

“The Death of Bert Jansch” sounds like the name of a traditional folk song that Jansch himself might have resurrected on one of his early solo albums. Sadly, this imaginary song came true on October 5, 2011, when the legendary musician—whom Neil Young likened to “Jimi Hendrix on the acoustic guitar” and whose cross-generational influence is admitted by the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Donovan, Johnny Marr, Joanna Newsom, Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart—died at age 67 after a battle with cancer. (more…)

The Phantom Brothers – Germany’s Wildest Beat Group

by admin  24th Apr 2012 Comments [239]

An Interview with Olgerd Wokock by Mike Stax, with Anja Dixson

(This article was originally published in UGLY THINGS #24) 

The Phantom Brothers, 1965. L to R: Rudi Kruger, Horst Kruger, Olgerd Wokock, Wolfgang Wokock (Photo by Astrid Kirchherr)


In my personal Sixties rock’n’roll pantheon Germany’s Phantom Brothers occupy a special place near the very top of the heap. I actually became a fan of the group before I’d even heard a note of their music, my enthusiasm based entirely on a set of photos in the German pictorial book, The Beat Age. Surly and stone-faced, decked out in leather and stripes, and with a lead singer with hair down past his shoulders—in early 1965!—they exuded style and attitude. And the live shots, with that singer shaking maracas and tambourine together, and a guitar player windmilling his arm Townshend-style, suggested a sound that couldn’t be anything less than flat-out WILD, man.