Yesterday, Dave Day of the band the Monks passed away.
If you don’t know the Monks, they were a great rock band formed by American soldiers stationed in Germany in the ‘60s. After leaving the military, they stayed in Germany, performing and recording the fantastic album Black Monk Time in 1966 (now a cult classic and influential to a ton of great musicians.) Even if you do know the magic of the Monks, you might not know that the group’s electric banjo player, Dave Day, was from these parts and had lived in Renton for many years. About 5 years ago, I had the good fortune of meeting Dave and his wife for lunch, along with a visiting German filmmaker who was just starting to plan a documentary about the group. Dave was great, and seemed genuinely touched and surprised that we were such fans of him and the band. And of course I was near giddy meeting the strumming Monk! He told me some stories, and a bit about his homemade electric banjo (and the many complaints people had at the time about the unusual, piercing percussive sound). The Monks documentary was finally completed just last year, and we’ve been working to arrange Seattle screenings (hopefully coming soon). Of course I was hoping that Dave Day would be in attendance to talk and, more importantly, to receive rousing applause. Sadly he left us before that could happen. But I’m sure that wherever he is, he’s making a fantastic racket.
Here’s a great Monks performance clip from 60s German TV. Do yourself a favor- buy the album, and keep your eyes peeled for the documentary. -Peter