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You're A Monk, I'm A Monk, We're All Monks
March 14, 2014 8:29 PM   Subscribe

Gary Burger, lead singer and guitarist for seminal proto-punk band The Monks, passed away early Friday morning after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 71.

As the lead singer of the pioneering ’60s garage band the Monks, Gary Burger is often cited as one of the unsung heroes of early punk rock and one of the originators of guitar feedback. And as the mayor of Turtle River, Minn., Burger spent the later part of his life modestly tucking away his status as a musical trailblazer, intent on living quietly and occasionally remembering back to wilder days gone by.

(My first post, folks -- be gentle!)
posted by Fuzzypumper (33 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

God speed, you old crazy rocker. I wonder how Mark E. Smith (best Monks cover ever) is taking the news.
posted by planetesimal at 8:32 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]

That's a real shame. The Monks have been a subject of some posts before, but I kinda wish they'd had more. Terrific, time-breaking stuff, in the way that truly great music never quite sounds like the era it came from.

In tracking down those posts I saw this old comment:

Minneapolis has sort of claimed them as a local band, for no real reason other than one of the bandmembers hailed from these parts.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:07 PM on April 21, 2006 [+] [!]

I mean, if you've got a claim to a guy like that, you should take it.

posted by ZaphodB at 8:37 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

Their Cavestomp performance in 2000 sounds astounding on tape... anybody here experience that in person?
posted by queensissy at 8:46 PM on March 14

My favorite two minutes of rock 'n' roll: Monk Chant on Beat Club
posted by bendybendy at 8:55 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]

posted by evilDoug at 8:58 PM on March 14

<3 munks RIP
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:59 PM on March 14

Oh, man, the Minks ruled!. Good job, Mr. Burger!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:00 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

posted by ducky l'orange at 9:04 PM on March 14

posted by Bigfoot Mandala at 9:14 PM on March 14

You think like I think.

posted by invitapriore at 9:21 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

posted by quazichimp at 9:27 PM on March 14

I uh typoed
I genuinely love the Monks
posted by Greg Nog at 9:36 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

You must do 20 Hail Garys in penance
posted by invitapriore at 9:53 PM on March 14

posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:09 PM on March 14

posted by Woodroar at 10:22 PM on March 14

posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:43 PM on March 14

posted by From Bklyn at 11:58 PM on March 14

As I wrote in the previous Monk post, my wife met Gary when she was teaching a crafts class in Bemidji and the organizer asked if they could film her talking about her work. Gary filmed it at his house and he gave her a copy of the interview when they finished. She remembers him as very kind and interesting when he recalled his life as a Monk.

posted by jabo at 12:03 AM on March 15 [1 favorite]

There's a few songs that, no matter how many times I hear them, just immediately set my pulse racing and my blood pumping, just amazing bits of pure passion that make you want yell and scream and fight and fuck everything in sight. Monk Time is near the top of that list. Not bad for 1965.

posted by Palindromedary at 12:04 AM on March 15 [2 favorites]

posted by equalpants at 1:17 AM on March 15

Oh man, The Monks were such a phenomenal band and Gary Burger was a great singer. I try not to get caught up in what-might-have-beens but I often wonder what they'd have made if they'd gotten to record another album. Either way, He Went Down to the Sea is a great final bow for any musician.
posted by Kattullus at 2:08 AM on March 15 [1 favorite]

posted by drezdn at 4:43 AM on March 15

posted by parki at 4:45 AM on March 15

posted by oceanjesse at 5:56 AM on March 15

The Monks are one of my favorite favorite favorite ever bands. I listen to Black Monk time when I am feeling bouncy or down or when I can't think of anything else to listen to.

Christ I'm sad.

posted by louche mustachio at 6:30 AM on March 15 [2 favorites]

posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:01 AM on March 15

posted by to sir with millipedes at 9:48 AM on March 15

posted by LaunchBox at 10:55 AM on March 15

My favorite two minutes of rock 'n' roll: Monk Chant on Beat Club

Recorded in 1965 - it's hard to overstate how ahead of their time the Monks were.

Even in the context of the wildly creative, proto-punk German scene of their day, the Monks stood out.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:16 PM on March 15

I got these drugs in my pocket, now I'll never know what to do with them.

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:56 PM on March 15

(oops, wrong Monks, carry on)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:58 PM on March 15

posted by Monkeymoo at 4:01 PM on March 15

posted by Pouteria at 5:15 AM on March 16

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