Without doubt one of the more entertaining ‘Punkish’ bands to come out of the late 70’s was The Monks. The Strawbs had exploded in a red mess all over the walls, and so John Ford and Richard Hudson decided to head off into uncharted waters. To this day I still do not quite understand what was going through their minds, and John Ford is to this day tight lipped on the subject! I have tried my best to unlock the story, but he remains somewhat (Monkish) silent.

The Monks were nothing short of brilliant! In my mind they were merely poking fun at the Punk genre. The pair of them had great musical abilities, but they tried very hard to hide them. The Monks were a phenom! Oh not in their native England so much as Canada. They did OK in England appearing on TOTP (Top Of The Pops), but it was Canada that really embraced them.

I follow the music world close enough to realize that artists copy artists, tribute bands are not uncommon. In Vegas you can listen to Elvis and after the concert he will perform the marriage rites. All over the world (but particularly in Florida, for reasons that are unknown) pretend Fab Four (The Beatles) seem to rule. There often id little rhyme or reason why a band would prefer to copy rather than invent. Some do it out of laziness, some do it out of respect.

What I did not realize was how big an impact The Monks had in Canada! On July/26 the Monks tribute band will be in high gear. Better still John Ford has decided to put on his monastery outfit and join them!

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What you might not know is that Bad Habits went double platinum in Canada, and John Ford will be receiving the award that evening.

It Is rare that you have a tribute band, and the artist on the same stage. I’ll bet it will be fun!

Simon Barrett

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