Thelonious Monster

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A sort of all-star collection of L.A. scenesters and musicians, Thelonious Monster formed in 1986 and specialized in what would best be described as drunk-rock in the tradition of the Replacements. Ramshackle, loose live performances -- one was never sure if the band would actually turn up or finish out -- seemed to be their hallmark, yet at times lead vocalist and lyricist Bob Forrest was capable of brilliance. No matter the lyrical scenario, nothing was ever good enough for him. The band began with a messy, four-guitar record, Baby....You're Bumming My Life Out in a Supreme Fashion in 1986 with Pete Weiss, drums; Jon Huck, bass; K.K., guitar; Bill Stobaugh, guitar; Chris Handsome, guitar; and Dix Denney, guitar. They followed it with Next Saturday Afternoon, a more coherent effort. The John Doe-produced Stormy Weather in 1989 was a step up, as the band had since been taken under the wing of X and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, serving as a support act and getting some informal studio help from Doe and Flea on occasion. The lineup revolved, but in the end, Weiss, Denney, and Handsome remained true to Forrest. Beautiful Mess, an uneven, all-star gala (appearances by Tom Waits, Al Kooper and Soul Asylum) came out three years later. Forrest occasionally appears as a solo acoustic act, and the band tours sporadically. ~ Denise Sullivan, Rovi

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