The man sang backing vocals on the last T Rex album.
He's rented office space with Paul Simon , he lost his
virginity to an Australian model at John Lennon's house.
Brian Wilson called him a genius. He also presented
the cult eighties music shabang, The Tube with
the late, great Paula Yates and old Julesy.
Trashmonk's story is rooted in all the tawdry skin-up
narratives of fame you could imagine. At the age of
13 he relocated to Isle of Wight festival and witnessed
the epithany that was Jim Morrisson's wanton declaration
to the crown to suck my cock And suck his cock
Scurrilous involvement with underground magazine terrorists
OZ during it's now legendary obscenity trial
saw civil disorder and public nuisance become Trashmonk's
prevailing creed. At the Youth Action Committee
the banner under which he rallied on July 4th 1971,
he took part in a demonstration led by one father, son
and holy ghost, John Lennon.
eager, precocious activist (still only 15) was briefly
adopted by Beatle John who invited him down to his Tittenhurst
mansion in Surrey. Whiling away his time watching old
Beatles videos in Lennon's Sgt Pepper' hat, the activist
apostle had the bitter-sweet occasion to hear an early
demo for Imagine, and had his first sexual encounter
- with a 27 year old australian model.
But what has all this to do with music? Well everything
and nothing obviously.
Developing an obsession with former New York Dolls
guitarist Johnny Thunders Nick decided to return
to his roots to form a punk band - The Act co-starring
Sam harley and Dave Gilmour's brother, Mark. Signing
to Hannibal, the label run by Joe Boyd
producer to no other than Nick Drake.
The Act's debut LP received a five-star
review in Rolling Stone.
However a, mid-seventies performance on the Children's
TV show Magpie' saw the band drift haplessly
into derision and obscurity. Much the same fate awaited
it's presenters to be fair.
And the rest - whilst not being history - may for the
moment at least be worth ignoring.
The Dream Academy came - The Dream Academy went.
With major sucesses and failures on both sides of the
After a brief and perfunctory spell in the brotherhood
of heroin chic, Mcgee invited recovering Laird-Clowes
to record some demos for Creation. As a result
Nick's electronic and fucked-up folk entered into our
lives as Trashmonk.
Recorded in Nick's ladbroke grove flat-cum-studio, and
featuring sounds found during his continent-hopping
days, from Nepal to Senegal, Trashmonk's album, Mona
Lisa Vverdrive came hurtling down the lesser co-ordinates
of the techno folk fast lane.
Beck like, Drake like, Mercury Rev like, Dave Clarke
like - Trashmonk lays convincing enough claims
to the future of folk and the melodic esoretic. The
album itself is anon-specific blending of the traditional
and the experiemntal. Carried by wistful muse - driven
by technology. It's everything you would expect from
someone just returned from the trappings of recovering
" After the end of Dream Academy I had a period uncertainty.
What sort of music should I make? And if so, then where?
I had no more tapes! I decided to travel from the East
on a search for wisdom. Experiencing everything that
was simple. I went to the Himalayas, Pakistan, the Chinese
boundary to Afghanistan, Nepal... I studied with a buddhist
and Zen teacher and travelled on toward the home of
the Dali Lama. And this is where Trashmonk really
kind of comes from."
Poptones release "Mona Lisa Overdrive"
on September 10th 2001
Report by: Alan Sargeant