Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band You Never Heard Of

We tend to think that talent and accomplishment mean fame and success. One Toronto band, the Monitors, who in my estimation created awesome music, got very little recognition, didn't last long, and no doubt was completely paid for out of the band members pockets.
I first heard them around 2006 in a tiny little place on Queen Street called the Smiling Buddha bar. When they got up to play I had no idea who they were but immediately realized how great they were.
Keith on his Melody Maker
Their last show was several years later at Clinton's. Some band got up before them, did a tasteful set, showed how good they were on their instruments and behaved like they thought a rock band should. Ho Hum. Then the Monitors got up and tore the place apart like they had no choice. And that was that.
Diego Shea
Special mention goes to Diego Shea, who did main vocals and songwriting. He's currently playing in the Castros. The Monitors Myspace page is still available, with four great songs you can hear, of which Easy Rider is my favourite. Go to Myspace and search for "themonitorsmusic". I'm happy owner of a copy of all demos extant (thanks Keith). Sometimes world-class bands play just down the street for free.

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