QUEST FOR ILLUSTRIOUS
12-31-00 Bill Del
For the past
several months , there has been a resurgence of interest in 70's
rock icon Hot Mont. From his new rebirth in Latin America to his pages &
fan clubs that are popping up on personal websites,
without doubt, the man is hot right now.
But what of
his manager, the man who behind the scenes more-or-less created the
"persona" that we all perceived as Hot Mona? His name has been
mentioned in various writings many times, but no one has apparently
tried to actually locate this key player in the saga of Hot Mont.
We here at
"Legends of the Midwest" newsletter have decided to make it our
quest to find the one man who can shed light on the Hot Mont
mystery. Rumors abound regarding Illustrious's present locale. Since
none of the writings we've seen have given Illustrious more than a
passing mention, a short biography is in order:
Best (aka: Illustrious Manager) began his music industry
activities in the early 1970's initially with a local
Pennsylvania garage band called Victory at Sea
(a.k.a: Victuals) He took
this rag-tag outfit from the garage to such prestigious venues as The Choc Shop
(a popular trendy coffee house) and Sherman Public Hall another well-known mid-sized concert
venue of that time in upstate NY. Illustrious's frustration with
this amateurish combo caused him to be physically thrown off stage
by band members who grew weary of his constant admonitions such as
"quit sucking so bad" & "you hardass pricks don't know
what's good for ya".
deals were signed and recording sessions were set up with
producer/engineer Wyan Lantz, and the "Hot Mont" sound was
born. Once completed, the album was released by Illustrious on his
own local record label, and after selling 20,000+ copies regionally,
it was picked up by Billy Norcross's small nationally-distributed
label called Sniffbrown Records.
finally reached a head when band members began calling him
"Rivethead". This was
enough; Illustrious gave Victory at Sea their walking papers &
never looked back. By the way , the band folded weeks after that
under the inexperienced hands of new "manager" H.P
Waters. Now was the
magic moment: Illus hooked up with an excellent new cover act called "Big Ball of Rock"
that he spotted at a local pub in Lowville,Pa.
At his encouragement to write their own songs, the leader of the
band (Hot Mont) began churning out some of the most poignant songs
of the era.
Illustrious wanted Mont to stay out of politics & "shut up and sing",
but the draw of exposing hypocrisy in government was too strongly
embedded in Mont's psyche for him to resist; consequently he began
writing his first tome War is Good.
It is at this point that Illustrious's path becomes somewhat
murky. Reliable sources continue to support rumors that he is
still involved in the music industry in California. Stories
abound of his "quest" for another "a-political Hot Mont" act
to promote. These stories include his "management overtures"
to such up-and-comers of the time as "Prodigy", "Phobia",
"Rupert Holmes", "Talus" & "C.J.
As well as his rumored ventures into an ill-fated
"lighter-than-air transport company" that used old pre-WW2-era
dirigibles to move freight to remote locations.
regarding Illustrious's whereabouts or even amusing stories would be
appreciated. You can reach us with info by e-mail at:
-2000 Legends of the Heartland/ Bill Del