Bill Del Rumple


12-31-00 Bill Del Rumple

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:

Jack  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".

The friction 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.


Management 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.

The relationship between Hot Mont and Illustrious flourished through three years, yielding three more great trend-setting albums: "The Fuel's on the Hill", "Hot TaMontle", "Mont Rushmore"; and accompanying international tours. Marketing and creative differences are the reasons for the breakup.



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. Bro". 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.   


Any info 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 Rumple

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