(classic selected articles from
Hot Mont hailed as Napster prophet , Hot Mont Latin
resurgence , Illustrious Manager , more
| Hot Mont memorabilia
brings big bucks in Venezuela
(printed with permission of Rolling Rock
Magazine / 9-15-00 issue)
A recent rash
of Hot Mont revivalism in several Latin American nations has been
bringing good financial returns to those wise enough to hold on to
some of his memorabilia from a South American concert tour in
thrust of this recent resurgence in Hot Mont 's popularity in Latin
America is due to a widely distributed bootleg version of his 1975
salsa / reggae release "Hot Tamontle!" throughout Venezuela,
Colombia & Panama. Although the sound quality of the
bootleg is very poor , people are lining up for copies. This, in
turn has brought memorabilia collectors out of the woodwork.
T-shirts with the buzz-phrase El Monte Clarinet (the obvious translation misprint makes this shirt
very rare and very valuable) are bringing upwards of
$500.00 in reasonable condition. The more plentiful shirts with the
corrected El Monte Caliente are also fetching a fair but
substantially lower price.
piece 'Hot's Combat Tea Set' (which was
recalled after the small explosive charges in the handles of
the cups caused minor injuries to
garnering a whopping $2000.00. This ridiculous product is a perfect
example of the bad ideas and marketing that dogged Hot Mont
following his management change away from Illustrious Management in
1976. But , it gets even worse:
'Hot's Bad Mood Rings' (which were supposed to give you
a mood lift by stim-ulating nerve endings in the neck) are
even more absurd & rare.
plastic neck rings (which look like a Lost in Space prop reject)
were inspired by Hot Mont's meta-physical girlfriend of that time
, Analie and marketed in certain Latin American
countries (as well as Sherman, N.Y.& environs) for a very short
time. If you can put your hands on an authentic Bad Mood Ring
, it could bring you some serious money.
& his band disappeared from the public eye soon after recording
their never-released and tentatively titled 'Explosive Analysis'
(sic)album in Macon, Ga. late in 1977. No one has been
able to find the man who created this music that is again creating a
worldwide stir, nor has anyone ever actually located the masters to
this last known recording effort. (Although several unscrupulous
sources have reported otherwise.)
accepted in the United States as a major act , Hot Mont & crew
concentrated on the foreign markets, especially Central & South
America & Scandinavia. Hot Mont was a household word in
certain areas of the world , although largely ignored here in the
in certain Midwest pockets of popularity.
Latin American resurgence could conceivably help 'Monte Caliente.
ride on the the crest of the current Latin music craze in the U.S.,
and finally give him the credit he deserves as an innovator
unmatched in popular music culture.
ELECTION DAY 2000..
AND WHERE IS HOT MONT?
By Malcolm Drie …Rolling Rock Magazine
eve 2000 and we are wondering if Hot Mont is out there analyzing
this election. We gleaned through his writings to see if anything we
have will give us an inkling as to Hot's perceptions. His strongest
statement for this time seems to give us the burning impression that
he thought that this millennium election, no matter how it went, was
going to be the beginning of the end.
perfectly described the fiasco of the Clinton Presidency and using
that as a hallmark for his predictions, we believe we are looking at
(using Mont's words) 'The Beginning of the Fall of the
Holier Than Thou Empire'. He made several references to the
attitudes the oral minority of the country developed during
the Vietnam Conflict. It was (in his opinion) the take over without
firing a shot that Nikita Khrushchev blatantly guaranteed in 1961 at
a United Nations meeting. Paraphrasing one of Mont's lines (circa
"What we do to ourselves
today is more insidious than any modern people in the world,
we go against our natural tendencies in all aspects of
Mont addresses a
Twenty-five years ago he, of course, was speaking about our natural
tendency of being aggressive warring creatures, but it could be
applied to so many facets of life today. His dispassion for the
peace and love crowd would really come to fruition today, when
the anti-establishment of yesterday is now the embedded
establishment of today. But then again he realized this
(excerpt taken from a notebook hand written by Mont), "These
worms that have affected our way of life so effectively
will one day be in charge. They are smart enough to realize
the changes have to be made from within the system. And even though
they talk about making the world better, they are no different than
the old warlords who they despise. Mark my words, within twenty
years these people will be in charge and their methods will become
as corrupt as the old guard is now and they will fight harder than
ever to maintain their status quo, even if it
eliminates our society. Personally I would rather go down
fighting than waste away from moral bankruptcy or being done in by
morally bankrupt in the future."
As I read
some of Hot Mont's writing, I wonder if these are truly inspired
prognostications or if they are obvious ranting of a madman. Either
way they seem to be ringing true, let's hope we find the rest so we
can better determine the answer to this question. Maybe he intended
for things to work out this way, hooking us …then letting us suffer
the minimal knowledge while we hunt for his answers, if they ever
By Malcolm Drie
| HOT MONT WRITINGS REVEAL A
PREMONITION OF "NAPSTER" 12-18-00
Mont's prophetic views on the current Napster situation come
rolling through history not unlike a time-warped locomotive
plowing down a modern interstate, and even though a lot of the
modern buzz words were not available in 1976, the message is
all too clear. Years before another prophetic fellow named
Frank Zappa predicted and supported it , sharing files
on the internet was foreseen by Mont.
(click photo to
A few quotes from the "One World Dis-Order"
book (published 1976) by Montifold P. Hotenpantz (pen name for
Hot Mont ) seem to sum it up almost too well:
"In the not
too distant future, the music consumer will be able to purchase
recordings which will be absolutely as good as the original
master recordings, and more dangerously for the industry,
consumers will be able to make perfect duplications of
lead to a piracy the likes of which have never been seen. With
today's mass production 8-track & cassette technology, pirate
rack- jobbers in gas stations ,etc. have a multi-copied ,
aurally-muddled product to peddle which is massively inferior
to the major label product. Imagine the day when all copies are of
equivalent quality to the original masters."
take another technological leap to the point where all
music is digitally stored in a central access station where all
customers tie into a main station from their home subscription
music center (via satellite or other means). They then , for a
monthly fee , have access to any music or movies that they wish to
have transmitted to their car or home. Sounds great. Everybody still
gets paid. Believe it or not, I predict this to be the dominant form
of entertainment transfer by early in the next century. No more
records to warp and scratch , just great sound."
about the piracy at this level? Who will stop other unscrupulous
operators (possibly from burgeoning now-developing areas of the
world ) from developing a system of their own …one that doesn't pay
the writers , the artists , the producers ..but keeps all the
profits for itself? And, since: #1:The entire globe
will be interconnected by this time , and #2:
There will be no physical product to be shipped ,
there will be no stopping the downward rolling snowball. This
will become an international matter never to be resolved, not to
mention the thousands of manufacturing, trucking and retailing
employees who will become jobless as the demand for actual "records"
(or whatever delivery format replaces records) is gone"
industry has reached that state of dissolution, other even more
daring "sub-companies" will spring up. Why not music and film
sharing societies where the effortless and instant transfer of
easily technically available is done by individual users ; where
any member of this society or club can sift through and copy albums,
etc. from any other members library of music and other entertainment
, information, etc. ..all through a satellite link."
parts of this revolution will be good and positive (the flow of
information is good) , the damage to the machinery which actually
made the piracy possible will be irreparable ; the companies with
giant research budgets will begin to fold, consequently new
technological advances will decline. Somewhat like cutting the cord
off of your own hedge clippers while clipping your hedges, only
-printed from "One World
That to me
is an amazing few paragraphs from a man we all have come to admire
so much, he only missed on one small detail: we ended up stupidly
using slow analog copper phone lines instead of fast satellite
telecommunication. But that's a forgivable missed detail , and had
we followed suit with Mont's premonition, we'd all be moving about
the internet a lot faster today anyway..and pirating even more
-12-18-00 Arthur 'Artie' Martin / Rolling RockMagazine.
click photo to
This horror story comes to us from
a publication in central Ohio
Many of us
remember the glut of bad Elvis impersonators (be sure to
call them tribute artists) that cropped up in the late
seventies. As bad as they all were , apparently there was something
even worse which was readily available at your local lizard lounges
during that time.
rumor has it that there was an "Elvis-type" impersonator who did a
tribute to rock legend Hot Mont during the late 1970's. This fellow
& his back up band called "The Prosperity Review" took
'schmaltz' to a new level . The band included guitar, drums , bass
& four...count' em... four trombone players and featuring a lot of
tunes from Hot Mont's 'Hot Mont & the Cool Cats' big band
of the show was when front man Bill Shephard would sing
"America the Beautiful" from the "Mont Rushmore" album with fake
tears streaming down his cheeks, while the band played cheesy fife
& drum music behind him …..and marched around the lounge with
flags unfurled …pure corn…..the "lime- green -leisure suit"
crowd ate it up.
act appeared sporadically at numerous hotel lounges across the
Eastern U.S.until one overnight
drive to a
gig led to the ensemble's timely demise. While navigating I-77
just south of New Philadelphia , Ohio they were run off the road by
a van load of local drunks who were apparently looking for a fight.
(They have gangs that fight with screwdrivers & other hand tools
in that neck of the woods , we understand.)
Prosperity Review" band truck was mistakenly identified as local
lounge legend Sonny Disco who was hated by rockers in the
area. Sonny Disco brought live disco & loose morals to this blue
collar region & in doing so, made a lot of
fierce gang-style battle along side of the interstate, all the
members were permitted to leave excepting one..the one mistakenly
identified as Sonny Disco (who was actually the
mild-mannered 4th trombonist Eric Alexander.). No one ever
heard from Alexander again & the remainder of the disheartened
band vowed never to play any music that could be even remotely
identified as disco again. They thankfully never appeared again as
"The Prosperity Review".
did try to reprise his glory days as "Bill Shephard & The
Sheep Counters" in 1981, and bassist "Bones" Wood tried
unsuccessfully to market a device that was essentially a bent coat
hanger that you could play major chords on a keyboard with .
Currently all members are residing somewhere in the "where are they
-Bill Del Rumple 1999 "Legends of The Heartland"
GREAT HOT MONT VOCAL SOUND
How did he do
it? Where did Hot Mont get that natural distortion in his voice…a
sound not unlike a fine old blues guitar amp on 10. Well , it
turns out that Mont did ACTUALLY use a fine old guitar amp in
, at his insistence, were always processed though a Fender Pro
guitar amp. Onstage he usually sang through a bullet mic plugged
directly into this Fender amp. (the bullet is a classic but cheap
hand held mic that has been used for years by blues harmonica
performance on 'Hot Ta-Mont-Le' features exactly this setup .
(ed. note:currently available in Real Audio on this
site) The performances on several cuts from the 1975 Hot
Ta-Mont-Le album were gleaned from nightly live
recordings on the 1975 'Ta-Mont-Le Tour `75' of South
interviews with this "man of mystery" were few , some of his band
cohorts did speak to the media during those heady Ta-Mont-Le
days. One veteran member of Hot's band , guitarist Slim
Boggins agreed to an interview with our midwest rock mag "Babble
Rap Magazine" in 1975.
Slim laid it
on the line regarding Hot's highly- revered but also sharply
criticized distortion-vocal effect onstage: "The man's
gotta have it his way; do you tell a cowbell how to clank , a
wah-wah pedal how to wah?..well? Hot's voice is a like a
finely-tuned engine: it needs distortion & overdrive just the
same as a high performance car needs high octane fuel "
may have thought he needed to project his voice , there is no doubt
that it worked magic on the "Hot Ta-Mont-Le tour in 1975. The seed
was planted for an abundance of wonderful musical interchange
between the Americas in the upcoming decades. Who's to
say with certainty that some of this current 'artistic cultural
intermingling' would not have taken place without Hot Mont's
invaluable "diplo-music" contributions.
S. Watkins / Babble Rap Magazine
The Hot Mont Society 2000 Wants the "Missing Manuscripts"
has been in search of Hot's final manuscript, which has been
heralded by certain readers to be more insightful than Edgar Cayce
& more prophetic than Michel de Nostradamus. If anyone has
any information concerning this manuscript, please contact the Hot
Mont Society 2000.
We at the Hot
Mont Society 2000 have reason to believe that it was completed and
given to someone outside his normal "community" for safekeeping. If
our assumptions are correct, we implore you for your help in
recovering this momentous piece of material.
-Aug 2000 Hot Mont
Another forgotten gem
"City & Country" by Hot n'
eclectic release was a local novelty favorite on the jukeboxes at
places like Patty O' Malligan's in Colt Station for a time in 1977.
This was , of course , just prior to the disappearance of Mont. A
lighthearted romp through a number of bluegrass standards specially
arranged for violin & cowbell, it was well received in very
Pappy was completely ignored by the mainstream. An original copy
of this vinyl would fetch a hefty price from us here at the
HMS2000! It was a limited pressing on pea-green vinyl and
probably only 500-1000 copies of this oddball were ever pressed
as it was "pet project" by Mont for his friends.
WiCusick remains a shadowy figure. Rumor has it that he was a local
television newscaster by day (sans fake beard) & fiddled
incognito in the clubs as "Pappy" by night .
click photo to
(featuring Hot Mont on acoustic
Pappy WiCusick on
A search for copies of another specialty
release reputedly called 'Mont the Hoopla' is currently underway!
| THE QUEST FOR
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
webpages & 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 locate the one man who could 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". 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 to
"quit sucking so bad".
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
Now was the
magic moment; Illus caught a hot new act performing as an
excellent cover band called "Big Ball of Rock". At his
encouragement to write their own songs, the leader of the band began
churning out some of the best songs of the era.
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.
relationship between Hot Mont and Illustrious flourished through
three years, yielding three great trend-setting albums &
accompanying tours after that initial "local" release. 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
& Detective. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
-2000 Legends of the Heartland/ Bill