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(classic selected articles from 1985-2001)
Hot Mont hailed as Napster  prophet , Hot Mont Latin resurgence , Illustrious Manager , more
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8-29-00 Groovy Scene issue #198
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According to this  recent interview excerpt from a somewhat-dubious midwest rock rag called 'Groovy Scene' , someone thinks they've found the last compilation of Hot Mont's work…

" In the rubble of a  destroyed music studio outside Macon ,Ga. we found several remnants of tracks that were laid down in what we assume were the final days of recording at the studio. At the very bottom of the jumbled mess, a lone can was found intact which we belief to be the master for what was to be the 1977 upcoming release for Hot Mont and his dynamic crew of musicians and technicians. The can was labeled with the title of  'EXPULSIVE ANALITY'. Some highly technical work will need to be done in an attempt to  recover these tracks. The notations on the can reveal that on this mysterious collection of Hot Mont creations,
his paramour of the time, lovingly referred to as ' Analie', helped create this collection of eclectic tunes that was intended "to span time as if  it were standing still". From different notations we found at the studio location, this was  taken to be Hot's final foray
into music as a means to convey his philosophies.

artist's sketch of Mont's possible appearance today
This collection of music was probably intended to introduce his next collection of written material, which he claimed to would rival Michel de Nostradamus' quatrains."                    
   -8-29-00 Groovy Scene

 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 1975.

The main 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.
The 10 piece 'Hot's  Combat  Tea Set' (which was recalled after the small explosive charges in the handles of the cups caused minor injuries to fingers)
 is 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:
The '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.
These useless 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.  

Hot Mont & 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.)

Never really 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 U.S...excepting in certain Midwest pockets of popularity.

This current 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.
-Tab Wenderson

By Malcolm Drie …Rolling Rock Magazine     11/4/00

It's election 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.

His writings 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 early 1975):
  "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 life."

Mont addresses a
televised political rally
  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 really existed.  
 By Malcolm Drie


Hot 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 enlarge)
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 them."

"This will 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."

"Let's now 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."

"But what 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"

"Once the 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 "data"
already 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."

"Although 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 unfixable!)".
-printed from "One World Dis-Order"

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 music!.

-12-18-00 Arthur 'Artie' Martin / Rolling RockMagazine.  

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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.

Substantiated 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 tribute album.

The highlight 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.
This 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.)

"The 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 enemies.

After a 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".

Bill Shephard 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 now" folder.

-Bill Del Rumple 1999  "Legends of The Heartland"

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 the process.

Hot's vocals , 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 players.)

The vocal 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 America.

Although 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 " .

Whatever Hot 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 /1985

 The Hot Mont Society 2000  Wants the "Missing Manuscripts"
The HMS2000 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 Society

 Another forgotten gem emerges:
"City & Country" by Hot n' Pappy
-3-5-01 HMS2000
This 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 limited areas.
Hot 'n 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.
Pappy 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 enlarge

"City & Country"

(featuring Hot Mont on acoustic cowbell and
  Pappy WiCusick on fiddle).

A search for copies of another specialty  release reputedly called 'Mont the Hoopla' is currently underway!

-3-5-01 HMS2000
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:

Jack P. 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".

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 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.

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 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, PhobiaRupert Holmes , TalusDetective. 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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