I wrote the following introduction in 2008. I’m re-posting here, now with some minor edits. I can’t believe how much time has passed and that I never finished the new music that I was working on at the time… oh well at least I put some of the old music online…. maybe someday I’ll get back to working on that “new” stuff again or I may just post the pieces that now seem “good enough”, they are kinda cool as is, just very sparse and kinda childishly experimental. I’m not sure I will ever want to finish the others at this point, it might be better to just start from scratch if I ever record again. In the meantime I’m re-posting some stuff from my old blog and adding some new things here and there.
In 1979 Elizabeth Laurent Montague moved from Ventura, CA to Isla Vista, CA to go to college at UCSB. In the early part of 1980 Elizabeth made a short Super 8 film called ‘Dreaming’ with Ventura friend Erin Figueroa as the actor, and with a small costumed part by her brother Rod (future ‘Super Heroines’, Christian Death and Noise God drummer). Later that year, Elizabeth moved from Isla Vista to downtown Santa Barbara, CA and shared the top floor apartment of a converted Victorian home on De La Vina Street with friend, Erin. Elizabeth, having played piano since a child, bought an electric keyboard and within a few days, after seeing the band ‘ƒX’ play the closing night at her favorite Santa Barbara venue ‘George’s’ and meeting one of the members in a local bar, Elizabeth joined ‘ƒX’ as a keyboard player and vocalist. Shortly thereafter the De La Vina Street household grew to also include Rod Figueroa and a short while later poet Karin Utter, also from Ventura, moved in as well.
Elizabeth’s new band ‘ƒX’ was an art oriented band that played around Santa Barbara and was well regarded as a serious group of musician-artists who played music that defied classification. ‘ƒX’ consisted of Dave Fontana (guitar & vocals), Joe Dean (bass & vocals), Tracy Hall Adams (drums & vocals) and Elizabeth (keyboards, synthesizer & vocals). After a while Tracy left the band and Brian Engel joined. The name was soon changed to ‘a few Circles’ which was an odd translation of a title of a painting by Kandinsky. ‘ƒX’ and ‘a few Circles’ played in Santa Barbara with local bands like friends and cult record collector favorites ‘Iron Curtain’ and also with bands that came to Santa Barbara like ‘Wall of Voodoo’, ‘Suburban Lawns’, ‘Forked Tongues’, ‘The Humans’ ‘The Plastics’, ‘The Pearls’, ‘Sensible Shoes’ (with David Baerwald), ‘Crown of Thorns’ and ‘Red Wedding’. ‘a few Circles’ occasionally played in LA, at places like ‘the o.n. klub’ and once at the fabulous ‘Brave Dog’ with ‘Red Wedding’, right before they stole their drummer. Dave, Joe and Elizabeth played a few more shows with a drum machine, then decided it was time to end the band. Later, though officially no longer a band, Elizabeth, Joe, Dave and Brian recorded instrumental versions of several songs, which were then montaged, for the underground section of the film ‘Surfers’ by Elizabeth’s brother-in-law Bill Delaney. Dave, Joe, Elizabeth and friend Tim Gardner put together a new set of instrumental material for a single live performance and called the band ‘Victor the Florist’.
In 1982, after leaving UCSB, Elizabeth and Joe Dean moved from Santa Barbara to Hollywood, a block away from Rod and Karin. Elizabeth (bass and synthesizer) and Joe (bass and synthesizer) started a band called ‘Laughing Academy’ sharing lead vocals. Dag Midtskog (‘Chinas Comidas’, ‘Glue’, ‘Derita Sisters’) joined them on guitar. That version of ‘Lauging Academy’ recorded a demo with Rod Figueroa AKA ‘China’ of ‘Super Heroines’ and ‘Christian Death’. Joe also played bass with Rod in a band called ‘Noise God’ with vocalist Jim Wood and “someone from ‘Junker 88′” according to Joe. ‘Noise God’ played one show in Tijuana at the Bagdad de Noche and have a song on a punk rock compilation. It was during this time that Rod recorded Joe playing his trademark fretless Fender bass during the recording of the first ‘Christian Death’ album ‘Only Theater of Pain’ and Elizabeth always suspected they used the tracks on the album without Joe’s permission and without giving Joe credit. When Elizabeth confronted Rod with her suspicions, he didn’t deny it. Rod was famous for such things, but still a good friend. In 1985, Rod, a friend of Carla Bozulich, Perry Farrel’s roommate, suggested Joe to Perry Farrel during musician selection for ‘Jane’s Addiction’, but Joe turned Perry down, the rest is history. Rod passed away in 1991 (rest in peace, Rod).
In 1983, Dag left Laughing Academy and DJ Thom T. (formerly of ‘DV8’) joined on guitar. After a while, the band name changed to ‘Tin Brood’. A few of the drummers they worked with were Steve Roth, Barry Schneider (formerly of ‘DV8’), Mitchell, Chris and Ron (last names unknown). In 1985 Thom rented a house with Elizabeth and Joe in Hollywood near Melrose Blvd behind the house of friend Carrie (Miss Carrie) Faber. ‘Tin Brood’ rehearsed in the living room much to the resentment of the neighbors. After years of difficulty keeping drummers, Joe started playing drums in addition to synthesizer and Elizabeth played bass exclusively. A short time later they then found a drummer named PK (also of ‘Detox’) so now they had two drummers. The band in it’s various incarnations played around LA at ‘Lhasa Club’, ‘Anti-Club’, ‘Music Machine’, ‘The Roxy’ and at ‘CalArts’ where Elizabeth was a student, and some of the bands that they played with were ‘Drowning Pool’, ‘Partly Cloudy’, ‘Soul Asylum’, ‘Tones on Tail’, ‘Bonemen of Barumba’, ‘Swans’, ‘Radwaste’, ‘3 Teens Kill 4’, ‘Phranc’, ‘New Marines’, ‘Necropolis of Love’, ‘Happy Bats’, ‘Angel of the Odd’, ‘Apache Dancer’, ‘Black Keys’, and ‘Pop-O-Pies’ (Elizabeth’s beloved wine red 1963 Gibson EB3 bass was stolen at or just after that show). ‘Tin Brood’ broke up in 1986. Elizabeth and Joe continued to collaborate while Elizabeth attended CalArts, then went their separate ways in 1988.
Joe went on to play in bands Tracy Adams and the Oklahomeboys, Crawlspace, Maria Silver, Object:blender, Constant Llama, What Street?, Caleb’s Cosmosis, The Mooseheart Faith Stellar Groove Band, The Watts Band, Three Eyed Fish and The Jack Brewer Reunion Band and still writes and records his own material.
After graduating from CalArts in 1988, Elizabeth traveled to Europe to work for Bob Marley friend and harmonica player, artist Lee Jaffe, who had a solo exhibit in Gothenberg, Sweden. Upon returning from Europe, Elizabeth moved to New Orleans, where she made a series of large drawings that were shown by the illustrious Clint Peltier. Clint passed away in 1998 (rest in peace, Clint). Elizabeth then moved to New York, where she hung out with several New Orleans expatriates in addition to New Yorkers. Before returning to Los Angeles in 1991, Elizabeth lived in Ventura, CA and created a highly visible outdoor large scale artwork.
In 1992, rather than mailing a tape to Elizabeth, the members of a newly forming band called ‘Pink Depression’ simply showed up at her house having been short a bass player for that days rehearsal. Although Elizabeth was busy making and showing artwork at the time, she started working with guitarist Bruce Wagner (of ‘Page Croft’, ‘SS20′ ,’Skooshny’, ‘Davie Allan and the Arrows’) and Cristian Omar Madrigal Izzo (another Rozz Williams’ drummer, a strange coincidence). After a short time, that band fell apart. Another short lived band around that time was called ‘Cicatrice’ which consisted of Elizabeth on vocals and bass, Steve Dietrich (‘Cuba Las Vegas’), Bruce Wagner and Nanette Roeland on guitar at various stages, an unknown cello player and various drummers including Brad Fuller. Later, Elizabeth (vocals, bass & guitar), Bruce (vocals, guitar & bass) and Brad (drums) collaborated in the band ‘Marrow’. Shortly after ‘Marrow’ played their first out of town live show, the drummer quit. In 1996, the difficulties caused by trying to cope with the personalities, quirks and needs of numerous musicians for the last 16 years, but mainly financial concerns caused Elizabeth to forego having a band of her own for many years to come.
Being self-managed groups, apparently making an actual album to sell wasn’t high on priorities, but there still remains a great deal of recorded material, which is in the process of being converted to digital format and selections of these and other projects will soon be made available.
In 1995, having just lost their bass player, Randy Bradbury to ‘Pennywise’, Elizabeth played bass for ‘The Gun Club’, with Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Kid Congo (‘The Cramps’, ‘Congo Norvell’ ‘Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds’), Mike Martt (‘Tex and the Horseheads’ ‘Low and Sweet Orchestra’), and Brock Avery (Wayne Kramer) for their performance at the Palace as part of the ‘Ringling Sisters’ Christmas Benefit. David Travis filmed the entire show which also featured ‘the Ringling Sisters’, Henry Rollins, Flea from the ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’, and ‘Possum Dixon’ with whom Jeffrey performed ‘Fire Spirit’. Sadly, that was to be Jeffrey and the Gun Club’s last performance ever. Jeffrey Lee Pierce passed away shortly thereafter while working on his book ‘Go Tell the Mountain’ (rest in peace, Jeffrey).
For Elizabeth, 1996 was the beginning of a long break from playing music. Elizabeth currently lives in Los Angeles and works in the field of design. She has plans to release, via internet, old and new recordings in the near future.