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 FX play the closing night at her favorite Santa Barbara music 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 FX 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 ƒew Circles which was an odd translation of a title of a painting by Kandinsky. ƒX and A ƒew Circles played in Santa Barbara with local bands like friends Iron Curtain, The Obvious, IQ Zero, The Tan and Norman Allan and also with bands that came to Santa Barbara like Wall of Voodoo, Suburban Lawns, Middle Class, Zealots, Obvious, Forked Tongues, The Humans, The Plastics, The Pearls, Aluminum Foil, Sensible Shoes (with David Baerwald), Crown of Thorns, Werewolves and Red Wedding. A ƒew 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 late 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 Laughing 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 (Junker 88 was another band of Rod’s that Joe played in). Noise God played one show in Tijuana at the Bagdad de Noche and Joe recorded a reel-to-reel 4-track demo tape of them. In 1985, Rod, a friend of Perry Farrel, suggested Joe during musician selection for Jane’s Addiction, but Joe turned Perry down. 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 Whale, Drowning Pool, Partly Cloudy, Tones on Tail, Bonemen of Barumba, Swans, Radwaste, 3 Teens Kill 4, Bart and the Pagan Hearts, Bag of Snakes, Phranc, New Marines, Act of Faith, Necropolis of Love, Happy Bats, Monster Club, The Web, 54-40, Dissidents, Angel of the Odd, Apache Dancer, The Black Notes, Haircuts That Kill, Pop-O-Pies (Elizabeth’s beloved wine red 1963 Gibson EB3 bass was stolen at or just after that show), Big Race, Fun, Spots etc… Tin Brood broke up in 1986. Elizabeth and Joe continued to collaborate while Elizabeth attended CalArts, then went their separate ways in 1988.
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 day’s 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, a 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’. Elizabeth recorded Marrow on reel-to-reel 4-track in her garage. 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.