Eddie Shaw

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Eddie Shaw was bass player in the Monks, one of the strangest rock groups of the '60s, and indeed, of all time. Shaving their heads into monk haircuts, this group of ex-American armed-services personnel…
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Eddie Shaw was bass player in the Monks, one of the strangest rock groups of the '60s, and indeed, of all time. Shaving their heads into monk haircuts, this group of ex-American armed-services personnel made harsh and angry pre-punk music in Germany in the mid-'60s, recording one album before splitting. Shaw continued to play music after returning to the U.S., most notably with the '70s band Copperhead, but remains most famous for his stint in the Monks. In part, that's because of his book about the Monks, Black Monk Time, written (under the name Thomas Edward Shaw) with his German ex-wife, Anita Klemke. This is one of the great rock autobiographies, looking back at a fascinating time of lunacy -- primarily with the Monks -- with wit and candor. As rock autobiographies go, it stands out for a few reasons. The Monks, although not commercially successful, were an extremely interesting group that has not been documented elsewhere; Shaw, being known only on a cult level, had no particular reason to be guarded about his image or celebrity; and he, unlike most rock musicians (and their collaborators/ghost writers) penning autobiographies, can actually write well. In fact, Shaw also writes darkly humorous short stories, many based on his experiences growing up in Nevada. Several were collected in the 1992 anthology A Cowboy Like Me (Carsonstreet Publishing), also issued with the byline Thomas Edward Shaw.