This fall marks the fifteenth anniversary of the founding of Monday Nights, a weekly “do it yourself” underground music concert series which for ten years was propelled to ever-higher aesthetic heights thanks to the support of countless friends, performers, artists and attendees.
People tell me Monday Nights were legendary. I would agree—these were the most inspirational years of my life. I made so many lifelong friends thanks to these shows. If you are reading this, there’s a good chance you did too.
Now for the first time I have compiled a list of every Monday Night and related events—all 471 of them.
During Monday Nights’ long run, 1,264 artists, performers, bands, comedians, DJs, VJs, MCs and more did their thing on stage.
Radical inclusion and artistic boundary-busting was what it was all about.
When you add in repeat appearances by the performers, we are talking about an astonishing 2,217 sets here—averaging six per show. So much fun.
Our artistic community certainly was and is overflowing with talent and creativity.
Everyone should be proud of that vitality.
Please remember that if you ever feel down—you are part of something that’s unique and impressive.
The very first Monday show was an invite-only test run with DJs, Jell-O shots and videos from my colleague and friend at Hustler, director Eon Mckai, on Monday July 25, 2005.
We kicked things off for real the following week—August 1, 2005—with something closer to what became the Monday Night formula: a half dozen new bands or performers drawn from all genres, mainly L.A.-based but with touring friends mixed in (like Treasure Mammal from Arizona pictured in the photo at the start of this post), mashed together into what was billed as “the best of the cutting edge.” Our venue was the now legendary Il Corral near the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope.
Yes, this is the Il Corral you’ve heard about. The one with the indoor rope swing. The all-night partying. The nasty pit of a bathroom.
This venue was a hole-in-the-wall former sweatshop hidden away behind the bougainvillea between Penn Jillette’s Sacred Fools Theater, legendary VHS rental spot Mondo Video and Pizza Paul’s Italian restaurant.
Today the flowery vines have fully covered the former Il Corral entrance. “What we do is secret”—indeed.
But Il Corral was not the only early Monday venue.
One thing I can finally reveal here is that in order to create a temporary autonomous zone in which maximum no-rules creativity could flourish, I rented the venues for every single show. I am eternally grateful to our host venues for allowing me to do this.
Creative space ideally should be portable—no should own it, and no walls or venerated history should limit it.
By staying independent, but supportive of our communities, we show that art can flourish outside institutions.
Another revelation for you: we did all these shows without professional security.
When I was growing up in the punk rock 1980s, I noticed that the mere presence of outsider black shirt security dudes sparked violence and unrest in otherwise peaceful crowds.
Rent-a-cops never understood punk rock or D.I.Y. And security guards often led to scrutiny by real cops who I’ve watched club and drag my friends for no reason beyond freaky dancing to a noisy-sounding band.
So we banished the cops and proved my point. In ten years we never had any serious issues. Everyone remained safe, no authorities necessary.
Thanks for understanding and for looking out for each other and our host venues.
Probably the venue most people associate with Monday Nights is Pehrspace, and there’s no wonder—347 of the shows happened there.
Pehrspace was a magical spot.
The Pehr parking lot was our playground in the heart of Los Angeles.
With stars above and skyscrapers standing tall in the distance, watching over us.
Performers & participants
With all the data compiled I can finally reveal the most-booked Monday Night bands and performers of all time:
Top 40 most-booked artists & performers (# of appearances)
1. I.E. (26)
2. Whitman (25)
3. Anavan (22)
4. Captain Ahab (21)
5. HEALTH (18)
6. Jon Barba aka Nicole Kidman (18)
7. Laco$te (18)
8. The Amazements (18)
9. Moment Trigger (17)
10. John Thill (16)
11. Abe Vigoda (14)
12. Bizzart (13)
13. Kevin Greenspon (13)
14. Knight Rider (13)
15. The Monolators (13)
16. Alexis Gideon (12)
17. Foot Village (12)
18. NASA Space Universe (12)
19. Tik//tik (12)
20. BIRTH! (11)
22. Creekbird (9)
23. Foot Foot (9)
24. Juiceboxxx (9)
25. Robin Williams On Fire (9)
26. The Tleilaxu Music Machine (9)
27. Treasure Mammal (9)
28. The Mae Shi (8)
29. Corima (7)
30. Cristopher Cichocki (7)
31. E&E (7)
32. Essay (7)
33. I Heart Lung (7)
34. Manhattan Murder Mystery (7)
35. Narwhalz (of sound) (7)
36. Realicide (7)
37. The Pope (7)
38. The Seizure (7)
39. Voice On Tape (7)
40. Warm Climate (7)
Most-booked DJs / VJs (# of appearances)
1. Kyle H. Mabson, aka DJ Big Gulp, DJ D Shot, DJ Dog Dick, DJ Mabolous, DJ NA, DJ Papa Scroach, DJ Pretzel Dix, DJ Reverb Lite, DJ Sack O Hats, DJ The Dirty Mop, DJ Vegan Share the Road, DJ xMondayxNightxRawx (400)
2. VJ Wes (8)
3. Margot Padilla (6)
4. DJ Big TV (4)
5. DJ Marijuana Weed (4)
This one is not super surprising—if you ever attended one of these events, you already know that Kyle Mabson owned the mixer and was one of the main drivers behind Monday Nights’ long-term success. (Sack O) Hats off to you, Mr. Mabson.
Most-booked comedians (# of appearances)
Burgess screened his own films, brought us the earliest incarnations of his still-running Druid Underground Film Fest, and brought down the house with Skull Kiss. A supporter from the beginning. We love you, Burgess.
I often say that every single Monday Night show was the best event ever, and that’s the truth. How remarkable is that? 470 consecutive shows and they all kicked ass. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever been a part of.
Note: I am missing photos of some of the shows. Do you have the photos I’m missing?
Final word on this… there’s no finality! We can’t go back in time or dwell in the past, but we can bring those good times and good friendships into the present with us.
Until we meet again at some far-out happening, much love to you. And hit me up if you’ve got something for me to listen to, or if you just wanna say hi. I miss you and would love to hear what you’re doing!