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Monti Wants To Rock You - Again

“People think that he’s dead.” Quite the contrary, says Jim Daugherty. At 72, Monti Rock is alive and well and living in Las Vegas. But Daugherty allows that it has been a long time since Rock has, well, rocked. “I have people check him out on YouTube. That’s been kind of a rebirth for him.” Daugherty, who lives in Del Cerro and plays drums for both the California Rangers and the Sundance Band made Rock’s acquaintance in 2003. He says they have been friends since.

Possibly this is why Mr. Rock would like to have Daugherty stage his comeback show in San Diego.

“I talk to him about every other day. He’s become a real good friend. If you met him,” Daugherty says, "you’d think so too.”

Monti Rock, who has also performed as Disco Tex, is a veteran of 84 guest appearances on the Tonight Show back when the stylish man used hair spray and wore white loafers and Johnny Carson was still host. Born Joseph Montanez Jr., Rock was at various times a New York hair dresser, male model, singer, and a club comic.

But most of all, Monti Rock was a scene unto himself.

“He was high camp, a flamboyantly gay hairdresser/rocker or something – you didn’t know exactly what he did,” writes Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler in his autobiography Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? “He was this outrageous person saying outrageous stuff. Who cared what he did?”

And according to Tyler’s recollection, Monti Rock had friends in high places.

“Jim’ll be here soon,” Monty said. Jim fucking Morrison was coming over? We awaited his arrival like that of a god. He came late, and by the time he got there, we were so wasted we thought it was Van Morrison.”

Daugherty thinks that Monti Rock may indeed be the first person to become famous for simply being famous. “I told him Paris Hilton robbed him.” Over the years, Dougherty has digitized all of Rock’s old videos and put the library up on YouTube where he says Rock gets hits, but probably not from a young crowd. “I don’t think anybody under 50 would remember him.”

What ended Monti Rock’s career, says Dougherty, was a dead guy in a swimming pool. Gary Kellgren owned the Record Plant recording studios, and Rock was staying with him in Hollywood at the time. “Everybody said Monti murdered him, and even though he didn’t (Kellgren was determined to have drowned while attempting to repair some underwater speakers) the accusation stuck and it killed his career.”

So what would a Monti Rock gig look like in the absence of old-school TV shills like Carson and Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas? Pure theater, is the answer. “He’d come out and do his one-man show.” Dougherty says Rock can still sing and tell stories, mostly about his career. He fancies booking a stage in Hillcrest, owing to the fact that Monti Rock is gay. Yeah,” Dougherty says. “Maybe some place in Hillcrest. His act is a little outrageous.” Image

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“People think that he’s dead.” Quite the contrary, says Jim Daugherty. At 72, Monti Rock is alive and well and living in Las Vegas. But Daugherty allows that it has been a long time since Rock has, well, rocked. “I have people check him out on YouTube. That’s been kind of a rebirth for him.” Daugherty, who lives in Del Cerro and plays drums for both the California Rangers and the Sundance Band made Rock’s acquaintance in 2003. He says they have been friends since.

Possibly this is why Mr. Rock would like to have Daugherty stage his comeback show in San Diego.

“I talk to him about every other day. He’s become a real good friend. If you met him,” Daugherty says, "you’d think so too.”

Monti Rock, who has also performed as Disco Tex, is a veteran of 84 guest appearances on the Tonight Show back when the stylish man used hair spray and wore white loafers and Johnny Carson was still host. Born Joseph Montanez Jr., Rock was at various times a New York hair dresser, male model, singer, and a club comic.

But most of all, Monti Rock was a scene unto himself.

“He was high camp, a flamboyantly gay hairdresser/rocker or something – you didn’t know exactly what he did,” writes Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler in his autobiography Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? “He was this outrageous person saying outrageous stuff. Who cared what he did?”

And according to Tyler’s recollection, Monti Rock had friends in high places.

“Jim’ll be here soon,” Monty said. Jim fucking Morrison was coming over? We awaited his arrival like that of a god. He came late, and by the time he got there, we were so wasted we thought it was Van Morrison.”

Daugherty thinks that Monti Rock may indeed be the first person to become famous for simply being famous. “I told him Paris Hilton robbed him.” Over the years, Dougherty has digitized all of Rock’s old videos and put the library up on YouTube where he says Rock gets hits, but probably not from a young crowd. “I don’t think anybody under 50 would remember him.”

What ended Monti Rock’s career, says Dougherty, was a dead guy in a swimming pool. Gary Kellgren owned the Record Plant recording studios, and Rock was staying with him in Hollywood at the time. “Everybody said Monti murdered him, and even though he didn’t (Kellgren was determined to have drowned while attempting to repair some underwater speakers) the accusation stuck and it killed his career.”

So what would a Monti Rock gig look like in the absence of old-school TV shills like Carson and Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas? Pure theater, is the answer. “He’d come out and do his one-man show.” Dougherty says Rock can still sing and tell stories, mostly about his career. He fancies booking a stage in Hillcrest, owing to the fact that Monti Rock is gay. Yeah,” Dougherty says. “Maybe some place in Hillcrest. His act is a little outrageous.” Image

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Comments
1

My bad: it's spelled Daugherty, not Dougherty. Sorry Jim!

Nov. 4, 2011

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