The Larry Mondello Band
IN THE BEGINNING, there was the Leave it to Beaver show, a television comedy of the late 1950s. Here the whole of society was distilled into a handful of characters for a half an hour each week to spin their family tales.
Beaver was the nickname of one Theodore Cleaver who represents the listener, the victim, the sucker. Wally, his older brother, represented the athletic and scholarly qualities that every boy is taught to achieve. Their parents, Ward and June, epitomized society and were responsibility personified. Ward works hard at the office, while June worries and cleans the kitchen. The boys proceed to go through the ups and downs of growing up.
The show takes us through the years of adolescence and we learn, along with the boys, about the problems of coping with society. While Beaver is in Miss Lander’s class, he meets his lifelong friend Larry Mondello, that chubby leader of lesser men, the kindhearted victimizer and troublesome innocent, Larry Mondello.
Little did their parents and friends know that for many years the two boys had a secret clubhouse where they toyed around with crude instruments trying to make music. After the show went off the air during in their post-adolescent years after rock music had been absorbed into mainstream culture, Larry continued his interest in music and at times involved Beaver in an ever stranger on and off musical collaboration that ran separate and parallel to their normal lives. Video evidence even exists that shows them at various times performing in public.
The music they made was not conventional, nor was it relaxing or melodic. While their influences perhaps lie in early primitive avant-garde rock and electronics, the music is not professional in any way. During the later years, Larry had lost touch with reality and his friend Beaver remained prone to getting involved in his flights of imagination. The sound they created truly escaped the boundaries of earthly music, resembling screaming hideously out into the universe. They seem at times as if they may be actual subconscious transmissions from the ID, with no human beings responsible for the contents. The sound is not hi-tech and the recording is very Lo-Fi.
Since the dawn of the internet and development of a voracious, fetishistic cult of music collectors, oddities have become an obsession. Various searches of thrift stores and garage sales around the country these past couple years have yielded a large amount of underground audio and video material by The Larry Mondello Band.
The actual music, if you can call it that, features a collection of primitive beats, noises, notes and strange sounds. Who can judge if it’s good, bad, or anything else, the two seem trying to bed trying to communicate something that is virtually incomprehensible. They do succeed however in creating a form of anti-music, which exists on a separate plane from any other music.
The music of The Larry Mondello Band is completely unique and can only be categorized as a product of Larry’s own personal state of mind. At the very least, they are an artifact of the time before the machines took over and downloading made music a phantom of the ether, a non-corporal substance. The music of LMB is the antithesis of all that…
LMB Select Discography