DESTROY ALL MONSTERS
Art Garage Punk
1977 - 78

Influences: Velvet Underground, Stooges, T.Rex, free-form Jazz

ZIG-ZAG Magazine July 14th 1979



"While not as well known as the Stooges or the MC5, Destroy All Monsters were another Ann Arbor band whose influence
far outstretched its life as an active
band. Combining art punk, free jazz, garage rock and lead singer Niagara's histrionics,
Destroy All Monsters were the hidden link between the Velvet Underground and no-wave bands like Sonic Youth.
"

Josh Steichmann ANN ARBOR CURRENT Sept. 2004


BRIEF HISTORY: 
Destroy All Monsters as the Miller Brothers experienced it was an odd unlikely merging of two local bands in the spring of 1977.
 Laurence's psych-noise band, EMPOOL, and the remains of Cary & Niagara's DESTROY ALL MONSTER'S.  What started out as an
inventive 
noise-music collage collaboration quickly became motor city's new punk metal. 110% pure party hardy mentality didn't help things any.
What 
brought the band into the limelight was the joining of guitarist Ron Asheton (X-Stooges) and bassist Michael Davis (X-MC-5).
Both Laurence & Ben recorded with the band on their first two singles. Two of their originals are still in the can to this day.
They 
broke away from the group band due to personal & creative differences on October 31st 1978.
Two "reunion shows" at Ann Arbor's 2nd Chance took place in 1983, and that was it.

 

Photo from their 'shoot' for CREAM MAGAZINE June 1978

Laurence Miller,  Ben Miller,  Michael Davis,  Rob King,  Ron Asheton,  Niagara,


Recorded in fall 1977 and released on IDBI recorded Feb 1978 then Re-released here on Cherry Red Records in 1979
Recorded in summer 1978 and released on IDBI Records Early 1979


Interview w/Cary Loren
December 2014

Cary's response to this Interview regarding a chunk of D.A.M. history clarifying
items overlooked in the interview w
hich the interviewer chose not to include 

Laurence Miller had a band called Empool, playing free-psychedelic music -- very experimental ‘out there’ space jazz,
and worked with a revolving group of musicians. 
This was the only band we knew of doing anything similar to D.A.M.
in '76. Niagara & I essentially merged our songs into that scene which was a short-lived middle phase of D.A.M.
Our only gig was at the Underground bar in Ypsilanti -- a kind of set up for getting Asheton out to see the band.
Everything written by the Miller brothers for D.A.M. still holds up well. 'Broken Mirrors, Taken for Granite,
Tab Machine, Destroy A.M., and You’re My Every Page'. Studio versions exist of two have never been
released —a great mystery to me. They’ve been 
held by David Keeps, the bands manager who
financed the recording sessions and he seems unlikely to release them. The Millers deserve
to have their material returned 
and heard by the public. It's unfortunate their contributions
are not given equal weight in the new 'Hot Box' set— and I feel they were also unjustly
mixed down 
on many of the tracks they play on. This is a large creative chunk
of D.A.M.'s history that still remains unrecognized.

Ron Asheton: The Stooges, Destroy All Monsters & Beyond
John Wombat Blog "From EMPOOL to D.A.M. to EMPOOL" / Ben & Laurence Miller

Part One: 17th March 2019   Part Two: 19th March 2019   Part Three: 20th March 2019





'BROKEN MIRRORS'
Destroy All Monsters CD
FarFetched Records 
© 2003

$15.00
Postage & handling FREE within the U.S.A.

BROKEN MIRRORS CD Collection consists of rehearsals and "live" material from 1977 thru 1978, focusing mainly on the music of the Miller Brother's original songs,
which have never been released. Rehearsal versions of the two studio recordings of their songs with D.A.M. [TAKEN FOR GRANITE and DESTROY A.M.] 
which haven't been released to this day are on this collection. This CD Collection was in fact boot-legged immediately
and found to be selling on Amazon. Paperwork had to be filed to get 'them' off.


                                                                                   
                                        1) You're Gonna Die
                                                            2) Bored
                                                            3) Destroy A. M.
                                                            4) These Boots Are Made For Walking
                                                            5) Soul Divider
                                                            6) The Tab Machine "live"
                                                            7) Turn Your Every Page "live"
                                                            8) Taken For Granite
                                                            9) Little Doll
                                                          10) Broken Mirrors "live"

LINEAR NOTES

BROKEN MIRRORS reflects this incarnation of Destroy All Monsters from fall 1977 to fall 1978.  In early 1977 original founders Cary Loren and Niagara would drop in on Empool rehearsals (a psychedelic free improvisation noise band incorporating analogue tape, lead by Laurence) and request we work on their own songs -- garage punk.  Eventually this imposition took hold and a loose knit hybrid group began to form.  Laurence's use of an echoplex, phaser, triggered filter and distortion (originally tagged "space guitar") graduated to playing straight-ahead rhythm guitar when Cary left the group due to personal differences in summer 1977.  My free-form alto sax playing, also run thru various electronics, became more traditional as well.  By the time Cary left, both Michael Davis (MC-5) and Ron Asheton (Stooges) had joined the band, honing a heavier metal-punk sound and we began opening up for the likes of Pere Ubu, The Ramones, and Devo to name a few.  Essentially it was one big party.  In fact, the difference between a rehearsal and a party was marginal.  We wish to thank DB, George, Hiawatha, TR, Sue, Andrea, and many others for indulging themselves in the band's vision during this time.  Due to creative differences, Laurence and I chose to leave the band shortly after completing DAM's second single in October 1978.

BENJAMIN MILLER 2003

TURN YOUR EVERY PAGE "live" in Toronto The Horseshoe 6/78

Written by Laurence Miller
© 1976
NOTE: This song was written before actually joining D.A.M.

DAM Turn Your Every Page - D.mp3 DAM Turn Your Every Page - D.mp3
Size : 3.738 Kb
Type : mp3

THE TAB MACHINE "live" in Toronto The Horseshoe 6/78

Written by Benjamin Miller
© 1977    
NOTE: This was written in reference to Niagara's love of TAB.

DAM The Tab Machine.mp3 DAM The Tab Machine.mp3
Size : 3.347 Kb
Type : mp3

DESTROY A.M. in rehearsal
Written by Benjamin Miller
© 1977

NOTE: The term A.M. was a double entendre meaning both "all monsters" and commercial music ("am radio" at that time)

DAM Destroy A.M.mp3 DAM Destroy A.M.mp3
Size : 3.953 Kb
Type : mp3

BROKEN MIRRORS "live" in Ann Arbor
The Union Ballroom March 1978

Written by Benjamin Miller
© 1977


DAM Broken Mirrors.mp3 DAM Broken Mirrors.mp3
Size : 5.539 Kb
Type : mp3


Fan Response after purchasing BROKEN MIRRORS CD, August 2010
I suspected the sound quality would be what it is so I was not disappointed. To hear this version of DAM before Asheton took control
is a revelation. Again, I like all incarnations of DAM, but in particular, the 70s line-ups, and this CD certainly represents the "missing link"
to what had gone before and what was to come. 
Contrary to what I have would expected, and no disrespect meant, but Ron Asheton
(and to a certain extent, Michael Davis) sounds a bit out of place on most of the tracks, and that includes The Stooges track. It's as if
he was playing something different to what the rest of the band was trying to achieve. The only place where he sounded good were
the October 1978 rehearsals.
It's too bad about the "lost" studio tracks... they are such good tracks in their rehearsal incarnations that it
would be revelatory to hear them "properly" recorded. 
I agree with your stating this particular incarnation "has gone almost entirely
unnoticed'. What a shame.  N
o disrespect meant, but I think such might not have been the case with a different vocalist and
Asheton as a band-member, versus band-leader. 
Thank you again for this... it gets a treasured place on my CD rack.

Regards, Charles

"DAYS OF DIAMONDS" was a vinyl D.A.M. EP released in late 1978 on Black Hole Records a few months after the twins left the group,
by then fellow X-DAM member Cary Loren. 
This record sports rough basement material from early rehearsals ending with a silly
multitrack song of Laurence's called "There Is No End"(at Cary Loren's request)
Cary Loren, Rob King, and the twins later
released an original E.P. in January 1979 as a recording project called XANADU called "BLACKOUT IN THE CITY".


Benjamin Miller speaks about his experience in DESTROY ALL MONSTERS
and his current music projects, 
for DSI Records. Interviewed by Shaun
and videotaped by Clay Harris at the 
2008 benefit for 'The Sonic
Circuits Festival' at Pyramid Atlantic, MD.

Article/interview between Ben and TRAKMARX, in 2004


RON ASHETON
July 1948 ~ January 2009

He will always be missed


MICHAEL DAVIS
June 1943 ~ February 2012
He too will be sorely missed


D.A.M. Performing @ KRAMER THEATRE in Detroit, fall 1977
 Laurence on guitar, Ben on alto sax

D.A.M. opening up for DEVO in Cleveland, Ohio 1978
Ben and Laurence Miller seen here playing the freakout noise
ending to Laurence's song, TURN YOUR EVERY PAGE



Niagara, vocals


Michael Davis, bass

 

Laurence Miller

 Ron Asheton, Niagara, and Benjamin w/alto sax backstage yucking it up


Benjamin demoing "THE TAB MACHINE" at home for the group, written specifically with Niagara in mind and her fave beverage.
June 1977