Art Garage Punk
1977 - 78

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

“...a musical 3D experience; drugs, decadence and death...” 
The Michigan Daily / June 1977

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 merging of two local bands, in the spring of 1977.  Laurence's psych-noise band, EMPOOL, and the remains of Cary & Niagra's DESTROY ALL MONSTER'S.  What started out as an inventive noise-music collage collaboration, quickly became motor city's new metal punk with pure party hardy mentality.  What brought the band into the limelight was the joining of guitarist Ron Asheton (X-Stooges) and bassist Michael Davis (X-MC-5). Laurence and Ben recorded on their first two singles, with two of their own originals in "the can" to this day.  They broke away from the band due to personal and creative differences on Halloween 1978, coming back for two "reunion shows" with the group, in 1983.


Cream Magazine "fold out", June 1978

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

DECEMBER 2014 Interview w/Cary Loren

And here, Cary's response to it regarding a chunk of history which the interviewer chose not to include...  to clarify a couple of items overlooked in this edited version of the interview:

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 and 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., You’re My Every Page -- studio versions exist but 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. Its unfortunate their contributions are not given equal weight in the new 'Hot Box' set— and 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 consists of rehearsals and "live" material from 1977 thru 1978, focusing
mainly on the music of the Miller Brother's original songs, which at that time (and hence forth)
had never been released prior. There are in fact two studio recordings of their songs with D.A.M.
that are unavailable to this day. These were recorded in summer 1977 during the same studio session
as NOVEMBER 22nd 1963 and MEET THE CREEPER. The songs were TAKEN FOR GRANITE and
DESTROY A.M. If you find BROKEN MIRRORS being sold by anyone other than myself and
brother Ben Miller, it is undoubtedly boot legged, and should not be purchased.

Postage & handling within the United States included

  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"

TURN YOUR EVERY PAGE "live" in Toronto @ The Horseshoe June 1978

Written by Laurence Miller    NOTE: This was written pre-monsters with lyrics that are purely existential.

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

"live" in Toronto @ The Horseshoe June 1978
Written by Ben Miller    NOTE: This song was written with Niagara in mind, and her love of the soda beverage -- Tab.

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


Written by Ben Miller    NOTE: The term A.M. was a double entendre meaning both "all monsters" and commercial "am radio"

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

"live" in Ann Arbor @ The Union Ballroom March 1978
Written by Ben Miller    
NOTE:  Dedicated to Syd Barrett's guitar of broken mirrors.

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

Fan Response after purchasing said 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.  No 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.


July 1948 ~ January 2009

He will always be missed

Michael Davis
June 1943 ~ February 2012
He too will be sorely missed

September 2008

Ben Miller speaks about his experience in D.A.M. and his current music projects,
for DSI Records. Interviewwed by Shuan and Videotaped by Clay Harris at the
2008 benefit for The Sonic Circuits Festival @ Pyramid Atlantic, MD.

Article/interview between Ben and TRAKMARX, in 2004

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 analouge 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.

Ben Miller 2003


"Live" Pics

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 Ben Miller w/alto sax,
back stage yucking it up.

Rehearsal Pics, etc


Ben Miller demoing "THE TAB MACHINE" at home for D.A.M.,
written specifically with Niagara in mind (her fave beverage).
June 1977

"DAYS OF DIAMONDS", a vinyl bootleg D.A.M. EP, was released on Black Hole Records a few months after Ben and I left the group, by then fellow X-DAM members Cary Loren, Rob King, Ben and myself. 
This record sported rough basement material from early D.A.M. rehearsals, including a silly multitrack song of mine, at Cary Loren's request, called "There Is No End".  If only it were true... Cary, Rob, Ben and I, later released an original E.P. the following year, in January 1979 as a recording project called XANADU, "BLACKOUT IN THE CITY".  It's complicated.

DAYS OF DIAMONDS   D.A.M. / 5-song vinyl EP -- out of print