"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> KONGRESS
Reviewed by: Sharla Cartner
Including Excerpts from Otto von Ruggins
Band Members:
Otto von Ruggins
Rodentius Grok
Aristedes DuVal
Geoffrey Crozier
Robert Crash
Lou Rone
Joseph Alexander
Frank Stokes
Kip Kuba
E. Paul Schnug
Christopher Knoh
Scratch Tension
Jacques Limage
Bobbie Burns
Richard Levine
Steve Mecca
Bob O'Keefe
John Candy Carr
David Brenowitz
Chris Stokes
Robbie Weissbard
Stephen DePra
Sky Saxon (guest)
The infamous alternative, gothic, experimental band Kongress emerged in 1975, and has consisted of many members over the years, including, Geoffrey Crozier who conjured up spirits, Von Lmo, Master of Reverse Trapology, Robert Crash/Renate Twin Towers of Teutonic Guitar Power, Frank Stokes stabilizing the Bass Bottom and Master of the Unheard of, Otto von Ruggins, Saving the Musick World with his Keyboard Wizardry! Kongress' influences include the likes of The Pretty Things, The Who, Kraut rockers Amon Duul II & Can, and The Zombies and their music sounds like eerie bizarre Goth electronica music out of a basement. Kongress are featured in 'No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980' by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley and are also working on the release of a DVD of the epitome of a Halloween Show - Max's Kansas City, NYC -1976 (taped by Bob Gruen) and 1977 (taped by Rod Swenson). For more information on the DVD:
Over the years Kongress has produced some amazing, magical music with songs like Oliver Twist, Sam Son, Eyes of the Witness, Frozen Head, Bebop Dada Debutante, Cybercrazed, Magick, Backwards Dog with Aristedes DuVal, two songs recorded with Sky Saxon, Wink of an Eye and Space, and one of my favourites Tough Guys Don't Dance sang by Marilyn, who replaced Geoffrey in 1978. The song Tough Guys Don't Dance was inspired by the Norman Mailer novel by the same name, which he made into a movie. He was sent a copy of the 45, and wrote a note to Kongress questioning their right to use his title, to which the band responded, "titles cannot be copyrighted, check with the Library of Congress!" Kongress is a very talented and versatile band; they possess clever, amusing lyrics, electronica music, and experimental music combined with dark sorcery and magical influences. They are shrouded with mysterious occult ways of the bizarre and eerie strange coincidences. The story behind the song Sam Son is quite freakish.
"This was the summer of the Son of Sam and I had penned an account of the events to that point, titled "Sam Son." When we got in the studio and the engineer heard the title of the song, he commented that he had a black labradour retriever by the same name. Ironically, a few weeks later, after David Berkowitz was captured, it came out in the papers that he claimed to be receiving orders from his neighbor's dog, a black labradour retriever! I expressed the desire to take a picture of the dog sitting in Geof's electric chair for the record cover, but not only was the tape never released, later I was informed that Sam Son had died, having been run over by a priest!" - Recounted by Otto von Ruggins.
Kongress no doubt was a band that was way before their time; the world was not ready to embrace their talents in the mid 70's. Yet they pushed the boundaries of society. A band definitely worth looking at now. Let Kongress stimulate your imagination and refresh your dark little soul!