King King Knights
The Knights of Monte Carlo are a self-proclaimed yacht band. You may be asking yourself, "What is a yacht band?" That's a good question.
I wasn't so sure when I took this assignment either, so I hit the Internet in search of an answer. Turns out they are actually a 70's soft rock band that plays some of the most melodic and enchanting music out there. They also have quite a large and loyal following.
Their website, knightsofmontecarlo.com, is filled with quick witted, well written rhetoric on how they are the number one yacht band in America. I wasn't sure if this was all a big joke to them, or if they were serious about their music and just take themselves lightly enough to poke some fun at an era that produced the Pet Rock, the Chia Pet and the always dreaded disco.
I called the number listed on their site as the booking agent and got a generic "we're not here right now, leave a message" voicemail prompt. I couldn't stop thinking "this is all just a big joke. These are six grown men that all resemble Chuck Norris in their own way and play soft rock. Now, I get one of their personal cell phone voicemail boxes, which they are also using as a booking agent."
My call was returned promptly by a professional sounding gentleman that informed me I could interview the band on Thursday, Feb. 18th at the King King Nightclub in Hollywood. It all started sounding a little more legitimate to me, and I was looking forward to experiencing America's number one yacht band first hand.
I got back on their website and played a few of their tracks. They sounded much better than I expected. The beats were so smooth I wanted to repeat the songs at least twice. Each song on the playlist is a bigger hit than the last.
I arrived at the King King around 8:30 p.m. and picked up our press passes before heading backstage to meet with the band for the first time. The King King does its best to stay hidden by putting the only entrance in the rear of the building and inside a private parking lot.
While walking passed the front, two separate people asked me if I knew where the entrance was. It is reminiscent of the bar "The Room" from the film "Swingers," where the only entrance is in a back alley laced with seedy individuals. It is fitting of the times though as vagabond has become the new sheik.
Once I crossed the threshold to the actual club the sounds of The Knights of Monte Carlo turned the atmosphere from a mish-mosh of musical influences, as suggested by the haphazardly decorated hallways, to a suddenly swanky joint. The band dresses like a mix between Mr. Howell from "Gilligan's Island" and Will Ferrell's character, Ron Burgundy in the film "Anchorman."
All but one of the six band members sport monster-sized mustaches and/or an elaborate array of sideburns, Fu-Manchu's and any other collage of configurations one can imagine in the fine art of facial hair.
I was introduced to "Doc Spyders," the lead singer, and we stepped into the green room for a quick round of questions.
Corsair: Where did the idea to form a yacht rock band come from?
Doc Spyders: We were on a yacht in the Mediterranean, just outside of Monte Carlo and there were some members of royalty on board. They requested we play and that is where we first got the idea to be a yacht rock band.'
This guy can't be serious with this nonsense was the thought dominating my mind as we started the interview. I could have done one of two things at this point; tear apart the contradictions or lend my mind to the fantasy they have created. The easy-going atmosphere got the best of me and I decided to just go with it.
Spyders managed to blur the line between reality and fiction so many times that there were moments of his story I found myself believing him.
C: It says on your website that you guys aren't a cover band. Where do you see this going? What is the motivation behind all of this?
DS: We're trying to bring class back. When people go out today they dress like whores. We want to bring back a time when people dressed up and had class.
C: I agree, but is this what you guys want to do for a living? Is this serious to you guys?
DS: Absolutely. We are in the process of setting up gigs in Las Vegas for the weekends. We will be playing Red Rock Casino and then Tropicana for the summer.
C: That's amazing. What is your favorite place to play?
DS: We played a wedding in Cabo San Lucas one time. It was all expenses paid. We handed in receipts for jet-skis, alcohol and all kinds of stuff. It was for the son of the guy who founded Skechers. Our favorite venue is actually here at the King King though. We are celebrating our one-year anniversary as a group tonight.
C: What are your influences outside of 70's soft rock? In other words, what's on your iPod?
DS: I can honestly say this is what we love. All of our iPods are filled with soft rock. We really like the music and the whole lifestyle of it.
Their show opens with a cheese and wine tasting, infused with an hour-long introduction video shot in a "Hawaii-5-0" style. When the video stops, the music starts. The jam packed club goes crazy as they open with "Afrika."
The night only gets better as they have everyone in the audience singing along and pulling people on stage to join the swanky party they are throwing, complete with bad suits and boxed champagne. By the time they get to their Hall and Oates material the crowd is already so transfixed on the band's energy, their eyes never leave the stage.
As if 70's rock, boxed wine, yachting attire and a crowded room weren't enough to keep interest, Spyders declared a perpetual 40th birthday party by blasting a confetti cannon that reigned ticker tape all over the dance floor.
No matter what kind of music you like, you can't hate 70's rock. This isn't going to be anything you haven't heard before, but the fun is in the familiarity and nostalgia. This is a can't miss show that will leave you humming their tunes the whole way home.
The Knights of Monte Carlo will be performing at Pala Casino on March 28th, 2009. For more information on the band or to sample and buy albums check out their website at, knightsofmontecarlo.com.