KYIV, UKRAINE – Calling themselves “The Monkles” and playing (loud) rock and roll music with an Orthodox Christian message, four Ukrainian monks have made a name for themselves in the annals of Rock ‘n’ Roll oddities.
The four monks, Ivan, Pavel, Yuri, and Kiltso, have made four CDs together, and have toured extensively throughout the Kyivan suburbs. “Next year, world tour!” grins Ivan, the group’s de-facto leader and rhythm guitarist.
“But this is not what we wanted to talk about,” adds Ivan. “We want to dispel ugly rumors about our band. Pavel is not dead.”
Apparently a rumor has been spreading through the band’s fan base that bass player and co-lead-singer Pavel is dead.
“Rumors are premature,” Pavel insists.
Apparently, the rumors got started when Pavel turned up at a gig wearing mismatched socks. “Is ancient Ukrainian sign of imposter standing in for dead bass player,” explains Yuri, the lead guitarist and by far the most well-read of the group in the spiritual classics. “But it was big mistake. Pavel was not dead, he just didn’t have enough clean socks.”
Soon fans began noticing other “hidden indications” of Pavel’s demise in the group’s ouevre. For instance, on the band’s most recent CD, Magical Monastery Tour, the icon of St Paul in the cover art is shown facing to the left, whereas most Ukrainian icons of St Paul show him facing to the right. Additionally, in the song “Back in the Commonwealth of Independent States,” Ivan supposedly can be heard, in the run-off track, saying, “I sang a Panakhida for Pavel.” In fact what he actually says is, “One spanikopita for Pavel,” referring to the group’s plans to tour Greece later this summer.
And of course it didn’t help that Pavel changed from playing the balalaika left-handed to playing the bass guitar right-handed after the band’s third CD, A Hard Day’s All-Night Vigil.
“There is not much interest in rock balalaika,” Pavel admitted sadly. “But I am definitely alive, and will remain so, God willing.”
The band has taken a break from touring right now, and is in the studio working hard on their next CD, tentatively to be called The White Russian Album.
“Please tell your readers that we would love to see them at our concerts, where we sing good music and tell young people about One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith. Or if they cannot come to Kyiv, they can buy one of our CDs which will not only make their ears ring, but make their hearts burn with love for holy, consubstantial, life-creating, and undivided Trinity. Also this helps offset costs of running monastery, and pays veterinary bills for milk goat.”
Kiltso, the group’s drummer, adds with a smile, “All you need is chotki.”
Copyright © 2007-2011 by Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.
If you like Alex Riggle’s Orthodox-themed satire, you might enjoy his recently-released book, Is Outrage!, which gathers all (but one) of the Father Vasiliy articles from the Onion Dome under one cover. Just sayin’.