Monte Cazazza, the transgressive artist who coined the term "industrial music," died on Tuesday, June 27. He was 74. I first learned of Monte's work when I was a teenager reading interviews with him in the RE/Search books Pranks! and Industrial Culture Handbook. A collaborator with Throbbing Gristle, Survival Research Laboratories, Factrix, and SPK in the 1970s, Monte embodied a Dada/prankster approach to his entire life that helped shape the experimental music and performance art world of the time, and ever since. His transmedia work included mail art, audio collage, provocative sculpture, and a variety of bizarre happenings that RE/Search described as "insanity-outbreaks thinly disguised as art events."
When I arrived in San Francisco in 1993—drawn here in part by people and ideas I learned about through RE/Search and Mondo 2000—I coincidentally met Monte at a Church of Satan bash during my first week in the city. I was slightly starstruck but he was incredibly warm, inviting me to an upcoming lecture he would be giving on Siamese twins. I was thrilled not just that I had met this fantastic fringe culture character I had read about for years, but that he was so approachable and kind. RIP, Monte.
"Interview with Monte Cazazza" (Slash, 1979)