The Honkeys date back to sometime in 1996, the year a group of bored high school musician friends bumped heads in a suburban St. Louis basement and, after rubbing the feeling back into their skulls, decided to form a rock'n'roll band. With respect to what William Tecumsah Sherman did to the state of Georgia and what Marcel Duchamp did to modern art, The Honkeys decided to do to rock'n'roll, and bagan to pick at its crusty scab, hoping to both cause further infection and leave a very noticeable, permanent scar. The Honkeys experimented for a while as an instrumental noise band, but soon realized that if they were really going to make it work, they had better tighten up their sound. They did this by downsizing their lineup from nine people to four. And, inspired by their love of '60s go-go movies, reverb, chili, yo-yos, and the occasional professional wrestling match, they molded their noise into a groovy modern interpretation of instrumental surf music that is both unmistakable and unforgettable. And while they remain overwhelmingly uninterested in the banal predictability of the jam band resurgence or in the generic mind-numbing malaise of modern rock or alternative music, The Honkeys didn't find rock'n'roll's original language to be exhausted. They were faithful to their instruments' traditional vocabularies as they attempted to create the instrumental sound of NOW; contemporary in attitude, fresh and exciting in execution.
The band was first managed by Jeff "Kopper" Kopp, and later by Cullen McGrane's older sister, Becky. They disbanded shortly after their Tequila Mockingbird CD was released by Golly Gee Records in 2001, and lead guitarist Jeffrey Positive now lives in Chicago. It was at a gig at the Schlafly Tap Room in which The Honkeys were opening for The Original Sinners that drummer Jovian Kind would meet his future wife, Exene Cervenka (also of the seminal Los Angeles punk band, X). The two now live just outside of Jefferson City, MO, and Jovian (Jason Edge) is the lead guitarist in The Original Sinners.
On May 5, 2007, at the Rock N' Roll Prom held at the Way Out Club in St. Louis, The Honkeys played a reunion show with all four original members, plus one of The Saltines (the name of the go-go dancers that often appeared on stage with the band). No one was really sure if this was a one-off gig, or a sign of more things to come from The Honkeys.
Former Band Members
- Jeffrey Positive - Guitar
- Cullen McGrane - Bass
- Micah Edge - Organ and Synthesizer
- Jovian Kind - Drums
- Dave Devine - Drums
- Chris Lawrence (credited as "Mary Q. Contrary") - Organ