|Origin||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Genres||Shock rock, heavy metal, hard rock, punk rock|
|Years active||1976–present (hiatus; 1997–2000)|
|Labels||Mentor Records, Mystic, Metal Blade, Ever Rat|
|Website||Official Website |
Church of El Duce
|Past members||Eldon Hoke|
Originally formed in Seattle, Washington in May 1976, they relocated to Los Angeles, California in 1979, where their irreverent attitude aligned them with the city's punk rock scene. Accompanied by relentlessly profane, sexually explicit lyrics that were often misogynistic in nature, the band's distinctive heavy metal sound often took on an improvisational quality.
The band garnered attention both from noted hard rock acts and pro-censorship movements such as the Parents Music Resource Center, but the death of drummer and lead singer Eldon Hoke ("El Duce") in 1997 brought them unprecedented attention. The band remains active today with a different line-up: Sickie Wifebeater (Steve Carlson) on lead guitar, Dr Heathen Scum (Steve Broy) on bass guitar, Cousin Fister (Bryan) on rhythm guitar, and John Christopher on drums.
Founding members Hoke, Eric Carlson (guitar) and Steve Broy (bass) attended Roosevelt High School together in Seattle, and began experimenting together with crude punk and primitive heavy metal. Upon formation, The Mentors began to tour the Northwest, playing shows with their trademark executioner hoods (it was the idea of El Duce, who adored a horror movie called "Mark of the Devil") and bawdy lyrics. Broy was in and out of the band during its early career due to his preoccupation with pursuing a degree in engineering. Other bassists from this era include Jeff Dahl, Chris Jacobsen (Jack Shit), and Mike Dewey (Heathen Scum Wezda). Hoke claimed in a 1982 interview with Metalgasm Magazine that many of the perverse acts described in Mentor songs came from a six-week relationship he had with Lisa Boucher.
Through Mystic Records, the Mentors released their first EP, The Trash Bag, in 1983. Their first live album, Live at the Whiskey/Cathey de Grande, came out the following year; both records were produced by Phillip (Philco) Raves. In 1985, they signed to Death Records, a subsidiary of Metal Blade, and released their debut studio LP, You Axed for It!, with Broy returning on the bass. During this time, Hoke maintained a strong public presence, making a controversial appearance alongside fellow metal band GWAR on The Jerry Springer Show, where Hoke's band, beliefs, and public image were criticized.
The Mentors did not achieve true notoriety until the 1985 Congressional hearings orchestrated by Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). The relatively obscure Mentors caught the attention of the PMRC with their song, "Golden Showers", prompting a reading of some of its lyrics on the Congressional floor.
Broy was briefly replaced by bassists Wayne Daddio ("Ripper"), Ed Danky ("Poppa Sneaky Spermshooter"), and Zippy, but later returned to the group. In 1989, The Mentors released their third album, Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll, a faux-live record. This album caught the attention of the hard rock band Revolting Cocks, who invited The Mentors on tour with them.
They released Rock Bible in 1990, with Rick Lomas ("Insect On Acid") sitting in on drums. To the Max followed the next year. Clark "Moosedick" Savage often filled in for Hoke on drums at live shows, as Hoke's alcoholism had made it difficult for him to play drums and sing simultaneously.
The Mentors remained sporadically active thereafter. Hoke began a solo career, while Carlson formed the band Jesters of Destiny. In 1997, while being interviewed for the documentary film Kurt and Courtney, Hoke claimed that Courtney Love had offered him $50,000 to kill her husband Kurt Cobain, whose death was ruled a suicide. Two days after being interviewed, Hoke died after being struck by a freight train while intoxicated. His death was alternately described as an accident and a suicide, however, some conspiracy theorists have claimed there is evidence suggesting foul play.
Carlson, Broy and Savage continued the band and were joined by guitarist Sickie J and vocalist El Rapo, releasing Over the Top in 2005. In 2006 Singer and drummer Marc DeLeon ("Mad Dog"), of the Mentors tribute band The Mantors, replaced El Rapo and, later, Savage. 2009 saw the release of Ducefixion, their eighth full-length record. DeLeon left the Mentors in 2014 during the making of full-length documentary film called The Mentors: Kings of Sleaze Rockumentary, directed by April Jones.
On May 25, 2017, the Mentors released The Illuminaughty, their first studio album in eight years, with Broy and Lomas sharing the vocal duties.
- Get Up and Die (1981, Mystic Records)
- Live in Frisco (1987, Mystic Records)
- Mentorhawk (split CD with Dutch Metal act Hammerhawk 1999, HMF Records)
- "Oblivion Train" (2009, Stool Sample Records)
- "Nuthang" (2018) (Recorded in 1977)
- "Baby You Will Regret Me" (2018)
- "Cornshucker" (2018) (New version)
- "I Am a Peeping Tom" (2018) (New version)
- Up the Dose / You Axed for It! (1989, Metal Blade/Death Records)
- Houses of the Horny (1994, Mentor Records)
- West Coast Debauchery (2008, Mentor Records, compilation of the tracks from Live at the Whiskey/Cathay de Grande and Live in Frisco)
- 1983 - Get Up & Die
- 1987 - Fuck Movie
- 1990 - A Piece of Sinema
- 1990 - The Wretched World of The Mentors
- 1991 - Hollywood Head Bash
- 1991 - Tour De Max '91
- 1993 - El Duce: The Man. The Myth. The Video
- 2007 - El Duce Vita
- 2010 - Perverted Movie
- 2017 - The Kings Of Sleaze (Documentary)
- 2017 - The El Duce Tapes (Documentary)
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