3 Legged Monster, or 3LM as they are commonly known, rapidly rose to international super stardom on the wake of their debut 1973 concept album “Line in the Sand”.
3LM formed from the ashes of three bands in LA in 1970. Originally a five piece band called The Members (they figured since they had more than one member, The Members would be an apt name), the band haphazardly toured northern California and Oregon trying to find their groove. Eventually Eddie “Yeah, I can play that” Sludgepigeon (keyboards) and Norwegian-born Floorn Noorsboord (ethnic percussion) left the band to pursue musical directions more in tune with their respective cosmic auras (keep it in context, this was just after the sixties). Shortly thereafter, original drummer Brian Johnson succumbed to the temptations of wealth and material success and became an Evil Music Retailer.
This left just guitarist Marty Halgrimson and singer/bassist Mick Klein to carry on. They soon recruited drummer Johnny Holland and were back on their feet. Realizing there were now only three members, and not being good at math, Marty figured they need to change the bands name, and somehow or other they arrived at the now legendary 3 Legged Monster.
Birth of a Legend
A buzz rapidly grew in the music scene, and 3LM was courted by several major labels. A deal was worked out, and in the fall of 1972 work began on “Line in the Sand”. Adored by fans and critics alike, this landmark album set a new standard for bands of the time. The tracks “Shaft of Golden Desire” and “(Kneel Before the) Porcelain God” instantly became staples of rock radio, while the side-long epic “Inverted Cheese Abstract” has kept philosophers pondering it’s lyrical implications for decades. Overall the album was a deep and introspective work that seemed to touch every listener on some level. Meanwhile the band enjoyed touching their female fans on several other levels as their “far out and groovy” antics became the stuff of legend.
After the release of “Line in the Sand”, 3LM embarked on a mammoth 16 month world tour, chronicled in the documentary “Dragging the Line”, directed by a then unknown film student named Steven Spielberg*. It was an in-depth profile of a band’s hard work, perseverance, dedication, vice, indulgence, and chaos. Plus you get to see how much beer three guys can drink and still end a song on roughly the same note.
The tour took them to four continents and 18 countries, playing to over 4 million fans, culminating with the group headlining the infamous Musk Festival held in Pervishire On Tart, England. The festival’s woes began when the promoters hired an illiterate moron to design their “Music” festival logo, which the illiterate moron spelled as “Musk”. The energetic fans began covering themselves with pheromones of all sorts, which, coupled with the copious variety of mood-altering substances floating around at the time, led to a scene of such debauchery that any attempt at description would utterly fail. 3LM—after getting their fill of debauchery—took the stage and mesmerized the 800,000 fans with a blistering set. Who could have known that the thousands of children conceived during that festival would have children of their own before 3LM returned to the stage.
Sadly, the band buckled under the enormous pressure to deliver a sophomore effort that would live up to “Line in the Sand”. Though never officially disbanding, they went their separate ways to regain perspective. No one could have predicted the magnitude of the fracture. The world cried for more, yet the mighty 3LM remained silent and did not heed their cries. It would be nearly 30 years before they would play together again.
A Mammoth Voice Silenced
A brief (and misguided) foray into Disco produced a largely forgotten solo album, with the single “You Can Lick My Ass and Balls” briefly charting at #97. Both quickly spiralled into the depths of obscurity. Mick then indulged his interest in emerging technology, but sadly invested his efforts in something called the “Betanet” and Targa computers. Homeless and penniless, Mick spent the next decade wandering the streets of various cities, playing on street corners for spare change, and riding on the coat-tails of his earlier success by forming short-lived “tribute bands” that never came close to capturing the fire that was 3LM.
This was Mick’s life, stuck on indefinite hold, clinging to a past that he could never regain, until a chance meeting with Marty in Fargo, North Dakota around 1997. He cleaned up his act, went to college, and—in a stroke of marketing genius—opened a chain of erotic-themed laundromats. Says Mick about his business epiphany: “…it was a no brainer. Ya got dudes needing to do laundry, needing something to do while doing laundry, and dirtying up their jizz-rags the whole while. It’s a self-sustaining business cycle”…
The True Price of Genius
Marty, being the creative mastermind behind the band, was understandably overwhelmed by the need to top “Line in the Sand”. He immersed himself in his work, recording and destroying a series of works that never reached the ears of any other human being. These recordings became a mythical holy grail for rock music collectors and critics across the globe. Rumors abounded of deep concept works with working titles and all… “More Lines in the Sand”, “Thrust at the Black Cave of Night”, “Hanging with Mr. Stupor”… the list goes on.
To placate fans and record company obligations, his solo album “Everything’s OK… Trust Me…” briefly saw the light of day in a 1978 commercial release. A solid effort, it received luke warm response, mostly due to Marty’s insistence on contracting Abe Vigoda for lead vocal duties, and use of the experimental Tri-Phonic sound recording process. Unlike standard stereo which uses “left” and “right” channels, Tri-Phonic utilized “here”, “there” and “yonder” channels. Although the Tri-Phonic process (by virtue of it’s 1 extra channel) produced sound that was easily 1X better than stereo, it required anyone who wanted to listen to the album to buy an expensive new Tri-Phonic sound system.
Ultimately Marty was unable to produce a work that he felt measured up to his original opus. He spiraled into a decade long haze of drug and sex addiction before finding salvation in the arms of a woman he met in South Dakota on one of his frequent extended blackouts. She cured him of his vices, and put him back on the track to creative freedom. They moved to Fargo, where he built The Beat Plant, a state of the art 200-track studio, in his basement. After the biblical floods of 1997, he built an even larger 400-track studio in his attic.
Beer is Good. Really, Really Good.
Following the path of his bandmates, Johnny also released an ill-advised solo album. His efforts were significantly hampered by his complete lack of melodic aptitude, and the poor decision to record it in quadraphonic sound. Johnny had a quadruple bass drum kit custom built especially for the recording sessions. His idea was to use cutting-edge computer technology to randomly pan each bass drum hit into a different quadraphonic channel. The resultant sonic assault was so disorienting to listeners that Johnny was actually charged (in absentia) with misdemeanor assault in 14 countries. Said one critic: “it sounds like a gaggle of retarded monkeys falling down the stairwell of a cheap, shitty drum factory”.
At a loss for what to do with his life, Johnny embarked on a mission to tour every brewery in the world. While sampling the ales of a remote monastery in Nepal, he found the path to his inner self. Joining the ranks of the monks, he cut his legendary locks of hair (both Gunnar and the other Nelson brother refer to Johnny’s early years as “an unattainable inspiration”). Sadly, it never grew back. Ten years later he returned to civilization and, after studying with Indian djembe master Kockdryp Poonjammir, released another solo album “Hair Not There Anywhere”. It received dismal critical response and sold just 7 copies (Marty having bought four of them). Desolate and despondent, he moved to Fargo in 1996 after seeing “the movie”, because he “liked the cool hats”.
Reunion and Future of 3LM
Well Worth the Wait
So through a bizarre set of circumstances, even for a band beset by random curves of meteoric success and abysmal downfall, the wandering strangers who once were brothers find themselves living in the same city, and decide its time to regroup. They spent the last eight years hard at work on the follow-up to “Line in the Sand”, which was recently released a mere 41 years after it’s predecessor. The world can only wait as a new chapter in the story of 3 Legged Monster opens.
*If you haven’t figured it out yet, this entire story is bullshit.