John Cox

  • Claims: started band in the 70's
  • Moto: let's rock this place

My parents bought me a guitar when I was 12. The Beatles and the Stones were top of the charts and I tried to copy what they were doing vocally, and started learning a few chords from a Beatles book. I always wanted to be in a band, but I was too into sports. I didn't have a clue how to put a group together.

When I met Pete Culverhouse at Trent U., Pete was a lead guitar player and needed another vocalist and rhythm guitar player to start a band. Pete really taught me how to play. We formed Mona's Boys, and had a lot of good times. I traveled west in a van in 1980, and ended up in Edmonton for 5 years. During this time, I played in a folk band, and then formed a rock band in law school. We broke up when I graduated.

When I moved back to Ontario in 1985, Pete and I revived Mona's Boys with Eric Jonasson on keyboards, and my brother Pete Cox on drums. We played the GTA bar scene until 1995. Eric and I have been playing together for 31 years.

I met Darren in 1995 and I couldn't believe that a guy this talented was not performing. Darren came out to a practice one night in 1997, and although he doesn't know it, he was in the band after the first song.

When Pete moved to France in 2002, and my brother moved up north, we were fortunate to find Jimmy Sutcliffe to play bass. He is our voice of reason.

This band has gone through a number of incarnations over the years. This past year was particularly sad, losing our founding member Pete Culverhouse in December 2012, and then best friend Eric Swan in April 2013. I am left with great memories about how these two performers could really rock out.

And the current band continues with a group of friends that love playing classic rock. I think the passion comes across in the sound.

Eric Jonasson

  • Claims: started with the band in the 80's

My musical roots are from classical piano lessons in public school. I started in grade one. I kept getting in trouble for syncopating Bach, and not playing what was on the sheet music. My teachers did not share my enthusiasm for disagreeing with the Masters. At the same time I was singing for a number of school choirs. I was really into Billy Preston and Chuck Levell. In high school, I took trumpet and played in an eighty-piece concert/marching band. When we played the Santa Claus Parade, we always had a great time. We had a rock drummer on snare and he added a bit of swing to the Christmas carols. Somebody from my hometown of Peterborough named me Eric The Half Bee from Monty Python. Over the years, it had been reduced to The Bee.

After high school, I went back to playing boogie woogie piano (aka Jerry Lewis, Ian Stewart), and started jamming with guitar players. Gradually I moved into electric keyboards, electric piano, synthesizer, organ, etc. I played in a bunch of different bands. I have been playing keyboards and singing backup with Mona's Boys since the 80s.

Darren Kral

  • Moto: let's shred it.

I started playing guitar at age 12 by chance as I registered for lessons when my brother signed up for piano lessons. I started out on the acoustic guitar then a few years later moved to the classical guitar. I learned how to read music, theory, classical finger styles etc. which was a great asset for later playing. I really liked the guitar from the start; you never had to push me to practice.

When music/video took off in the early 80s I switched to electric guitar, which was bought from saved paper route money. My first electric guitar was a very beat up 1973 Fender Stratocaster purchased from a pawnshop on Church Street in Toronto for $325.00. I grew my hair really long and dreamed of being a rock star. I was in several bands in high school and played in 3 battle of the bands shows. It was a lot of fun back then, playing live for the high school was really cool even though we never won we did well and learned a lot from it. When I started college I got a part time teaching job at the Hi Note music store in Oakville. This is where I met John Cox as he was one of students for a couple of years. School took a lot of free time so I did not play in any bands for ten years. John asked me one day if I would like to come out to jam one evening to see if I would be interested in joining the Mona's Boys crew. I accepted the invite. The first practice went well. John, Eric and Pete were all good friends and there was none of the crap going on that eventually split my previous bands up from high school.

I was offered the lead guitar spot in the band. I accepted, and in true Mona's Boys fashion John told me "Here's 40 songs you have to learn because we have a gig in a couple of weeks." And as they say, the rest is history. The band has been a lot of fun over the years, its great to get out once a week and make some noise and release the stresses from life, and to play live!

Jimmy Sutcliffe

  • Moto: Stop and smell the Guns and Roses.

For me, it all began when I started hanging out with my older sister and her friends around 1980. A couple of them had guitars and would bring them to parties, playing Neil Young or Bruce Cockburn or just making up songs on the spot. I wanted to part of that and after six months of saving, I was able to buy my first real guitar-a Strat knock-off.

Over the next few years, I started to learn how to play and accumulated a couple more guitars and two keyboards. Around '83 I bought a Fostex 4-track recorder and began learning the ins and outs of recordings. At the same time, my circle of 'musical' friends had begun to widen, which had two large impacts on me.

Firstly, it introduced me to a couple of excellent bass players who inspired me to make the jump to bass as my primary instrument (Rex/Glen I owe you big time!!). At this point I was still at home and my folks were the coolest. They put up with their living room being co-opted for jamming and recording, including a drum kit in the middle of the floor most of the time. Sunday afternoons became drop-in recording sessions, with my mother often cooking up a pot of chili or something for all that came by. Those were good times-thanks Mom!!

Secondly, the increased amount of time I spent with the Fostex, helped me realize that I'd rather spend my post-secondary years in Trebas & Full Sail learning recording, engineering and sound production, instead of attending Waterloo for a Math or Electrical Engineering degree. Later I'd find that computers were far more lucrative and abandon my recording career.

As time went by life got busier, there was less time for music and by the early 90s I had pretty much stopped playing and recording other than a rare jam with a friend over a case of beer, and a short stint learning the basics of the fiddle. Then came a phone call from Darren. The conversation started with, "So, you wanna be a rock star?" now who would refuse an offer like that!!

Mike Barcomb

  • Claims: Started with the band in 2014
  • Moto: Boys, its time to Rock n Roll !!!!!!!

I've been tapping out rhythms with my hands, fingers and feet for as long as I can remember and listening to all kinds of music, from Orchestra, Marching band, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rock, Country, Bluegrass and everything in between.

Bluegrass you say ?. Absolutely, listen to way the mandolin, guitar and fiddle will take turns to chuck out the rhythmic patterns...

I started formal orchestral snare drum lessons at 8 years of age in grade school and also took private lessons. I was quickly addicted to practising rudiments with a strong focus on reading and technique. I wanted that 1st drum spot because then you usually had 1st choice on percussion instrument. Hey, this is no different than a sports team. Competition runs fierce.

Wow!! all the different ways to bounce a stick and control the rebound and all the different sounds you could get from a snare drum...who knew !!! In grade school, I played in the school orchestra, marching band and also snare drum competitions which led me to my first paying gig for a story teller where I provided the sound effects (ie: snare, triangle, bells, wood block, etc.)

At 13, my parents bought me a used set of 1963 Slingerland drums in immaculate condition... Wow...and it wasn't even Christmas. So I started with the drum set, practising, reading, taking lessons...and playing in the high school jazz , stage and theatre bands and while in College, I was playing in a Jazz Rock and a Rock n Roll band. My first paying gig out of college was with a Country/Southern Rock Band, playing cover tunes from Pure Praire League, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Charlie Daniels Band, Alabama, Poco and also many of the old Country classics.

In the last few years I've been playing with mostly Rock/Blues bands. Some of my most thrilling gigs have been backing up Randy Bachman, on a few songs, at a fund raiser benefit show, as well as opening for The Stampeders, Hubert Sumlin, Fat Head, etc... What a thrill !!!

I'm really looking forward to creating some new memories and propelling Mona's Boys forward with an energetic rhythmic foundation.

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