Krishna Beach, Surf’s Up, Let’s Go!

The Krishmatics are online! (Or at least someone has started a MySpace band page for them.) Who are the Krishmatics?

The Krishmatics were one of the best fake Krishna bands to come out of Milwaukee in the early 1980s. Known for such hits as “Krishna Beach” and “My Guru’s Mantra (Used to be Mine),” the group quickly became a favorite in Milwaukee’s punk and Hindi music scenes.

I was fortunate enough to have known several members of the band and witnessed three of their most critically-acclaimed live performances (Monreal’s, Club Garibaldi and the infamous 1981 Diel Container Corporation company picnic). Although not apparent through the band’s financial success, several members had an uncanny business sense. Tambourinist The Sunlight Caller developed a “temporary bindi” based on PostIt Note technology, but was 15 years too early with the idea. (Today over one billion such stick-on bindis are sold in India every year. But in 1983 The Sunlight Caller sold only 27, which merely earned him a Cease and Desist letter from 3M.) An early attempt to provide Krishmatics’ songs via digital music files ended in disaster when the band’s faulty modem jammed every phone line in Milwaukee for 90 minutes whenever someone attempted to download a three-minute song. News coverage of that failure, however, is rumored to have later inspired Steve Jobs to develop the iTunes Music Store.

Unfortunately the Krishmatics’ success was short lived, and after a mere two years members moved on to other things (in most cases, prison or death). Some critics called them a group of pious young men, but to their fans they will always be a bunch of guys lucky enough to drink legally at age 18.

Hopefully we’ll soon see the rest of the Krishmatics’ music catalog available online (or worst case, available in the original cassette tape format).

1 thought on “Krishna Beach, Surf’s Up, Let’s Go!”

  1. Simon karabin

    Ever since that fateful night in 1983, “Snakes Just Want to Be Your Friend” has been seared into my memory.

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