Penitentiary - Dr. Mongo


It was sweltering back in August of 1986. Shortly before 6AM the Penitentiary soundscape crew jumped into a dark blue 1972 Volvo station wagon for the brief ride up the Angeles Crest overlooking Los Angeles and then deep down into the valley of Switzer Falls. 

We chose a flat site a short distance uphill from a rocky stream bed and directly across from a sheer rock face sparsely dotted with variously aged pine trees.


This all made for a great echo in the clear, silent, morning sky. After some initial instruction about making purposeful walking sounds, the importance of work and exertion sounds, breaking fallen 2-3 inch diameter tree branches and a test of the audio recording equipment, the crew got right to work. Three members of the crew carried rocks up from the stream bed and threw them onto a rock pile. Next to the rock pile stood Dr. Mongo in front of a freshly cut tree stump that he struck with a 10 lb. sledgehammer while reciting Penitentiary.

l.r: D.A. Ward, Mike Mollett, Dr. Mongo Taribubu, Drew Lesso.