From Punk to Monk

A Memoir

Written By: Ray Raghunath Cappo, Moby
Ray Cappo was a hardcore punk singer and pioneer of the straight-edge movement living on the Lower East Side of New York City in the ’80s, where his band Youth of Today played to packed clubs and touched thousands of people across the globe. But despite the accolades from fans, the popularity of his records, and the positivity he’d brought to the punk music scene, none of this success gave Ray joy. He felt stagnant, and he yearned for something more.

This, along with his father’s untimely death, led him to abruptly quit the band and buy a one-way ticket to India in pursuit of the answers to life’s great mysteries. Living as a monk in the sacred city of Vrindavan and traveling across the country on a series of train trips, Ray embraced the rich, spiritual culture he discovered there. As his unusual adventure unfolded, he encountered extraordinary characters, witnessed deep acts of devotion, and experienced profound moments of divine connection, leading to a radical transformation that was ego-crushing and blissful all at once.

Inspired to write music again, Ray returned to the US, where he and other monks founded Shelter, a band dedicated to spreading a message of faith, hope, and love.

Told with warmth, candor, and humor—and featuring a foreword by globally renowned musician Moby—this heartfelt memoir chronicles Ray’s emotional and spiritual journey from punk to monk and beyond.

HISTORICAL: Offers a unique glimpse into the punk and hardcore scene of the Lower East Side during the 80s and the birth of the straight-edge movement.

SPIRITUAL: Asks (and answers) deep questions about our relationship to the world around us and the living beings that populate it.

PERSONAL: Chronicles Ray’s spiritual journey in his own words, with warmth, candor, and humor.
Format: Hardbound
Publication Date: 4/9/2024
ISBN: 9781647228682
Pages: 368
Trim Size: 6 x 9 x 1.1000000000000001

  • About the Author 
  • Press
Ray Raghunath Cappo, Author: As a teen in the 80s, Ray Cappo founded the hardcore punk band Youth of Today, which championed the principles of clean living, vegetarianism, and self-control. After experiencing a spiritual awakening in India, he formed a new band, Shelter, devoted to spreading a message of hope through spiritual connection. Ray currently leads yoga retreats, trainings, and kirtans at his Supersoul Farm retreat center in Upstate New York, as well as annual pilgrimages to India. He is the co-founder and co-host of Wisdom of the Sages, a daily yoga podcast that has been ranked #1 on Apple for podcasts about spirituality.