February 29, 2012

A Monkee Remembered.

It saddens me to be writing this, which is kinda weird, because yes, celebrity deaths are tragic but you didn’t know them personally. You know and identify with them through characters they played, music they released, or magazine photos over the years. When I found out about Davy Jones’ passing today though, it broke my heart a little bit.

When I was in 4th grade, we had a small tv in the study of our house and I’d come home, head upstairs, and do homework while watching channel 55 (the non-cable equivalent of TV Land). I remember the day they started showing rerun episodes of the Monkees. I was HOOKED. Davy Jones and Mike Nesmith quickly made my list of elementary school crushes, a list including the likes of Davidy Cassidy, Donnie Osmond, Peter Noone, and of course, I Dream of Jeannie’s Major Anthony Nelson. 

I’ll never forget the day my grandma took me to our neighborhood flea market and there, in a stall packed with more 33s than I’d ever seen in one room…there were the first two Monkees albums ever released. I remember staring, eyes glazed over in some sort of vinyl coma, barely breathing for fear I’d ruin something, even though they were sleeved in plastic. How romantic and sacred the past seems when you’re ten.

A few Christmases ago, I received the first season of the Monkees tv show on dvd. When I moved back home last year, my ten year old sister found the case and started watching them. In the weeks that followed, our house was beset by Monkeemania. She’d run upstairs after watching an episode, gushing over that hilarious thing Mickey did or how cute Davy was, and we’d roll our eyes because he always got the girl. What an incredible legacy for such a quirky show based on a pseudo band of silly boys (the same can be said for the Partridge Family I guess, but who cares). I find it awesome that fanaticism begets fanaticism, or that childhood staples can become family tradition. I’m not sure my mother could’ve imagined that two of her daughters would love the Monkees like she did, just like I never thought I’d see my sister exhibit the same signs of Monkeemania that I had at her age.

As I was digging up all of my Monkees LPs for these photos, it surprised me that I didn’t have to dig too far. The music is still as fun and completely dorky as it was 12 years ago, and I’ll admit it’s been less than a month since I gave them a listen. Even though I’ve only “known” Davy Jones through the lens of a scripted ‘60s tv show and even more scripted music, I’m thankful for the many memories attached to the pop culture personas that he, Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork created. Oh Mr. Jones, you will be missed.

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite songs by album:

The Monkees (1966): Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day, Sweet Young Thing, Last Train to Clarksville, Gonna Buy Me a Dog

More of the Monkees (1967): She, (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone, Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow), The Kind of Girl I Could Love

Headquarters (1967): Shades of Gray, Early Morning Blues & Greens

Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd. (1967): Pleasant Valley Sunday, Star Collector

The Birds, the Bees, & the Monkees (1968)*: Daydream Believer (duh), Valleri
*don’t own this one but I wish I did!

Do you have any reminiscent Monkees stories? I’d love to hear them! 

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You're so sweet (: Thanks friend!


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