Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Monkees WERE Legit - Davy Jones Dies on Leap Day

Sorry to see the passing of Davy Jones. He wasn't my favorite Monkee. I always liked Peter. He had the best clothes and hair and just seemed like a nice guy. And I always thought Micky was the best singer (and a talented comedian). I'd place Micky Dolenz in the top ten of great rock singers of the 60's. Nesmith always seemed kind of crabby and I didn't like his country stuff.

Davy was cool cuz he was British and 'Daydream Believer' is one of the best performances they ever did. But I never liked his soft shoe, straw hat music hall routine. But he was okay in my book and word is that he apparently loved his fans and treated them well. No small feat considering how big The Monkees were.

I've been a Monkees fan since their first record, 'Last Train To Clarksville', which came out about a month before their TV show premiered.

I have a two or three of their albums (I know I have their first LP and Headaquarters) and a huge CD compilation that came out about ten years ago that covers everything from their theme song to tunes from Head to 'That Was Then, This Is Now'. I listen to Monkees tracks a lot and never get tired of them.

It bugs me when people dismiss The Monkees as being manufactured because they were created as a TV show and didn't play on their early albums.

A lot of great bands were not created organically. The Sex Pistols were the creation of Malcolm McLaren. It's actually very common. John Lennon said in a 1965 interview, when asked if the Beatles were friends and hung out together: "Well, yes and no. Groups like this are normally not friends, you know. They're just four people out there thrown together to make an act. There may be two of them who sort of go off and are friends, you know, but..."

And as far as The Monkees not playing on the albums, they did fight for the right to do just that. They did sing, which is harder and a rarer talent than playing guitar or drums. There are thousands of great musicians out there who never made a dime. But Micky and Davy were top-notch singers. You can't take that away from them.

If we judged bands on whether they had other people play on their records, we would have to dismiss The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Yeah, the Monkees were more extreme in their use of session players, but that wasn't their choice.

In the long run, nobody cares really. The Monkees are what they are and they had a lot of great songs and brought us a lot of fun and laughs. I still love 'em.


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