Then for no apparent reason we started talking about The Monkees (1 Viewer)

B

BicycleTragedy

Most people my age will not admit they ever listened to the Monkees but they had some good songs. Same with Barry Manilow.

I'm 33, I have been obsessed with The Monkees since I was four. And I don't just mean Daydream Believer. I mean Mike Nesmith's scrapped vocals for Daddy's Song. I mean Head and 33 1/3rd Revolutions and Pete's acetate demo for Merry Go Round and the first time a moog ever being played on a pop record was on Daily Nightly, courtesy of Mickey....

I know I'm being obnoxious, but I think they were incredibly talented and massively misunderstood and misinterpreted by the public at large, and by most of their peers. Some of the psychedelia Nesmith wrote during 1967 and 68 rivals half of Sgt. Pepper. They could all play multiple instruments, they all performed on stage together as a band in concert, they all wrote and produced and arranged their material for the bulk of their career. And before it was that way they fought hard to MAKE it that way. They cared, they had drive, they had great ability, both natural and learned. But everyone thinks they were a joke.

It's too bad; they have busloads of incredible songs and a fascinating backstory that only a fraction of the populace is aware of. But, so it goes...

OK, shutting up now.

Whoever she is, this may have influenced her name:


I'm pretty sure that YouTube clip is of the first version of the song, recorded in 1966 for the second LP but only used for the show. I like it better than the one they did two years later that was on The Birds and the Bees. The second version is much better known, I think it was a single with Nesmith's excellent Tapioca Tundra as the B-side but I could be wrong...anyway the second version sounds way more lush but I like that grittier early version so much more.
 

mjp

Founding member
I think Nesmith was unlucky to be on that successful TV show. He was a serious musician who no one took seriously. Great pop songwriter.

His son Jonathan has a record coming out. He and Carol have been friends since childhood. A really sweet and talented guy. Tough to take up the family business when your father is so well known. Many have tried.
 
B

BicycleTragedy

I think Nesmith was unlucky to be on that successful TV show.

I go back and forth on that. It gave him incredible exposure that he may or may not have gotten otherwise. And even if he had made it anyhow -and god knows he had the talent- being on the show allowed him to channel very serious songwriting ability into a pop format and to a pop-oriented market that would otherwise have ignored him, or at least not been aware of him.

When you consider the range of his output -bubblegum pop, Nashville country, Dylanesque folk, psychedelia, straight-out-rock...sometimes all in one record...it really is criminal that he did not rise above the rest, commercially. Artistically, he did, but sadly only those cult followers know.

Those First and Second National Band albums...fucking amazing.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Dylan gave Nesmith some cred on one of his Theme Time Radios shows.
Didn't Nesmith's mom invent liquid paper or some such?
Or some such not...
 
Nesmith's mother invented whiteout, I don't think he has to worry about money. Peter Tork is a teacher of some sort. All in all the monkees only were good on a lunch box.
 
B

BicycleTragedy

In the annals of youth culture history, they scored more backdrops of the first tremors of adolescence than their so-called peers provided jerk off material for 'serious' rock journalists, and the former accomplishment is the only one worth noting or remembering at the end of the day.
 

chronic

old and in the way
I think the thing I that like best about this forum is the way that almost every thread ends up veering wildly off-course at some point.

As for The Monkees, they were a great group in spite of the fact that they were a manufactured group who (mostly) didn't write their own material and (often) weren't playing the instruments. The TV show was not so good (though I liked it at the time... I think I was 8 or 9) but they did a lot of songs that were catchy and became minor classics.

Didn't Boyce and Hart and Carole King write most of the songs for the first couple of years?
 
B

BicycleTragedy

Yes, those songwriters did write alot of the early material, and initially Jones and Dolenz were content to let things stand as per the initial arrangement as presented to them on contract-signing day: to sing and act and speak when spoken to, period.

It was Nesmith and Tork who felt increasingly slighted as things progressed and who had only ever accepted the pop-costumes as a means to a greater end of being able to showcase their own work. When Nesmith took over, things changed and Dolenz' and Jones' perspectives also changed; they too were now in favor of having creative input and control rather than just being along for the ride. But they didn't have that choleric drive like Nesmith did and, to a slighter extent, Tork.

Bottom line: they could all play instruments proficiently, they could and did play live together as a band on tour, they all wrote music and lyrics, they did play on their records, and they all had a hand in selecting, arranging, and producing their own material. The thing is, they did not do these things front to back, across the board, from beginning to end, on every single LP, though.

So, the history and details are intricate and confusing...and unless the music itself matters to you, the story is probably not something you'll want to jump into. As for me, I think their music is some of the most perfect ever to be laid to tape, and I find their backstory endlessly fascinating, so I could go on about them for hours.

But I'll spare you.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Thank you, spare us all. Now I regret that I posted the song to go with Talmadge's name. I liked the Monkees and still do but I could live without that much backstory.
 
B

BicycleTragedy

I'm really sorry if my whopping multi-paragraph answer to another poster's question bored you.

I keep forgetting that we live in the age of the miniscule attention span; the age of the Tweet; and that I must keep my forum posts as short, concise, and as blissfully cool and detached as possible.

Having said that, I'm tired and I'm going to bed.
 
i find the monkees info interesting, but this should be moved to the "does buk like the monkees" thread or whatever it's called. and i think we all could guess he probably didn't like, or even think, about the monkees...
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Okay, lets split these posts off to start a new thread for all serious Monkees business...

Edit: Done.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Who played those beautiful flamenco-ish guitar leads on the song "Valerie" ?

Yeah, I could Google it, but it's cool to hear a true fan fill in the details.
Thanks TBT.
 
True fact-slimedog started playing guitar at age 11 because he and his friends wanted to start a band like the Monkees who had the number 1 show at the time. Which led to a lifelong "career" as a musician.

They are singually responsbile for the destruction of my life.
 
Long before "Peter Tork" became a legendary part of the prefab phenomenon known as the "The Monkees," he was a well-respected musician/artist in the burgeoning New York folk and blues scene. Peter's gift for playing a plethora of instruments (bass, guitar, keyboard, banjo and french horn) generated high demand for his services as a sideman/back-up artist. Peter knocked around for several hungry years in the mid-60's, hanging and performing with the likes of John Phillips, Steven Stills, Dave Van Ronk, Van Dyke Parks and Arthur Lee. The list goes on.

The fateful call, which would change Peter's life forever, came in June of 1965. Friend and confidante, Steven Stills, not quite hitting the mark with his own audition, rung his buddy, urging him to give it a go. Twice. Stills remarks to the producers that he knew 'just the man to fill the bill' were spot on. Peter aced the audition for a what was to become a ground breaking multimedia project centered on a zany, young, rock/pop band - styled as THE American answer to the Beatles. The results were stellar and changed the popular music and television biz forever.

Peter, never totally satisfied with prefab fame though at the height of his pop icon status, stuck to his roots as a starving artist. He could forever be found jamming with bands, learning and honing his chops. Music legend Jimi Hendrix jammed with Peter on several occasions, calling Peter - "The most talented Monkee."

From the Peter Tork Shoe Suede Blues website
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Music legend Jimi Hendrix jammed with Peter on several occasions, calling Peter - "The most talented Monkee."

i can imagine how hard he was laughing when he said that.

that's like saying "which monkee's shit smelled the least" as a compliment
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
I have a good Monkees story to throw in the mix. Between the ages of 12 and 19 my family had season tickets to the Clippers. This was back when they played at the Sports Arena. Hey, the tix were cheap and you always got to see the talent of the visiting teams. Anyway, one day a friend and I spotted C. Thomas Howell, or however you spell it, you know Pony Boy from the Outsiders. Anyway, we always used to get whoever we spotted to sign something. So we approached him, he was super nice. I got my ticket signed first, my friend went second. As my friend was having his popcorn box signed(If you think that's weird, I have a "How to care for Iguanas" book filled with autographs from some pretty famous people..I was a kid! I didn't know better) the guy next to me taps me on the arm and says "hey, who is that?" As I begin to explain I notice the guy is Mickey Dolenz! So, needless to say I got him to sign my ticket and went on and on about what a big Monkees fan I was...Because, I was a big fan of the T.V. Show which was always on re-runs during my teen years. Anyway just thought I'd throw that pointless story out there.
 
B

BicycleTragedy

Nothing's pointless, or everything is, so either way thanks for your story.

Who played those beautiful flamenco-ish guitar leads on the song "Valerie" ?
I am a fan, a big fan...actually I'm only 5'9"...but I have to admit, I forget who played the flamenco leads.

In my hard I have every song and outtake and fart and sneeze they ever committed to tape, but I sold my actual Rhino CD reissues many years ago, probably for gas or food.

The reissues are excellent. The sleeve notes feature extensive session notes written by Monkeesologist Andrew Sandoval, and there is also a detailed breakdown of each track crediting each musician, producer, etc. But I forget what it says about the flamenco bit on Valerie. Sorry.

It is interesting to note that both Glen Campbell and Neil Young did session work for The Monkees, though. Well, it's interesting to me.
 
David Bowie only exists as a name because of Davy Jones. So I thank Davy Jones everyday that he took the name first, leaving us to laugh at the Bowie/Bolan bet that led to Zowie Bowie and Zolan Bolan.

Also, my folks almost moved into the same road as Davy Jones when I was a kid. It's ok, you can hear more about this and other fascinating stories in my ucoming book 'How the Monkees changed my life'.
 
B

BicycleTragedy

I am quite surprised to see so many Monkees fans that are also Bukowski fans.

Yeah I guess it is strange in a way, but under the saccahrine Hollywood surface The Monkees were just four young enthusiastic vaguely artistic guys who didn't really know what they were getting into, and they made the best of it.

They became friends for awhile and did some stuff and carved a little something of themselves into popular culture, then it was over and they left.

Same with Bukowski. You're here awhile, then it doesn't matter.
 

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