Thursday, March 1, 2012

(No) More Of The Monkees....

Video capture of Davy and The Monkees performing at Sun Theater, Anaheim, California,
August 31, 2001, taken from Wolfgang's Vault. See the link below.

Davy Jones has died. Although my least favorite Monkee, I’m surprised at how bad I feel about his passing. He was a talented performer who made the most of the opportunities he had.

I regret that, although I walked around with their touring schedule for a long time, I never made the effort to see the group perform live. They were as close as Des Moines at one point, but I didn’t go.

Like most 10-year-olds I knew, I was a big Monkees fan in 1966-67. I loved their show and begged for their records when mom took me to the grocery store.

Our closest attachment to them was their bubble gum trading cards. My brother Doodle and I saved our nickels so we could race to the A&P to buy a pack before the other or our neighbor Finley did. As we neared the point of owning every card in the collection, we were always disappointed at finding cards we already owned in our new packs. We kept the doubles in a box.

One day I came up with an idea. I bought a new pack of cards, brought them home, took out the new cards, and replaced them with doubles. I biked back to the A&P with the doctored pack in my pocket. When no one was looking, I put that pack back in the box, and slipped a new pack back into my pocket. It wasn’t really stealing, I figured, because I was giving value for value.

As a joke, I put five identical cards into a pack when I knew Doodle was on his way to buy a more cards. I placed the pack of five identical cards on top of the box, and Doodle bought it. He always liked to wait until he got home to open them, so I got to watch his face as he pulled out a Davey card, then the same Davey card, then the same Davey card…. You get the picture.

Little Bit Me, Little Bit You was the first 45 I owned, and my favorite album tracks were Zor and Zam and Goin’ Down. I still listen to The Monkees, but mostly to the Mike Nesmith songs: Papa Gene’s Blues, Salesman, Nine Times Blue, Some of Shelly’s Blues, While I Cry, and (What Am I Doing) Hangin’ Round. Oh, and Good Clean Fun.
Rolling Stone once called the solo work of Mike Nesmith “the greatest music never heard,” so check it out if you can.

I’m watching Davey, Mickey and Peter perform live at Sun Theater in Anaheim, California, as I write this, on Wolfgang’s Vault. It’s pretty entertaining.

Do you have a Monkees story to tell?

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