February 29, 2012

Hey Hey...

Like many people who see more of themselves than they'd like to admit in the protagonist of High Fidelity, I have a bulging iPod and a brain full of ridiculously useless detail about its contents.  One of the quasi-contrarian arguments that is popular among my kind is that The Monkees were, in fact, pretty interesting.

Yes, they were most certainly The Prefab Four; yes, they were hired to sing and do a comedy show.  Yes.  Given.

Well, the formula worked, didn't it?  The Monkees entered my life when I was a little girl, when Nickelodeon somewhat inexplicably started rerunning the TV series in the '80s.  The loopy physical humor of the show and the catchy pop tunes captivated me, as it had kids a generation before.  Before long, I had cassette tapes (NB: Shut up.) of the complete back catalog.

I also developed a crush on the diminutive, floppy-haired charmer with the soulful eyes.

PICTURED: It, going on.
WAIT!  That was much later.  Also, damn.  Also, holy crap, we're all a lot older than we were in 1992, aren't we?

Anyway.  No, it's true.  I had a terrible crush on Davy Jones when I was a little girl, thanks to the magic of reruns.

I could write about how The Monkees exposed me to great songwriters like Harry Nilsson and Carole King and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil; I could point out the undeniable caliber of the musicians who laid down the tracks...  Stephen Stills, Dr. John, Glen Campbell, Neil Young, just to name a few.  However much of a cynical marketing move the concept was, some fantastic pop tunes came out of the commercial enterprise known as The Monkees.

(It seems tasteful to save the "Mike Nesmith's ludicrously brilliant and unsung solo career" post for another day.)

I know perfectly well that Davy Jones was a technically mediocre singer and, by many accounts, kind of a jagoff.  It's a bit silly to have lingering affection for someone on account of the fact that he was kinda cute (and had pretty decent comic timing) in 1966.  But there you have it.

Permit a bit of nostalgia today, won't you, on the part of us former little girls? Allow us to have a moment of mourning for one of our more harmless illusions.