Wednesday, February 29, 2012


You heard right? Davy Jones died. Hold your horses. Before you go off about the fluff that is Davy Jones, and the Monkees, let me throw in a little context for you. When I was growing up, the first non-old fart LPs that entered the household were the Beatles Rubber Soul, the Monkees' debut album, and the Monkees' third, Headquarters, in that order. We were kids. We barely knew who the Beatles were, so we were ill prepared to differentiate between the real thing and a cheap knockoff. During our preteen years, the Monkees won that battle, primarily because you couldn't escape them. There was the TV show, radio airplay, the incessant appearances in fan magazines, the car model of the Monkeemobile (designed by George Barris!), the trading cards and the comic books.

Our interests waned, as did many young fans, and by the end of their original two year run, they were far from relevant. It wasn't until many years later that I dropped my guard. That came after seeing their feature length film Head, a film that you could easily sandwich between the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour and Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (in the WTF Film Festival). The Monkees, as it turned out, had a little bit of freak in them. The film was written and produced by Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson, and conceived (allegedly) during a brainstorming pot party with them and the Monkees in attendance. That explains a lot. If you haven't seen it, do. Now that I think about it, if the Monkees only did that film, and never released a single record, they might be some sort of midnight movie cult icons. That's it, though. That's the group of Monkee enthusiasts I hang with. The ones that prefer the later slightly weird knuckleheads that sometimes made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Really, check out Head. Victor Mature, who plays a rather large role; is a bit weird in juxtaposition. The rest of the cast is about as cohesive as the film itself. Tell me that Jack Nicholson, Carol Doda, Annette Funicello, Frank Zappa, Sonny Liston, Dennis Hopper and Toni Basil,...and the Monkees, doesn't sound like the cast of one of those first thing in the morning, "What the hell was that all about?" post-dream assessments. That's just what the film feels like.

The Monkees - Porpoise Song (Theme from Head) mp3 at Hell's Belles
The Monkees - Daily Nightly mp3 at Clumsy & Shy
Davy Jones and Frank Zappa in Head at YouTube
The Monkees (Mickey Dolenz) - Goin' Down at YouTube
More clips from Head at YouTube

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