guilty pleasure monday: goin’ down (the monkees)

worth watching, if only to see the multicolored pants on mickey.

Floatin down the river
With a saturated liver
And I wish I could forgive her
But I do believe she meant it
When she told me to forget it
And I bet she will regret it
When they find me in the morning wet and drowned
And the word gets round
Goin down
Goin down

please don’t tell me i am the only one out there who thrilled to see the monkees on TV when i was little. america’s prefab answer to the beatles, the monkees were put together to do what they were told, which pretty much meant acting zany and singing some amazing songs created by people like neil diamond (when he was remotely cool) and boyce and hart.  they had hits, they had fun, and then, they wanted to do what most other groups could do: sing and play and write their own stuff.

(cue ominous music here.)

don kirshner, who pretty much controlled them, would not have it. and after some warring, eventually, they were set free, to be bizarre (anyone out there ever see the movie head?) and then, ultimately to languish. they released stuff over the years and were brilliant (mike nesmith is famous for having come up with the idea for something known as music television.) that music television idea became huge (without nesmith, i believe) and ultimately, started airing old monkees’ episodes. they toured again, had a mild hit, and then sort of went on with their lives.

i was a very, very little girl when this stuff first aired — and yes, i watched it when it was airing when i was 3 or so. i think they were my first taste of psychedelia, with crazy, swirling colors and interesting references. goin down was the B side to monster hit daydream believer, and i just simply loved mickey’s scatting. sure, davy jones was definitely the cutest, but when i was 3, cutest didn’t mean a lot to me. what meant something to me? great music. even then. and mickey was the very best frontman, with an expressive voice and magnetic presence that even i, a preschooler, understood.

but i think i loved the show and the monkees most of all because i was always secretly hoping that the beatles would show up. while the monkees and the beatles have met over the years (and even worked together: peter shows up on george’s wonderwall), they never all ended up on the monkees show. i don’t know what i was waiting for, but i waited and waited and waited. to no avail.

oh, sad little me.

anyway, years later, i wonder whether there is a place in the rock and roll hall of fame for them. they brought rock to TV in a fresh way, and that alone is worth admission in my book. who cares whether they played their own instruments? i don’t. i think at least there should be some sort of special award, as the monkees broke ground by introducing rock — real rock, mid 60s style —  to the masses who never strayed from AM radio. right smack into their living rooms.

and from that point on, it was clear that the monkees were goin’ down a path less taken.


One Response to “guilty pleasure monday: goin’ down (the monkees)”

  1. I loved the Monkees! I remember doing the Monkee walk with my gal pals in school. MTV used to have Monkee Marathon weekends and show episodes the whole time. I loved it!

    Ahhhh… a lovely childhood stroll!

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