If anyone knows me at all, they know that I own the entire Monkees tv series on VHS that I spent a ridiculous fortune on when I was dumb and broke and 20. Not only that, I own their tv special 33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee AND two copies of their masterpiece movie, Head PLUS a whole bunch of embarrassing stuff they did in the 80s. All of it on VHS tapes that I still own and will not part with even though can’t even watch them because I haven’t owned a VCR in 15 years. Sorry, Marie Kondo, but they do kind of bring me joy. I think. Not as much as if could actually watch them…
The Monkees was my favorite show on television, being rerun on MTV everyday after school at 4pm. I didn’t know they were reruns and I was planning to move to some beach in Southern California and marry a 19 year old Davy Jones. And while all my friends were obsessed with Madonna and Michael Jackson, I was learning the dance moves to She Hangs Out (probably around the same time Axl Rose was) and my sister, Julie and our neighbor, Kelly and I would go out and perform the Monkees’ dances for no one using the wooden frame of the house being built next door to us as our grand stage. In fairness, this was the 80s and no one seemed really that concerned about a bunch of preteen girls at a construction site dancing to The Monkees on unsecured plywood resting precariously 15 feet above a concrete basement hole. With rusty nails.
Best summer on record.
July 7, 1987. I was 10 years old for another week and a half and in my second concert experience ever, The Monkees (minus Mike) descended upon Red Rocks Amphitheatre and my mind was BLOWN, not only because Weird Al opened the show, not only because they rolled out in a bed, but a lot because Davy wasn’t 19. Like, WHAT???? I had been lied to!
My obsession for the Monkees didn’t die, but my marital plans changed a smidge when I discovered the Coreys and I started writing variations of “Amy Haim” in glitter gel pens on all my Pee Chee folders. (Spoiler alert: That “marriage” didn’t work out so well either).
Okay, skip ahead 10 years, I own about half of my above-mentioned Monkees’ tapes. It was a subscription service so I spent a literal fortune and got sent to collection several times over, ruining my credit because I was broke and subscription services don’t care if you pay them or not. They will send you to collections, ruining your life in overdraft fees but will continue sending you tapes. Thank god. Anyway, in the middle of all of this financial ruin, I packed up everything I had (mostly just Monkees tapes) into the back of an ’85 CRX and moved to Los Angeles, California where I see an ad in the local paper that they need audience members for a video shoot mini-concert of the Monkees at Universal CityWalk. “No Pay, but you get to attend the mini-concert and potentially be seen on camera”. Heck yes! 20 year old me and about 50 other people that were at least twice my age stood in the hot sun while Micky told jokes and Mike still wasn’t there and they played 2 songs over and over and over again and then they were done. And it was AWESOME.
I met another Monkees’ friend, Vanessa and once a week for the next 20 years we would get together and gossip and eat Jack and the Box and binge Monkees’ episodes. And once we went and saw a showing of Head at El Capitan Theatre (I think?) and Micky Dolenz was there and for some reason I can’t remember if we met him or not. You’d think I would remember this, we were so close to him and he was in a white hat and I just can’t remember. It must be stress induced amnesia or something.
And then Davy died and I cried for like a week. Probably longer. My heart was broken and then I got irrationally angry at Mike Nesmith when he decided that maybe now he would like to rejoin the band. Too late, Mike. (Insert “Atta boy, Mike” gif). And I never went to see the Monkees in concert again.
At that point, I thought I had emotionally detached from anything current that came from The Monkees, finally. And then I went on twitter today and saw “Peter Tork” trending and my stomach sank. And my heart broke again.
So today I’m going to just listen to Monkees’ songs all day and watch my Monkees’ dvds (I only have the first season, which is upsetting and I need to fix that) and, I don’t know, cry and be completely unproductive.
Maybe I’ll fire up a dance routine.