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Hop On Pop
5/1/2017 8:03:38 AM
So... the original Boy Band: put together by TV producers, playing songs (almost) entirely written by outside writers. TONS of hits. Bubblegum.
And yet, they are considered a classic band.
What do you all think?
Because, while there is a lot of cheerleading for the little guys on this site (and rightfully so), there is also a lot of worship of the bands of the 60s -- many of whom had the biggest hits of all time. And while many of them did start from nothing, in their garages and whatnot, The Monkees are the antithesis of the DIY self-made band.
Nonetheless, I love them. Great music is great music. And this is great pop music.
How do you all reconcile The Monkees with your view of Indies first?
Call it trolling, but I think that it's a legit question.
Hop On Pop
5/1/2017 8:04:34 AM
And, by the way, the thing that prompted this question is that I am listening to their, frankly fantastic 2016 "comeback" album, Good Times.
5/1/2017 8:58:21 AM
---- Updated 5/1/2017 9:00:12 AM
Well. I love a bit of intellectual stimulation in the morning.
And usually, no one's up this early, so I enjoy this question,
and will have a go at it.
Soon as I get me coffee and breakfast...
Well then. Breakfast is too hot, coffee's too cold.
Sounds like Monday to me.
Hmm. A comeback album, from 2016, you say?
Wasn't Davy Jones off yonder by then?
Don't tell me someone there can channel too?
Of all the people who had to bite it,
it couldn't have been Peter Tork, could it.
Well I could argue he's the most expendable of the equation.
I am now very curious about this 'comeback' album,
it's quite a comeback indeed if one of them was already dead at the time,
and honestly, I can't quite remember exactly when Davy (the band's Paul; cute one)
flew the coop..
Yes of course, it's all about Indies First...
why wouldn't it be?
Indies aren't just coming. Indies have arrived.
I happen to already know this, others will find out soon enough.
Some could argue,
to get to answering your question of basically,
"Well what about the Monkees?"
That in a way, they filled a void.
People missed their Moptop 'Cleancut' Beatles,
The BEATLES had gone from being 'your Beatles' to 'our Beatles',
if you get me drift. And if not,
in the beginning, they more or less gave the people what they want,
and after a time, bit of experimentation with several shoe wideners,
and by shoe I mean mind, they then began to make the sort of music
that THEY felt like making, more than initially they had,
sure, they always liked what they did, some days more than others,
but, you remember don't you? They came. In suits. Very polite. Very young.
Well by the mid 1960s, things became different,
and one could argue, one of the reasons they became different,
had a considerable lot to do with them. In other words, as they,
the Beatles themselves, grew up, their contemporaries, sort of did too,
and then we got all this flower power and hippie stuff...
however, a lot of listeners, came in late,
like, you know, like me, maybe like you,
and were only tots when they arrived....
I was one of them, truly,
if you asked me when I was a kid,
I preferred the Early Beatles,
as opposed to what they were doing by, say,
1966 onwards... because I was a kid.
And kids, and also old ladies,
(one or two may've mentioned that to me along the way)
liked the early stuff more...
so you get it? There was now this void...
"our Beatles are now their own Beatles and are no longer lads!"
this, was a void of need,
the young and old multitudes missing that innocent simplicity and appeal...
and the science of being an entrepreneur,
is find, the unfulfilled need, and fill that void,
and positively clean up.
Along Came The Monkees....
and, here's what I will say about them.
Did Corporate Entrepreneurs conceive, and form, The Monkees?
Yes. They sure did.
Did They Make Them The Big Huge Monster Success That They Were?
Well, yes, and no, I can argue easily till the cows come home.
They had the resources, all the money they could possibly need
to bankroll the project... yes, that they had.
But, The Monkees would not have been, what they were,
had they not, very good songs, catchy, memorable,
and, some degree of God given talent,
even if arguably in the beginning none of them actually
played their own instruments. Then it came out that they didn't play
their own instruments, so you'd better believe they picked the damned
things up in one big fat hurry, and then said 'we play our own instruments'.
I saw that episode, Nesmith going 'we play our own instruments, man',
you didn't start off that way, man.
it was a combination of elements, all magically coming together,
one can call that kismet, one can call that, bit of help
from the hand of God,
in other words, corporations, started them,
but they would not have flown,
if they were four guys straight out of the boardroom,
they found these guys,
they may have shaped them to a good degree,
but ultimately, those Monkee boys had to have a bit
of magic to them. Even Peter had the 'Ringo' aspect
of being sort of dumb and sort of likeable,
well Ringo's more likable any day of the week.
Why am I not so enthused with Peter Tork?
Well, actually, I've spoken with him once or twice,
both on the phone, and in written communication.
I was, I will say simply, less than impressed.
I'm annoying, and he annoyed the hell out of me, try to imagine that math.
And if you can't, well, no matter...
I don't remember him singing on any of their records,
but Auntie Grizelda, which, was not their best record ever, not even
in the top twenty. No way no how.
And yeah, personally, I can tell you, Peter was an obnoxious egotist.
Yeah he was to me. And one should watch that kind of stuff.
One can argue, 'well Lesley, so are you',
yes, but I'm really not as bad as he was, speaking to me,
not generally as an automatic response,
you have to be mean to me first...
and I think I have more talent than he did,
and it was his dumbness that got him the gig,
they wanted a dumb one, he fit the bill. He got very very lucky in other words.
Mostly, it was the magic of Davy Jones,
Mickey Dolenz, and the very brilliant Mike Nesmith,
that made, The Monkees, Be, The Incredibly Huge Thing That They Were.
Their own magic, you get it?
And that, IS, Very Indie.
Hop On Pop
5/1/2017 9:04:28 AM
As hard as it is to follow, I do love your convoluted logic, Leslie. And I see your point -- that they had their own talents. But, by definition of many at this site, they were about as UN-indie as they come. Like, Backstreet Boys-style.
(And, I have become a Justin Timberlake fan in recent years. That kid IS talented. What do you think of HIM?)
But, anyway, for your education and edification, here is something from that 2016 Monkees record. Written by the amazing Mr. Andy Partridge (XTC), who is also a fan of the band:
Hop On Pop
5/1/2017 9:13:13 AM
But, going by Leslie's logic, you could define an "Indie" artist just about any way you want. So, really any artist that you like, no matter how huge and corporate, could actually be an "Indie" artist by your definition. Just change your definition.
5/1/2017 9:19:18 AM
Well. Pop, Todd I believe it is if drugs haven't entirely eaten my memory,
I've quit all that by now, it may be too little too late though.
First, thank you for posting this, from their comeback album?
Ah, all young again, when in doubt, become a cartoon!
And written by XTC's own Andy Partridge, no less!
He's not only a bonafide rock star himself,
he's actually also an INDIE! Yeah!
And he's on this very site! Yeah he is!
So is XTC I understand!
And you could also argue they're not very Indie,
and yet, here they are,
and mind you Todd, I do believe it's Todd,
I covered one of your songs and thank you for allowing us to,
it isn't that The Monkees are 'Indie per se',
by that measurement, you're correct,
they're pretty much, the antithesis,
but, since the element of what made it fly or not,
to my view, WAS their talent,
and their own personal spark,
because in those days, in those days,
you needed that, you needed to actually be Damned Good,
or you got nowhere,
too bad it didn't stay that way,
but in those days, yeah, you needed that,
and that, quality, is the "Indie" part of them.
Like I said,
you could not have yanked four wanks
from the boardroom,
and gotten that,
even if they all could play instruments,
they had to have, independently (hence, the term "Indie") their own appeal.
As for your question of 'backstreet boys',
well, my answer to that is,
people forgot by that time what good music is,
Justin Timberlake, was one of those idiots, I understand,
and, I liked him in the movies, the one about Time being the world's currency,
that was intriguing, and he acted well in it.
But I recall, at the time they were out there,
Oh I would have paid good money to beat those idiots
to death with the nearest possible object. They were awful.
I hated 'em. Their music anyway,
didn't get to know 'em, didn't want to.
I am decidedly old school.
Anyway, thank you again, Todd, for posting this,
I will enjoy this.
Knew I brought the headphones out here for some reason.
Hop On Pop
5/1/2017 9:22:04 AM
I think you will enjoy it, Leslie. It's a great song. And it's a very good album.
By the way, have you heard any of Mike Nesmith's post-monkeys solo material? It is fantastic and, if you are a fan of Gram Parsons and that type of stuff, it should scratch that same itch.
5/1/2017 9:25:14 AM
Ah, I follow what you are saying..
one can argue, it all comes down to semantics...
that being, one's understanding of the word,
words are like monetary promissory notes
(paper money, in other words, the old ones said 'pay to the bearer of...')
in that, they represent a concept, you hand it to someone else,
and they 'cash' that concept, based on not your understanding
of the coin, or word, but, in fact, theirs.
So, you may think of the term "indie" one way,
and I, another.
I cannot say, what your understanding of the term is,
since you're you, and I'm not you, I'm me.
I can say what mine is.
"indie" to me,
is the thing, that makes you An Artist,
not just a schlock salesmen,
as I can argue, most people in the business,
certainly these days and for a long long time,
What makes a thing, to me, 'indie',
is when it is old school in the effect of,
'doing the thing for the sake of itself,
and your commitment to your own artistic vision',
not, just jumping on the bandwagon,
which, yes, the corporate bigwigs in the 60s did do with The Monkees,
but it only paid off,
because, of the "Indie Hearts"
of Mike Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, and Davy Jones.
Not so much, in my opinion, Peter Tork,
who was a corporate lackey if ever there was one. Again, my opinion.
It's all semantics, though, how you mean or take or say, the word.
There's a song for you, Say The Word... go write it. heh. Nevermind, been done.
Never hurts to reiterate on a good theme though.
5/1/2017 9:54:20 AM
Ah. Yes, I did enjoy that. I also found my way
to another new one from them, "She Makes Me Laugh."
and you know, maybe Peter was just having a bad couple of days
when he spoke with me, we all have 'em. And he is part of that band.
Anyway, for the sake of history,
since, there are actually people who may not know,
such classics as this one,
here is, one of the songs, that made them,
a band we older people fondly remember now...
5/1/2017 12:18:03 PM
---- Updated 5/1/2017 12:24:09 PM
I believe Stephen Stills auditioned for the Monkees. Imagine how different the music world would have been if that had happened!
But I liked The Monkees. I was a little too young to fully experience the Beatles. Never got to see a Beatles concert. I didn't go to my first concerts until 1970. But The Monkees definitely worked for a pre-teen kid. Loved the TV show. I learned all of their songs when I was beginning on guitar.
5/1/2017 4:50:06 PM
well they were indie in the sense they never got respect as artists.
What about the Archies?
5/1/2017 4:55:20 PM
---- Updated 5/1/2017 5:30:06 PM
Justin Timberlake is a phenomenal performer. Truth!
Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees at the Hollywood Bowl and got booed off the stage, lol!
Archies were a cartoon. No credibility. They were just studio hired guns. Never was a real band. I mean, I know you love the Archies, but damn. I even knew they weren't a real band back when I was a kid! The Cowsills and The Partridge Family had more credibility! :D
5/2/2017 5:30:26 AM
nah I don't love the Archies. I'm a fan of the show Riverdale.
At least 2 of the Monkees hits came from the Brill Building.
5/2/2017 7:37:59 AM
I at least liked The Archies,
a couple songs anyway... I actually had the 45 rpm record (single)
of "Sugar Sugar"...
but Larree is correct on that, they were not an actual band that I know of,
'hired studio guns' as he puts it, rings true and accurate...
and as far as 'not recognized as artists',
I don't know, FT, I can only hope to be so 'not recognized' you know, man?
They were pretty famous for some unrecognized dudes.
The Partridge Family, now they were actually not a band either.
The Monkees kind of did become a band,
even though they were only a vocal group to start,
with other musicians playing behind them, till the beans got spilled,
so they sure began playing 'em in a hurry.. 'nope! not us! we play 'em!'
Partridge Family, (whom I also liked, and I'll admit it, because, I'm that way)
was not a band, it was Shirley Jones and David Cassidy.
They were actually singing. The rest? Larree's own term;
"Hired Studio Guns"...
The Cowsills on the other hand,
I actually have been under the impression
that they actually really were a whole band,
I mean, they appeared on live television shows and all that...
boy do I love the song "I Love The Flower Girl"
it's so beautiful...
I heard it tripping my freakin' nuts off on LSD,
and it was so beautiful,
I just cried and cried and cried.
Anyway, I do Love The Monkees,
and they have soooo many great records,
and they're both, corporate lambchops, and indie marvels.
Both elements are there....
by my definition anyway...
because a very key 'indie' attribute to me,
is 'ineffable, unsquelchable, uneraseable unstoppable, Individuality',
so, by that definition, even The BEATLES, were indie.
In Lip Synch, not so much, they should all go kill themselves,
and I know, that is not a very nice thing to say,
let 'em at least spend all their money first.
5/2/2017 8:03:05 AM
okay, I should amend that last statement...
it's a bit harsh isn't it. I liked Justin Timberlake in that Time movie he was in,
and thought it was kinda hot when he popped out Janet Jackson's titty,
even though she had black tape over her nipple, and the thing was totally staged,
so, I take back what I said about, you know, "In Lip Synch" ought go
kill themselves, that's just not very nice, and I have a bitch streak, clearly.
But anyway, they suck, I hate 'em,
HERE'S More MONKEES!!
5/2/2017 8:05:47 AM
was that last bit not clear?
While I apologize to "In Sync" for suggesting
that they ought to all commit suicide,
I most definitely think they are freakin' awful,
and, I most definitely Love, The MONKEES.
Part Indie, Part Corporate Creation,
All AWESOME. Thank you. ~L
5/2/2017 8:10:28 AM
one mo' thing,
from the Verbostess With The Mostess...
BOY DO YOU HAVE TO HEAR THE SONG HOP ON POP POSTED.
I'm watching the video again, GREAT FREAKIN' VIDEO TOO,
If you Love MUSIC,
and wanna see one of the coolest videos, EVERRRR,
you have got to check this out.
Up top there, see it? "You Bring The Summer" by The Monkees.
Officially Lesley Approved.
I'd know, I'm well acquainted with the little bitch.
5/2/2017 8:11:13 AM
Summer At Last!
Here It Comes Again!
5/2/2017 8:11:59 AM
Control Tower? We have a ditz on the runway...
5/2/2017 8:12:58 AM
Let's try that again.
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