I sort of resisted the Monkees at first because I was a huge fan of the Beatles and felt that a fake television band could not be any good. I also thought the show was a rip off of Help! and A Hard Day’s Night. But I was a young kid and wasn’t quite cynical yet, so I watched and listened and I liked them. Top 40 AM radio really mixed things up in those days so we heard it all; the Beatles, the Supremes, James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, the Lovin Spoonful, Bobby Hebb, the Temptations, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Brenda Lee, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and so many other music styles, all being played on the same station.
Monday nights at 7:30 on NBC. Every Monday night, I would rush home after my 7PM drum lesson, and make it back by about 7:40, missing the first few minutes. But I watched the show, bought the records and loved the music; always great catchy pop songs. Then there was this one Monday in late August. My friend Dany Walker, who was the singer in the kid band I was in, rang my doorbell and told me that his father had gotten two tickets to see the Beatles at Candlestick Park. It must have been around 6PM, an hour before my drum lesson was to begin. I could go with him if my mother would give us both a ride. Yeah, the Beatles!! My mother came out of the kitchen and I asked her if she would drive us. “You have a drum lesson tonight, and we get charged unless we cancel at least 24 hours in advance. You can go next year.”
On August 29, 1966, the Beatles preformed their final concert ever at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. Their set was barely longer than one episode of the Monkees. The Beatles never performed in concert again after that night. I no longer play the drums.
Davy Jones died today of a heart attack. He was 66. Those Monkee Records are still great!
And I loved when the Monkees totally jumped the shark and made the movie Head. They alienated many of their fans with that whacked out piece of 60s/70s cinema. The Porpoise Song which was film’s theme song, is a great psychedelic piece of music.