Saturday, June 25, 2011
What is it, you may ask, that is keeping me up so late this June night? Is it the equation for a new synthetic fuel made from water, that will make us 100% energy independent by Labor Day? Is it the mapping of the nucleotides of a cell that will lead to a cure for cancer? Or maybe it is a profound prophetic inspiration that will lead to world peace? No, no, nothing like that. What is bebopping along in my caffein distorted mind is how the heck I can finagle my way to get to go see The Monkees in Indy Sunday, (which I guess since it is 2:30 am Saturday morning, is tomorrow.) With the car payment and car insurance due, I just can't see a way clear to go. Knowing this, however, has not settled the mind.
I keep thinking back about my history with The Monkees. Don't get me wrong, the closest I have ever gotten to any of them was when I attended concerts. It surely isn't like I know them personally. Sometimes it feels a little like I do, though.
I grew up with The Monkees. There are three shows I remember watching when I was little. Star Trek, The Smothers Brothers, and The Monkees. I remember being very little when all three were on network primetime. I remember really liking Star Trek, a favorite of my mother's. I remember laughing at the Smothers Brothers. Though I don't remember, now, if I was laughing because I really understood what I was laughing at, or if I was just laughing because every one else was. The Monkees, they were my favorite.
I would come running in from outdoors, my feet filthy dirty from playing with no shoes on. I'd turn the knob to WHO Channel 13, and plop myself on the rug on the floor. My mother would tell me to scoot back. "You are too close, you are going to ruin your eyes!" She would scold. Scooted back sufficiently to quiet my mother, but still closer than she would have liked, I waited.
BbbbbBbbbdmp! Here we come, walkin down the street.... Would sing out from the TV. I was captivated! I adored Peter Tork! I felt a kindred spirit, not even knowing what a kindred spirit was back then, with Peter. You see, Peter was the only blond in the group, and I was the only blond in my family. I knew that he understood my feelings of separateness, of not quite belonging. The sense of being a bit of a misfit. Even then, I knew, in my heart of hearts that he knew exactly how I felt. He was my hero!
As years went by, The Monkees TV show was cancelled and relegated to Saturday morning and then after school. I still watched. I still adored Peter! Then one day, puberty started to set in. That was when I discovered DAVY! Davy had beautiful brown eyes. To this day, I am a sucker for a pair of deep brown eyes. A girl can get lost in a pair of soulful brown eyes. I went through my preteens in love with Davy, and Donny Osmond, and Scott Baio, and Mr. Chekov from Star Trek. I'm telling you, it's the brown eyes. Davy got me thru junior high. I was so jealous of Marcia Brady!
High school came, The Monkees were no longer on TV. I kind of forgot about them. I didn't have any albums. In 1967 when they were at their peak, I was five, and in no position to obtain LPs. On I went to discover other music. Styx, Chicago, Genesis, and Barry Manilow. Ah, Barry Manilow, still my absolute favorite solo artist. Just ask my kids, they know most of his songs by heart, involuntarily. I met Willie in high school. We went to homecoming for our first date. We were still together at prom, with the theme of "Looks Like We Made It," my suggestion.
Willie and I stayed together while I was at college, and got married in 1984. In 1985 our first daughter, Valerie was born, and MTV started showing The Monkees reruns again. I was hooked, all over again! I found that I still adored Peter just as much as ever. Davy, well he looked about 16, which at 22, looks like a child. The stars in the eyes thing seemed a bit hokey. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw Micky. I remembered, as a child, telling my mom how much I adored Peter. (Yes, I know I keep using the word adored, but it is truly the only correct way to put it.) She had said that she really liked Micky better. Back then I couldn't see it. At 22, there it was! I started paying attention to Micky. I realized, that man is fricken hilarious! Of all the Monkees, he was truly the backbone of the show. You could tell he had the showman experience and the others played off of him, which worked wonderfully! He may be a comic genius, but because of the absolute silliness of the show, he wasn't taken seriously at the time. He had it all though, timing, faces, voices, pratfalls. He was laugh out loud FUNNY!
As an adult I started buying the albums, and a few cassette tapes that got eaten by my car. I went to the reunion tour concerts. I found myself in Monkee Mania all over again. Which to this day has never worn off. If someone put a gun to my head, and told me I had to pick a favorite Monkee, I couldn't do it. They each hold a different little space in my heart. I still (one more time) adore Peter. I still love Davy's brown eyes. Micky can still make me bust a gut, and I think his voice is wonderful. Mike, well, he never struck a cord with me the way the others did. Maybe he would have, if I had ever seen him in concert with the others, but I never did. Maybe he would have been my thirties, Monkee, we will never know.
Now that I have this all down, maybe my brain will settle down and let me sleep. I have an idea for a picture and may add it tomorrow. For tonight, I'll just say, thank you Davy, Micky and Peter. You have been a part of my life longer than any of us may care to admit. It has been a fun journey. I hope to see you in concert again someday. It just won't be tomorrow. Maybe you'll extend your tour a little and go to Des Moines, Iowa. I could go home for a weekend, and see the show with some friends. And an added benefit would be I'd get to see my granddaughter Kahlen, too. Win Win!