Remembering the Monkees

A few weeks ago I heard that Davy Jones had died and it made me sad. As a kid, I loved watching the Monkees television show and thought their music was great. In the 1970s and 1980s in the San Francisco Bay Area, channel 44 would play reruns of the old Monkees television show and I got hooked on watching the show. I thought they were the coolest group, until a distant cousin visited our home with his latest Prince cassette and thought I was uncool for liking the Monkees. I eventually grew to like Prince too, but I never stopped liking the music of the Monkees. They were just catchy songs. When I went to college, I met my friend Greg Beda, who was a big Monkees fan, and he let me borrow a 4 disc Monkees compilation and realized they actually had a very diverse set of music.

The Monkees were formed in the mid sixties for a television show about a rock group that imitated the madcap comedy of the Beatles of A Hard Day’s Night. When I was a kid, I heard that the Monkees did not play know how to play their own musical instruments and only faked playing for the show. I later found out that was only partly true. Both Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork were experienced musicians who wrote songs and knew how to play guitar before they got on the show. Mickey Dolenz knew how to play guitar, but he was assigned by the television producers to be the drummer for the group, and he had never played drums before. So during the early part of the show, he had to learn how to play drums, and he eventually became a decent drummer. A group of the top songwriters of the time, including Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil, provided them with music for their show. Eventually the Monkees asserted themselves, and they played their own instruments for their songs starting with the album Headquarters. They also began contributing songs that they wrote to their albums, with Mike Nesmith contributing the songs “You Just May Be The One”, “Listen To The Band”, “Nightly Daily”, “Don’t Call On Me”, and “Mary Mary”, Peter Tork contributing “For Pete’s Sake” and Mickey Dolenz contributing “Randy Scouse Git”.

When I found out that Davy Jones had died, I looked through youtube and found several Monkees songs there from their television show. Instead of their usual hits, I thought I’d post some of their lesser known songs that I really like.

A youtube video of the Monkees performing the song “Love Is Only Sleeping”

A youtube video of the Monkees performing the song “Randy Scouse Git”

A youtube video of the Monkees performing the song “Cuddly Toy”

A youtube video of the Monkees performing the song “What Am I Doing Hanging Round”

A youtube video of the Monkees performing the song “Star Collector”

A youtube video of the Monkees performing the song “I’m Going Down”

A youtube video of the Monkees performing the song “Riu Chiu”

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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