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Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Monkees redux

I may need to correct something I said in yesterday's blog. I really don't remember it, but Drew says he and I saw The Monkees at Jones Beach in 1986. That was the 20th anniversary tour, and all four members of the band performed.

I do remember seeing Davy, Mickey and Peter. And then, later, seeing Mickey, Peter and Mike. I don't remember the Jones Beach show.

Last night, of course, was just Mickey and Peter.

The first half of the show was all about The Monkees, they sang hits while video of the old TV show played. One of the best clips from the show -- Mike pretending to be an inept folk singer, totally wrecking "A Different Drum", a song made popular by Linda Ronstadt. Inside joke -- Mike wrote that song.

But the second half ...showed off their talents in a different way. Alternate arrangements of Monkees songs. An interesting, jazzy version of "Sugar, Sugar", a song which they turned down before it was recorded by The Archies. A folk song performed with backup singer Coco Dolenz (Mickey's sister) --the three had performed as a folk trio (Dolenz, Dolenz and Tork) in the 70's.

Of course there was the audience sing-along of "Daydream Believer", a memorial to Davy Jones. One audience member performed Davy's entire dance sequence in the aisle. And they finished with "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and "I'm A Believer".

The Monkees often get dismissed as a "made for TV" band. As Mickey reminded us last night, all they provided to the first two albums was the vocals -- the music was all written for them, and performed by studio musicians. But they fought for the right to create their own music (all four wrote songs for the band), and what they created...well, the music lasts the test of time. Overall, a fun evening.

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