Thursday, March 1, 2012

Death of a Monkee

A Monkee has bit the dust and left us one less for our lunchboxes. That someone who had adorned lunchboxes across American and crooned in studio produced albums as part of a retread Beatle shtick meant to capitalize on mop head mania American style should not detract from the question of do pop icons of any kind deserve notice in their passing? Forget the thousands of writers and painters and sculptures who slip earths surly bonds without a notice much less a headline on the CNN website. Such are the vagaries of pop culture.

Should we care about a Davy Jones inserted into the one the more inane shows to paint sixties pop culture of Beverly Hills Get Smart Brady Bunch landscape. Should someone who did nothing more than star in something so forgettable that no one could tell you if they really sang or if they could play or if they were even actors. They were the first boy band brought together by marketeers in a network board room who concepted a group that might siphon Beatle mania into ratings and possible album sales. And amazingly it worked. For a while.

The Monkees were hot in the way any knock off brand is that is cheaper and more accessible. The Beatles were busy with Sergent Peppers while the Monkees were perfecting Last Train to Clarksville or the unforgettable Day Dream Believer. Lennon was contemplating greater things already with Abbey Road while Davey and the boys considered they might have talent and wanted more of a role in singing. They got it as the show was cancelled and the Monkees disbanded a year later to no fanfare.

So the nostalgia tours for Davy kicked up. A poster in a sandwich shop showed he had appeared in the Arcade Theatre in St. Charles Illinois and did his favorites. And he was a Vegetarian who ran every day right up to his heart attack. So the passing of a Monkee is brought to us and should we care? Do we care about our old albums and lunchboxes and those weird TV land reruns where people marvel that this was entertainment forty some years ago?

Probably not so much.

Books by William Hazelgrove