Friday Song: The Monkees

I’ve written before about my unapologetic love for the Monkees and their diverse pop repertoire. Their success tangentially led to the birth of the New American Cinema of the 1970’s, with key players Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider among others. Their 1968 film HEAD is a rightly-regarded prelude to the next movie wave, regardless whether The Monkees were only a Beatles duplicate — and the Liverpool Lads loved them; that’s why Michael Nesmith was one of the assembled for the orchestral recording for “A Day In The Life.” Speaking of Nesmith, next to Peter Tork he was the most serious and accomplished musician of the group, and he penned terrific songs on his own for The Monkees. My particular favorite thanksforasking remains this country flavored ode to the one who got away, “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round” from 1967. I couldn’t find a clip from the original show but here’s something equaly unique and slightly surreal: The Monkess sans Mike Nesmith performing the song at Nashville during their huge comeback in 1987. It’s a wonderful tune any way it’s played and The Monkees do a grand ol’ job of it here to an appreciative audience.

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2 Responses to “Friday Song: The Monkees”

  1. A lot of great music in “Head”, including my all-time favorite Monkees tune, The Porpoise Song. So sad that their popularity seemed to wane just as they were gaining creative control over their own work and producing some of their best stuff.

    • Yes, “The Porpoise Song” is their best and my fave, but this one is inches away. “Head’ is a great soundtrack. But in the end, the Monkees were brought together as a proto-pop product so there’s no reason they should have been expected to last as a group, especially given their divergent tastes and personalities.

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