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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Monkees week: The porpoise is laughing, goodbye, goodbye....

This past Monday was the 50th anniversary of The Monkees TV series, which debuted on NBC at 7:30 (6:30 Central) on September 12th, 1966. The series ran for just two seasons, The made-for-TV rock 'n' roll group didn't merely blur the line between fantasy and fact--they variously scuffed it, defaced it, ignored it, piddled on it, and said rude things about it. They made records. They did concert tours. They made a movie. They made a TV special. They broke up. They reunited. They transcended any reasonable expectation of what they could or couldn't be. In the words of Michael Nesmith, We're The Monkees. That's all we've ever had to be.

Davy Jones left us mere mortals behind in 2012. This year, the surviving Monkees--Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork--made a wonderful new album called Good Times!, and Dolenz and Tork hit the road for a 50th Anniversary tour. Nesmith made cameo appearances at two of their shows, one via Skype and one in person. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, when a family emergency forced Tork to cancel his participation in a pair of Arizona shows, Nesmith stepped in as a substitute. And tonight, Peter Tork is expected to rejoin Micky and Michael in Los Angeles for a show that is widely presumed to be Michael Nesmith's last-ever appearance as a Monkee.

Unless, y'know, they get invited to perform next year at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I'm just sayin'.

But this feels like the end of an era....because it is the end of an era. I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment of this blog's time to mention it. Like my pal Rich Firestone often says, The Monkees have been good to me. Thank you, Monkees. Thank you Michael, and Davy, and Peter, and Micky, and all the people behind the scenes, too. I cannot imagine how different my life would be if not for The Monkees.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio's 50 YEARS OF THE MONKEES special is available for download at Westcott Radio. You can continue to follow The Monkees, past and present, at Monkees Live Almanac and monkees.net, and my above-linked piece on The Monkees and The Rock And Roll Of Fame was excerpted today at the Love Letters To Rock 'n' Roll website. I don't do Twitter, but if you do, remember to save the Texas Prairie Chicken...er, remember #inductthemonkees.

I've written quite a bit about The Monkees here in Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), and quite a lot before that in Goldmine and in the weekly playlists for This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio. Here's a chronological list of my main Monkees posts on this blog:

THE MONKEES: Good Clean Fun (The Great Monkees Bubblegum Debate, with Gary Pig Gold)
Goldmine Monkees reissue reviews
Goldmine Justus review
SHE MAKES ME LAUGH: The Monkees' U.S. Singles
Me & Magdalena
O' CANADA! (Canada Loves The Monkees, The Monkees Love Canada)
GOOD TIMES! review
THE MONKEES: GOOD TIMES! The Bonus Tracks, The Second Guesses
RECONSIDERING THE MONKEES, Part 1: Rows Of Houses That Are All The Same
RECONSIDERING THE MONKEES, Part 2: Only True In Fairy Tales
RECONSIDERING THE MONKEES, Part 3: Walking Down The Street
THE MONKEES: Welcome To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO: 50 Years Of The Monkees

And it looks like we've made it to the end.