12 March 2012

Hey Hey

It all feels a bit melancholic, this post.

The Monkees  was an early staple of my television life in the mid 1970's. I think the tv show must have screened about 5pm if during the week (tea at the table, not in front of the telly!); or maybe as late as 5:30 if on a weekend. Endless re-runs of M*A*S*H and Happy Days on NZ television throughout the ‘80’s (and probably ‘90’s- now it is the turn of Friends) only highlighted the absence of the made for tv fab four. John Pertwee as Dr Who; the Goodies; Spot On; Vision On; and Muhammed Ali (conserving energy on the ropes, past his prime but still the greatest) defending his title, starting just after school finished on rainy Christchurch days- and we watched while our mother brought through a jug of cocoa to share. Elvis movies (I know they are mostly slated, and generally neither musical nor dramatic masterpieces, but I still kinda love them. And check this. The track- which can only be described as hokey- yes, hokey- was the only one in the movie, which was actually pretty good). Ah, innocent times (even though, given the vagaries of NZ television at the time, 5-10 years late in many cases.)

But now, Davey Jones is dead. Already, as many words have been written about him and the Monkees as there have been tears shed at his passing. Maybe it is just the thing of mortality staring us all down; but also, it is another severed link to a perfect pop music past.

Like many, I did a wee “youtube” memory lane trip upon hearing of his death last week, and it took some surprising tangents. Some good, some great, some not-so-much.

The first track, of course, has to be the Monkees.

The Monkees- Valleri 

This track is wonderful, discovered by me a few months ago on this excellent blog- well worth bookmarking.

I first heard this song was when it was covered by "This Mortal Coil", but did not know it was a cover. Quite liked it then, but this version- heartbreaking, beautiful, and performed on a Monkees episode- is so, so much better.

Tim Buckley- Song to the Siren

Elizabeth Fraser was the vocalist on "This Mortal Coil's" version, and is also vocalist on this track from Massive Attack, taken from their first album, Mezzanine. It is not the Monkees, but it is very cool.

Massive Attack- Teardrop

I really have to end it with another Monkees track. I did not really realise how many of their songs were sung by Mickey Dolenz, with Davy Jones leading the way on seemingly more simple tracks. But the show was always fun, and some timeless pop music coming from them. Sad to see it end.

The Monkees- Theme Song

1 comment: