Who’d have thought it could be so: a manufactured ’60s rock band (often not even playing their own instruments–most of the band, anyway) could endure into the second decade of the 21st Century? Sure, the Stones still gig, McCartney’s still going strong. The aging baby boomer rock idols live on via disc, mp3 and live
on stage. But the Monkees? Indeed, it is so! Following up on their successful 2013 reunion tour (minus the late Davey Jones, who passed away in 2012) last year, the gang is back, this time playing the East Coast and Midwest during May and June.
I suppose I’m showing my age here, but I was a complete Monkees fangirl back in the days of my childhood. My three best friends and I would gather at someone’s house, have dinner and watch the show together, and God forbid should a little (or big) brother or sister try to crash the party!
And despite the fact that the band was originally (and quite literally) “made for TV,” their music has endured. In fact, I nearly dropped a bowl of ice cream one afternoon a few years ago when my then-adolescent son bounded into the house singing “I’m a Believer.” But is it only nostalgia for our long-spent youth, a longing for the black and white simplicity (and television picture!) of the ’60s?
Well, maybe not entirely. I think the Monkees represented the fun side of music–a counterpoint to the deep turmoil of the time. They were silly–and having such a great time, borne of the madcap fun of the Beatles A Hard Day’s Night and Help. Trying to capture the spirit of the early Beatles.
By the time their final episode aired after two seasons, the Monkees were still a phenomenon, going on to make a feature film (co-written by Jack Nicholson!). Although the band’s members went their separate ways, the band came back together a couple of times to tour and record new tracks. After Jones’ death, the three remaining Monkees reunited for a tour last summer called “A Midsummer’s Night with the Monkees.”
Monkees’ songs were always memorable and lyrics always singable. And with their ’60s series still airing more than four decades later, I don’t think they ever quite got out of style. Their new tour is certain to be a success as baby boomer fans mingle with their own children (and grandchildren to recapture a bit of the ’60s).
The new tour begins in New Hampshire May 22 and continues through early June. A complete list of tour dates can be found on the Monkees’ official site.
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