To say the Monkees had a huge influence on my musical tastes is an understatement. In the early 70's I inherited an almost complete collection of Monkees albums from my older sister. She had moved on to other things, but in 1970 I was just getting interested in music.
Though conceived as nothing other than a television pop band, the Monkees revolt against their creators to create the music they wanted to record was a revelation to me as a kid.
These albums were pop, rock, country, psychedelic, broadway, folk, and a little of everything else. It was a great introduction to music for anyone, but it was perfect for me. Almost everything I've listened to in the decades since has been judged against those albums.
Everyone from my high school will tell you I was a huge Beatles fan, but almost no one gets the fact that I only became a Beatles fan because in 1976 I'd run out of Monkees records to listen too. Sure, there was the yearly Nesmith album, and there was Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart, but new music from the guys was pretty hard to come by.
The Beatles gave me a whole new listening experience, and a lot of new music to discover.
Yep, I'm a huge Beatles fan, but anyone that really knows me will tell you that the Monkees are the heart of my musical core.
Needless to say I was stunned at Davy's death. I knew at some point a Monkee would die, but I guess it never occured to me that it would be David, and I never expected it to be sudden.
It took me a while to write this, because I didn't know what to write, but a couple of days ago I was out of town and I stumbled across a small record shop. It was about 95% vinyl and they had a lot of great stuff.
I casually strolled to the section for Monkees records and flipped through the stack. All the normal stuff was there, the hits collections, and the Rhino reissues, but then something magical occurred.
The only Colgems album I didn't inherit from my sister sat right there in front of me, the hard to find, The Monkees Present.
I have both of the Rhino reissues, but I had never managed to grab an original Colgems copy of this album. Not only that, but it was in perfect condition.
Somewhere out there David Thomas Jones is smiling that this kid is still listening to his records, and still manages to get excited when he finds a "new" one.
Thanks David, Peter, Micky, and Nez. I'm sure you don't understand it either, but you made a really big difference in the life of this kid.
'til Jann Wenner puts the Monkees in the Hall of Fame
Keep the Adventure Alive,