Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 15 (12): A band/musical artist whose music impacted your life.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
I would have to say that for me, this musical artist/band would be The Monkees. They were the first group I ever paid attention to, the first group I could say I was a fan of. I had their photos plastered all over my room (courtesy of Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine). I watched their show every Monday night and tried to run a petition drive to keep Davy Jones from being drafted (not then knowing that, as a British citizen, he couldn't be drafted). They were the only group for whom I had ever album.

The recent death of Davy brought everything back. He and Mike shared a birthday, but Davy was younger. That's why it was such a shock to learn of his death. Davy was originally a jockey, which wasn't a surprise given his slight stature. It also makes his death while visiting his horses the completion of a circle.

Peter was the only east coaster of the group with him being born in Washington, DC, and growing up in Connecticut. He began his musical talents at age nine with the piano, but continued to learn other instruments as he got older. He eventually joined the Bohemian lifestyles of Greenwich Village in the early 60s where he met other musicians, particularly Stephen Stills, who recommended him as a cast member for The Monkees television show.

Micky was born into an actor's family being the son of George Dolenz and Janelle Johnson. My being a cat lover, I loved that Mickey was from Los Gatos (The Cats), California. In the 50s, Micky played the role of Corky in a childrens show named Circus Boy. Micky also likes to paint and has professionally displayed his art in various galleries around the country. A friend of mine owns an original and has it hanging in her living room. She has met Micky and is also friends with his daughter, Ami.

Michael Nesmith, a songwriter in his own right (Different Drum sung by Linda Ronstadt), can often be perceived as being the most aloof of the group. I'd say it's not so much being aloof as not being as carefree as the others were and are. Part of the reason for the group not having the longevity of other groups is the degree of difference between all of their personalities. They were (and are) all friends, but often had differences of opinion with the pre-fab image of their group. Mike played a large role in the creation of the country rock genre as well as the beginning of the music video era. In fact, most of The Monkees shows contained prototypes of today's music videos.

There is so much more about them that people don't realize, but it's all easily located online for those interested in finding it. But, yes, it was The Monkees that brought me into the modern rock era, even if that rock was covered in bubblegum.

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