Strobel: Where's the Monkees' applause? 0
Davy Jones' demise is shocking enough, but his Monkees are not in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
This is just as shocking as Davy Jones’ death:
His Monkees are not in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
No offence to the Lovin’ Spoonful, Parliament-Funkadelic, Jackson Browne, Traffic or The Faces but c’mon. No Monkees?
The snub is underscored by the reaction to news of Jones’ fatal heart attack in Florida, Wednesday, at the age of 66.
Even our newsroom — most of its denizens born long after the Monkees 1960s heyday — were abuzz at the first bulletins.
I was begat somewhat, ahem, earlier. I watched the Monkees not on Saturday morning reruns but prime time Mondays.
In Grade 6, the debate was not Beatles versus Stones. You were Beatles or you were Monkees.
For quite a while I was Monkees. I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit I had a sort of boy-crush on Davy. I loved vicariously through him. When Davy strolled the beach and crooned about a gal, I damn near swooned.
So to me his death is not just the death of the world’s greatest tambourine player. It’s like the death of long-ago love.
But it’s more. Ever hear of 1967? Canada’s centennial? The Leafs’ last Stanley Cup win? The Summer of Love?
That momentous year, the Monkees outcharted the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, the Mamas and the Papas, you name them......a horde of future Hall of Famers.
The Pre-Fab Four had hits that winter (I’m A Believer), spring (A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You), summer (Pleasant Valley Sunday) and fall (Daydream Believer).
Okay, so they didn’t write one of them. So they started as nobodies hired for a TV show.
But they made each song their own. The Monkees had a sound, baby.
Still, not a peep out of the Hall of Fame. No “take the last train to Cleveland and we’ll meet you at the station.”
The Crickets were inducted this year. Buddy Holly was, deservedly, among the first to be named, in 1986. But his backup band? God bless ‘em for riding Buddy’s wagon — but the Hall of Fame before the Monkees?
The Comets, the Famous Flames, The Midnighters, the Miracles. All in the Hall. All backup bands.
Dr. John’s in there. I guess he was in the wrong place at the right time. But no Monkees?
The Stooges are in the Hall of Fame before the Monkees!? That’s disgraceful. Larry, Curly and Moe?!
No, no, the Stooges. Iggy Pop and the boys. Good for them.
But no Monkees? Four #1 albums in one year alone, with More of the Monkees 70 weeks on the charts, at the time one of the biggest albums in history.
I mean, Jimi Hendrix opened their concerts, though it wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven.
Plus, two Emmys for the TV show, and their own trading cards, a la Beatles. You have to be big time to get your mugs on kids’ lunchboxes.
I saw Davy, guitarist Peter Tork and drummer Micky Dolenz at the Molson Amphitheatre in July 1996. Bassist Mike Nesmith took a pass.
They played all the hits, which are surprisingly fresh to this day. And they poked fun — including a deliberately old fogey version of their theme song.
We’re the young generation
And we’ve got something to say.
Well, so do I: Put the Monkees in the Hall, pronto.
In 2007, Tork complained Hall co-founder Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone, was blackballing the band because of their pre-fabricated roots.
But, man, Jann, the Monkees were huge. They were music video pioneers. Most of all, they fought the music bosses, winning the right to write their own songs and play their own instruments, not just sing and look fetching.
That took courage. So did Davy’s playing that silly tambourine.
Hell, that alone ought to earn them a ticket into the Hall.
Or I’m a Monkees’ uncle.
Mike Strobel’s column runs Wednesday to Friday, and Sunday. email@example.com, 416-947-2265 or twitter.com/strobelsun