Seeing as I’m a second-generation Monkeemaniac who was hooked by the huge second wave of 1986, I’ve now been a passionate lover of this wonderful band for 30 years. At the age I am now, that’s a good 90% of my life. The vast majority of my life has been spent as a Monkeemaniac. I fell in love with them only a few years into being able to remember, so that means an even greater percentage of my memoried life has been spent as a Monkeemaniac.
I’ve never been like most folks, and amn’t about to suddenly up and start now. The di was cast for me to love all things from previous generations all those years ago. I honestly never understood why so many of my peers went gaga over contemporary music, movies, actors, and other aspects of popular culture.
The Monkees were my first musical love, and remained my fave raves for seven years, until the spring of ’93, when I was thirteen. They were dethroned by The Four Seasons, and a year later, 9 April 1994, I declared The Beatles as my favourite band. In late 2000, they in turn were dethroned by The Who. All these years, I’ve held The Monkees as my third-fave band. The Who are my #1, and The Beatles are the musical love of my life (whom I also strongly feel saved my life), but The Monkees will always have that special place as my first musical love.
All these past 30 years, hearing The Monkees just makes me so happy. While they certainly have more than a few deep, serious, complex songs, I love them most for their fun, sweet, innocent songs. Sometimes you just want something fun, peppy, and lightweight to relax to, to step inside a more innocent mood, to relive happy memories.
Being all of six years old when I became a Monkeemaniac, I immediately chose Davy as my fave rave. No deep, thoughtful, mature reasoning went into my choice. I just thought he was the cutest. This was the exact same reason Paul was initially my favourite Beatle. I did later admit to myself John had become my favourite Beatle (after awhile of trying to pretend to myself I had two faves), and now I’m coming to realise my preference has strongly shifted towards George. But for my first musical love, dethroning Davy as my fave rave seems so sacrilegious.
My dearest, oldest friend, who got into the band with me, chose Micky as her fave rave. Some years back, she was able to fulfill a longtime goal of interviewing all four Monkees (at separate times).
I think we were in second grade when we did The Monkees’ theme song for the school’s annual lip-synch. We had shirts with felt letters spelling Monkees. Hers said Micky on the back, but I was too embarrassed to have only Davy’s name on mine, and wanted all four of their names. My parents said that would be far too expensive. Mine might’ve been plain on the back.
Our lip-synch bombed horribly, even with her father trying to help us out by jumping into the audience dressed as a monkey. She was pretty pissed at me as we walked back to our seats, feeling I messed our act up. Thankfully, we soon made up. We’ve been friends since September ’85, when we were in kindergarten.
Of the three surviving Monkees, Nez is my favourite. I really think he would’ve been my fave rave had I gotten into them at an older age, or maybe Peter. As a child, I always saw Nez as the boring, adult one, a bit apart from the other three. This was a striking harbinger of his spotty involvement with the band in the years since 1970. Little did I know how popular he is among my fellow second-generation Monkeemaniacs.
He also seems to have done the most with his life outside of his Monkees’ career. Not only did he create MTV, but he’s also a very successful solo artist and songwriter, and one of country rock’s pioneers.
I was absolutely devastated when Davy was taken from the material world on 29 February 2012. I never dreamt he’d be the first one to go, nor that he’d be taken so relatively young. I still can’t believe he’s really gone. It was as much of a shock as when John Entwistle died. It’s not as though either of them had been sick for a long time, like George Harrison, and everyone knew they were dying. Both deaths were so out of the blue.
My steadfast love for The Monkees has grown deeper and more multifaceted as I’ve journeyed through life. They’ve meant different things to me at each stage of life, and the way I hear their music has evolved too. After 30 years, it almost feels like a marriage of sorts.
It’s safe to say I’ll never stop loving The Monkees. How could I, after investing 90% of my life in this relationship?