Michael Nesmith has died. Three-quarters of the Monkees have now passed away, leaving Mickey Dolenz as the sole survivor of the TV super-group. And breaking one more of the strands that held our generation together.
Did you watch The Monkees religiously, Monday nights on Channel 5? I’m sure in the memory of many of us it lasted for years and years, but it really only survived for two seasons.
Was it a good TV show? Not at all. Even my pre-teen critic’s eye recognized that. It was just a string of music videos strung together with a slight, silly, plot. We didn’t know Nesmith would eventually be one of the forces behind the whole music video revolution.
But yes, the show was fun–and bringing the boys into our living rooms every week made them our friends. We knew their eccentricities–Mike’s wool hat, Peter’s kookiness, Davy’s accent, and Mickey’s wanting to be the boss. By the way, if they ever make a biopic about the boys, can anyone but Adrian Grenier play the role of Mickey?
The Monkees popularized the puffy-sleeved shirt, years before Seinfeld satirized it. Maybe the boys wanted to look like pirates. I bought a green number, probably at Leonard’s Juvenile Shop on Morse Avenue. I wore it to the school dances, in heavy rotation with my two Nehru shirts. I thought I was very fashionable back in the day.
Davy, Peter, and now Michael have left us. Mickey is 76. Monkee business is winding down. But I’m a believer that a little bit of me and a little bit of you will remember them even when the last train to Clarksville has gone.
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