I heard a few hours ago that Davy Jones from The Monkees passed away. I never met him and never saw them play live, but somehow I felt a great sense of loss. I looked to myself and tried to find out why that is. I think for most people when you boil it down, The Monkees for a certain generation were a band that you got into as a child or an early teenager. Like most people in their late thirties and early forties in the UK, I got into the Monkees by watching the re runs in the seventies. I remember my mum buying a cheap greatest hits from a supermarket (yes they sold the old vinyl LP in supermarkets those days). Money was tight, but every now and then we would get a luxury like this out of the blue. The LP had ten tracks and contained their most famous songs, I’m a Believer, Monkees Theme, last Train the Clarkesville etc. As this was a treat and we really didn’t have much in our house this album was played over and over and over till we practically wore it out. But I remember watching the TV show avidly and wanted to hear more of their songs. It wasn’t until I had a paper round and hung out with other friends who were also music fans that I eventually bought a double LP greatest hits that had 40 songs on it. This was a real revelation to me. To hear some of the songs like Randy Scouce Git, Valerie, In This Generation and many others on my record player rather than on the TV show was a revelation. I don’t recall Monkees albums being all that available at the time and this was as good as I could get.
Eventually I got a full time job, left home and a friend of mine called Colin had a copy of a Monkees album called Head that he bought in a bargain bin. Due to the film and the album being panned and ignored I had no idea of this existed, but he raved about how it was a perfect work of art and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. I was intrigued and never forgot what he told me about this great album and film and about a year later there was a season of Psychedelic movies at the BFI so I went to see a film they had in schedule called Head. On my own. Happily. I absolutely adored it and I know I wasn’t the only one interested in this film because it was completely sold out. Coincidently this friend of mine who had the album moved in with me and brought (sensibly enough due to out rakish ways) a copy of the album on cassette. We regularly got stoned and listened to the album and eventually the film was released on VHS and we regularly switched between film and cassette versions on many a mind expanding night.
In between out Head experience we bought various albums and watched re re re runs of the TV show. Even later in life I bought various copies of Monkees albums with loads and loads of extra tracks which I loved. When I did my children’s show at the Edinburgh fringe in 2010 I always played Mokees songs while the audience were arriving, because it was my way of giving the audience a small piece of my wonderful Saturday morning childhood experience.
When I found out Davy Jones passed away I felt sad. Sadder than I thought I would. I played some of my Monkees records and felt mixed emotions about the fact that some of my friends first heard the news from me via facebook.
Something that I never thought of until today was growing up in a multicultural time in the seventies was everyone loved the Monkees. Absolutely Everyone.
I don’t know what else to say. It’s nearly 2am 1st March 2012 and a part of my childhood and growing up has disappeared.
Goodbye, goodybe, goodbye.
We were speaking of belief.
Beliefs and conditioning.
All belief possibly could be said to be the result of some conditioning.
Thus the study of history is simply the study of one system of beliefs deposing another.
And so on and so on and so on.
A psychologically tested belief of our time is that the central nervous system.
Which feeds it’s impulses directly to the brain.
Is unable to discern between the real, and the vividly imagined experience.
If there is a difference.
And most of us believe there is.
Am I being clear?
For to examine these concepts requires tremendous energy and discipline.
To experience the now.
Without preconception or belief.
To allow the unknown to occur and to occur.
And where there is clarity there is no choice.
And where there is choice.
There is misery.
But then, why should anyone listen to me?
Why should I speak?
Since I know nothing.