In the mid to late 60s, I had a transistor radio (about the size of a fat iPhone) that received short wave frequencies. One of the stations I could pick up (it came and went/faded so that it sounded like a sine wave) was Radio Luxemburg – I was able to hear about ½ of any song. I have since learned that it was a “pirate” station: a ship stationed off-shore of England that broadcast its playlist “illegally”. Many years later (think” Jimi Hendrix”), I found it difficult to admit that I actually liked the Monkees. However, 40 years down the line, as I look back and research the times/history, I realize that I shouldn’t feel so bad: I am one of millions who propelled their music to the top of the charts.
The story behind the Monkees is unique. Originally intended as a TV show, they ended up surprising everyone. They were initially not permitted to play their own music/instruments. They were shuffled around various instrumental roles by management trying to maximize revenue. Dolnez, the lead vocalist of this piece, was not a drummer until his “handlers” decreed so. In the clip, Mike Nesmith plays the guitar. The February 2012 deceased who this post pays respect to is Davy Jones, dead at the relatively early age of 66. In the video clip above, Jones does backup vocals and tambourine. In many other Monkees’ hits, he did the lead vocals.