10:25 PM, Sunday, July 17th, 2011:
It's almost blasphemous to say this, but I had a really good time at The Monkees concert. Something about their self-awareness of the ridiculousness of it all made it impossible to still be angry after all these years. Christ man, whatever are you rambling about now?
In 1986 I was introduced to The Monkees via a 22 hour marathon on MTV of all their episodes. Ironically, I wasn't the one watching them. I was getting up for school and I was shocked to see my mother still watching at 6am. Yes, she had watched all night and I was incredibly jealous. As a child of the 80s, sitcoms ruled my life - and I would've given anything to be allowed to watch one ALL NIGHT LONG. This was loooooooooooooong before TV marathons happened (seems they happen every weekend now) MTV continued to air them throughout the coming months and I soon fell in love with the campiness of it all. I was indeed, hooked.
This was before I truly discovered The Beatles. Once I had? Oh, the war was on. The following year I became an all-knowing, all-seeing, Beatle-freak. A period which actually allowed me to become "The King of Beatle Trivia" on WTVN 10 years later. Understanding The Beatles' influence made The Monkees not only uncool, but actually offensive. The Monkees were a manufactured group of actors that didn't write or even play instruments and in the late-80s because of the MTV resurgence? They were easily more popular than The Beatles to my generation. It really, really pissed me off. It seemed like such an injustice. A copy beating the original... when the original also BUILT the copy machine.
Then of course the 90s hit, The Beatles Anthology hit and all seemed right with the world. The Beatles have since become almost... over-exposed? It seems everyone understands their place in history. Of course when people don't, I'm the first to read them the riot act. But for the most part, I can come down off my soap box. And when you do? The Monkees show was really funny. Hell, The Beatles loved it. They actually threw a party for The Monkees with Lennon calling them The Marx Brothers of Rock & Roll. Listen, if The Beatles get it? I need to lighten the hell up. Elvis didn't write his songs, Sinatra didn't write his songs or play any instruments. The Monkees did later play and write (though the damage was really already done) and today? They're having a blast. They could care less if you (or that Mike Nesmith guy) wants to join them or not.
So I joined them.
Not exactly a challenging thing to do when you have tickets like this. Talya's father has had major contacts at The Greek Theatre for decades and always has ridiculous seats to these shows. Forget front row, the man does "pit" seating plus hanging out in the hospitality room with the band afterwards. So when this offer came up (thank you so much Allan), it was kind of a no-brainer. It's no "Front and Center" for Paul McCartney as I was in 2009, but because of the intimacy of The Greek? I was actually closer to The Monkees even being 3-4 rows back.
As well, because now every single phone has a video camera on it? They just don't care about video taping. Which meant unlike McCartney at Coachella where I had to sneak in a flip camera? I was able to bring in my full-fledged HD 1080p Canon and tape to my heart's delight. Which, ironically means this footage blows my "Front & Center" McCartney footage out of the water. My 13 year old self is very disappointed in me right about now...
...thankfully, 35 year old me had a helluva lot of fun and is excited to share this with you.
It was my first time at The Greek, and I gotta say it's a nice venue. Wooded area, incredibly intimate and a beautiful night to boot. As far as the show... I was surprised they showed NO footage from them in the 80s and 90s when they did reunion tours and whatnot. They only showed the earliest footage which made their current appearences extremely jarring. I mean, Peter turns 70 in February, I don't expect them to look young, but when you show footage that's 45 years old (this is their 45th Anniversary Tour) it comes across as... well, kinda sad - and it shouldn't be! I admire people performing until they drop dead - I'm sure as hell going to - I just think you're beating people over the head with JUST how much time has past since the beginning when all you show is the oldest footage.

Although that shot was kinda cool. Jesus, could they have been more obvious with the casting? Let's get a guy that looks and sounds like Paul! Same haircut and a funny accent? Check! Davy had the audacity to say Justin Bieber stole his haircut and it was all I could do to keep from yelling "YOUR MOP TOP? Did he really steal YOUR Beatle MOP TOP? (sigh) But again, I refrained.
And honestly? It's because they're just having fun. They're not Lennon/McCartney. They're kind of a Vegas act... and truth be told? A good one. Their songwriters were fantastic and as performers they're just fun to watch and listen to. As Peter said in the video, they did indeed play their own instruments after the first two albums and eventually write some songs and does it really matter? Millions have been entertained by these ARTISTS for decades. I was singing along with everyone else. The truth is those 4 kids had no clue just how popular those songs would become and they've held up pretty well considering the shit they've endured because of that. They were 4 actors that auditioned for a TV show and wound up with infamy. I'd venture to say the cast of The Jersey Shore won't be touring in 2056.
I got a good hour's worth of footage with full takes of most of the songs. It honestly feels and sounds like being there on my big 10 footer. HD is remarkable. I've gotten a couple of blu-ray concerts lately and remember how they used to say you could never experience a live event on TV? That's getting harder to say now. It still barely rings true but if given the choice between normal seats at a concert, and watching the blu-ray on my big screen? Blu-ray is gonna win. I believe that makes me... old.
Which this entry also does. The "angry young man" seems to be fading forever. You just can't hate when you're happy. I still have prinicples, beliefs, etc... but the truth is? Though I may spout a few within the confines of this site, you won't find many in person. I'm just happy. While I railed on and on about the travesty that was The Monkees all those years, the rest of the world was happily singing their tunes. So I guess, the monkee was me.
But goddamnit the walrus was Paul.
PS - Was actually able to get a picture with Micky in the hospitality room, but since it's on Talya's father's camera... that'll have to be a random for another day (along with the nonexistent Carmageddon 2011).