10:04 PM, Tuesday, November 13th, 2012:
When The Monkees announced in August they were touring again with Mike Nesmith (the first tour with him since 1969), I immediately contacted Talya's dad who has a great in for tickets, and realized that I was in the unique position to put together an amazing bootleg video. Assuming I was in the pit again for the concert? I could edit together both shows to look like all 4 Monkees were on-stage at the same time even though Davy Jones passed away earlier this year.
Well, I can report that I did indeed get pit tickets last Saturday night and the video turned out about as perfect as I could've hoped. It's an hour long concert that never happened. Every member getting the spotlight equally as well as cutting them together during their "hits" where everyone is involved. If you're a Monkees fan... this is priceless:
What a challenge that was. The full video has 22 songs in it and everything on Saturday had to be videotaped while HIDING my camera because for some reason, this show, they forbid video. Which, honestly, I don't really get because everyone's camera can do both now - how do you know which they're doing? Of course, I was at a supreme disadvantage since I needed to use the exact same camera from last year for the edit which is clearly a video camera. So the stuff with Mike Nesmith is a bit more "hidden"... and the other problem?
The two concerts were night and day in terms of energy. People were standing during nearly the entire concert in 2011. As you can tell from the shots from 2011 it looks as if I'm eye level with them, 'cause, I actually was. We were all standing, and I was able to hold the camera up. Saturday night however? Almost always sitting. Which meant because of the no video rule? I couldn't get the angles I wanted. I did the best job I could, but it was just a different concert. Which was to be expected with Nesmith returning. He was "over" the Monkees in the 60s. He reminds me a lot of George Harrison in that respect. Ever see the outtake from The Beatles Anthology where George, Paul and Ringo play together at George's house? About 3 songs in you could just see George wanted to shoot someone and Paul wrapped up the song quickly. He was over The Beatles.
Of course Mike agreed to tour so he's not to the same level as George was but the goofy "fun" of The Monkees that was self-evident in 2011? Just wasn't happenin' Saturday night. However, the cool thing about the video is that I'm certain had they all shared the stage again? It would've looked like my fantasy film. Mike off to the side, playing a little, singing a little, and letting the other 3 be goofy and jump around and dance. I'm glad I got the "Moog" part on film because I had to be very careful what I risked shooting and something told me to keep filming and it was the funniest thing he did all night. And he really was having a good time, and it was great to get some of his songs in the video... but it didn't feel like a Monkees concert at all. And I don't want to start some fan-war about the in-figting between them, but it was shocking to the point of uncomfortable that they never mentioned Davy's name during the show. They would end a song, hurry off stage as it went to black, and a music video of Davy from the 60s would play. At the end, they would come back on and go into another song like nothing had happened.
I mean, I understand not wanting to get sad and sappy during a concert but it really, really, shocked me. I mean, I've seen McCartney twice in concert and he always spoke of George and John. Sung some songs written FOR them and written BY them and it was all very moving. But I've been checking out the Monkee fan pages on Facebook and no one seems to agree with me, so what do I know? I guess they just felt the best way to deal with it was not to. And I have over 1250 entries behind me that show that's decidedly not how I deal with things. :-)
Anyway, I really hope fans enjoy the video and don't feel it's disrespectful. People get really weird when you mess with dead people. But I think the majority will find this a treasure. Loved the challenge of putting it together and hope the remaining Monkees appreciate it as well. They're quite active on Facebook and even mentioned it onstage so I'm sure they'll either be amused or horrified by it. Time will tell...