And, sad to say, today marks the passing of Monkees lead singer Davy Jones.
Amongst the hipperari, 60s “bubblegum” is habitually disparaged, but, darn it, some of that was great dance music. The Monkees did a jaunty cover of Neil Diamond’s “I’m a Believer:”
Then there were the Archies with “Sugar, Sugar,” and Tommy Roe’s “Dizzy.” (If I can ever find it, a friend of mine cut a killer heavy-metal version, but I lost the effing CD.) It might have been kinda dumb, but it was fun dumb, and you could always move to it. Kinda what rock ‘n’ roll was about back at the beginning.
And it’s worth remembering, the Monkees out-sold the Beatles for a time there. Some of rock `n’ roll’s notables auditioned for the band, including Steve Stills and Harry Nilsson. I can’t see Stills, for sure, performing bubblegum, and I’m actually glad he didn’t join Jones and the others. We probably wouldn’t have heard “Suire: Judy Blue Eyes,” written for then-lover Judy Collins, or “Carry On,” or “For What It’s Worth.”
And, in 1967, the opening act for the Monkees’ tour was one Jimi Hendrix . . . . Think about that double-bill.
So, Davy and company, thanks for the fun.