Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power
Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”
Rosanne: One of the interesting things — it was the first show that had a set of teenagers who didn’t have a father figure or a mother who looked over them and watched over them. And Peter Tork has often said that that’s one of the things that attracted teenagers that they saw teenagers living independently and out current teenagers think of themselves as 16 and 17. These guys are 18-19 — those are still considered teenagers because you still had to wait until you were 21 to vote. You were not a full adult and…
Jean: …and if kids didn’t go to college or join the military, they still lived with their parents in American culture and they have a job and they have to do things.
Rosanne: So they were teenagers.
Jean: Isn’t he the one whos mother invented Liquid Paper? Yes, that’s always…so, the funny thing was he wasn’t going to get that inheritance till later in life. So he didn’t have much cash as a young man. He got on the show and made a ton of cash and has admitted in other interviews that he spent it all on cars and pretty much bankrupted himself when everything was done and had to revive — he began a video company in Northern California that was very successful and so he’s quite well off these days.
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy. Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.
This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers. Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces.
Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.