07 Timothy Leary and the Counterculture from “Why The Monkees Matter: Even 50 Years Later [Video] (54 seconds)

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From Denver Pop Culture Con 2019.

Wherever you go, you find Monkees fans and the Denver Popular Culture Con was no different.  Amid rooms full of caped crusaders and cosplay creations, I was initially not sure how many folks would attend a talk on a TV show from the 1960s – but happily I was met by a nice, engaged audience for my talk on Why the Monkees Matter  – and afterward they bought books!  What more could an author ask for?

07 Timothy Leary and the Counterculture from

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If you think about it, we know that Dr. Timothy Leary — who was famous for dropping a little acid back in the day — he already was watching the program and saying, there is a whole lot going on here that no one else is paying attention to. So this isn’t information that I invented years later. People already we’re saying these things but the network television guys weren’t really listening. They thought it was a show about four guys who wanted to be a band and there was a good way to sell music. It was synergy, right? It was the big mood of the day. So that’s what they thought, but when you think about what they were talking about on the show — this particular song Randy Scouse Git is a song that Mickey wrote. It hit number one on the charts in the UK and made it to like number three in charts in the United States. Came in the second season also in the second season their clothing began to change. They went from JCPenney matching band uniforms to the poncho, the more hippie attire, looking more like they looked in their real lives. .

Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement 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 Riderand Five Easy Pieces.

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