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?
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In this case obviously you’ve read the lyrics. It’s some pretty amazing stuff to be on mainstream television in the middle of what was the beginning I should say of the Vietnam War and how it was affecting everybody. That’s very bold thing for anybody have to say which i think is amazing. Then there was actually a movement to not draft Davy Jones. So Girls wrote letters and that sort of thing which I think is adorable. He was an Englishman but he was here in the country working and so therefore could have been drafted and so that was interesting. Micky received a draft notice. Mike had been in the military. So they couldn’t draft him back and Peter, as well, also received one. Peter pretended to be crazy when he went to his interview and they believed it. So this is the line from one of the episodes that was written by Coslough Johnson about politics and the idea that you know what was going on with teenagers — “They’re the ones doing all the fighting” but we didn’t say where they would fight, right? We were sending them to fight. So there’s a lot happening about politics in this early day.
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.
Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?