Last week, I was surfing channels and stopped dead at The Smithsonian Channel because I heard the announcer say, "Coming up next: The Monkees."
That was just weird enough to watch.
And worth it--while I knew some of the story--the manufactured first-boy-band-ness of them, the emnity with their producer, the bad break-up--I'd had no idea that Jack Nicholson was in any way involved (with Head, their weird, probably bad, first-and-last movie).
Lots of screaming girls in that documentary. Girls who, in 1966 or '67, where older than I, but none who loved Monkees more. Me, my brother, my sisters--we all loved The Monkees. We played them for my parents--we'd put their albums on and pretend to play. We were the original lip-synchers.
My littlest sister was always Mike (she got the leftovers), my brother was Mickey, my other sister was Davy, and I was Peter. I liked his (relative) quietness, his quirky goofiness. He didn't sing many songs, though--I'd have preferred he had more of a lead role in the band.
I remember writing a fan letter--I really sent it, but I have no idea who I addressed it to--begging that I BE a Monkee. Like they needed a 12-year-old clarinet player.
Sometime in the late '80s, The Monkees came to Fort Wayne and yes, I went. No Mike--I think he's permanently estranged from the troop--but Davy, Peter, Mickey--there they were, on the Coliseum stage, and I was breathing the same air as they. There for an hour or so ... I was 12 again.
Funny how now and then, a Monkee song is used in an ad or is covered by another band--Smashmouth, among others.
On my Facebook status, on the night I watched The Monkee's show, I mentioned my affection for them. And how surprised was I when a friend who'd lived in California in the '80's commented that he had MET Peter Tork--he'd MOVED Peter's stuff. My friend was working for a moving company, and he MOVED PETER TORK. Peter seemed down on his luck, at that time, my friend said--kind of sad.
I felt badly at that, but still--I know knew someone who HAD MET PETER TORK!
So I'm surfing MSNBC.com just last week, and what headline do I see? That Peter Tork--my Peter--has cancer.
Oh no. I just meet you, and now this.
Prognosis looks okay for Peter, and I have to say, in the Smithsonian show, he seemed good. Maybe my friend moved him at a down moment.
Hang in there, Peter. Remember, I'm a believer.