Thursday, March 01, 2012

Honey Badger just flat out don't give a good G-damn no-never-mind, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

This just in: Latest celebrity baby-naming craze is to name child after where it was conceived like Malibu, Ojai, Brooklyn. So Snooki's baby will be named: Olive Garden Bathroom.

Since you asked:

Got to admit, as a bonafide Late 60’s/early 70’s LA music scene nut-job, very bummed by the passing of Davy Jones.

It has become fashionable to write-off the Monkees as a musical joke. But they were huge at one point, out-selling the Beatles and the Stones.

Big fan as a kid, have since delved in to that history and you will not find someone who has a bad word about Davy. Opposite, in fact. Everyone loved him. And he got as royally screwed by their producers as everyone in the Monkees and had a right to become as bitter as did Michael Nesmith, but he did not.

Two a-hole egomaniac, cigar-chomping studio execs decided they could make an American version of the Beatles and keep all the touring and record profits in a deal that tied them all to the TV show.

One of the worst rumors is that Stephen Stills tried out and was turned down. A lie. They wanted Stills bad and pursued him as he had a great reputation as a good-looking great singer/songwriter/guitarist.

When Stills, who was making some good cash selling his songs, discovered they would take away his music ownership rights, he passed and told all the most talented musicians in the area not to swallow the Monkees producer’s BS golden handcuffs. So James Taylor, The Dave Clark Five, Loving' Spoonful, David Crosby, Jackson Browne et al passed. (Charlie Manson - who is nuts, but not a liar - said he tried out)

So they decided to go with unknowns who were a lot cheaper. $450 an episode cheaper.

The two most talented Monkees from a musician and songwriting stand point were Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Jones and Mickey Dolenz were very talented as well but as actors and singers.

When the Monkees finally realized what a bad deal they had signed, they finally bolted. Naturally the greedy, a-hole producers were as litigious and nasty as they could be making it nearly impossible for all of them, even great songwriters like Tork and Nesmith, to make it on their own.

And then bitterness entered their lives.

Luckily for Nesmith, his divorced Mom/secretary invented and patented “WiteOut”/ Liquid Paper and he got rich on a trust fund. He could afford to walk around bitter and not rejoin.

As a result of the hosing of the musicians, the hip Laurel Canyon music crowd hated what the Monkees stood for and railed against any kind of slick studio marketing, handling and promotions. (Hence the stark production quality of Neil Young’s “Harvest.” But, if you’re not Neil Young, that stark bare-bones artist approach to marketing doesn’t really work)

My Facebook friend and comedy legend, Wendy Liebman’s husband wrote/produced “Boy Meets World” and I saw the story of how he created the Monkees almost reunion. Nesmith came to the studio, but dug his heels in and refused to do the show; all the Monkees really did all get together on stage a few times in LA for close friends, including Wendy and her husband. They both said the Monkees were awesome.

It wasn't the Monkees fault that some d-bag producers made them read scripts that had utter crap like:

"Hey, guys, look, some crazy old Uncle of mine died and left me a haunted mansion in Malibu. Let's go check it out."

Here is an interesting fact: the "Monkees" pilot bombed in testing with focus groups because they gave the Monkees characters to play that were way different than their personalities. And those characters were designed to mimic the Beatles: Davy was the dreamy Paul. Nesmith the brainy stoic John, Tork the whacky Ringo, and Mickey the quiet George. When they finally reshot and let them be themselves, the ratings went out of the roof.