Another true life story: If you had told me then that in the fall of 2016, at the age of 54 that I would be seeing The Monkees in concert for the first time, singing along to all the songs I learned from the show 50 years previously, I doubt I could have even comprehended that, much less believed it. In the brief time the band was active, they made a real impact and a real difference. TAKE THAT, NBC!
The Monkees 50th Anniversary Tour indeed came to Seattle's Moore Theater last night, and I had near-perfect seats to enjoy a most entertaining evening. The mood was sweet and fun, with original members Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork in very fine voice, interacting playfully with the crowd. Mike Nesmith sat this one out, working on his autobiography, and of course Davy Jones, who died several years ago, was missed. Footage from the old TV series kept Mike and Davy integrated into the show, with Davy virtually singing a few lines at times assisted by the "Way Back Machine."
It was all a little dream-like, really -- lyrics forming on my lips, singing along to songs I didn't remember I knew but I surely did, seeing the backdrop playing scenes of The Monkees as young men goofing around as they did on the show, playing with tow-headed little California kids during a clip "Saturday's Child" that would now in 2016 look like me, middle-aged and heading senior. How really lovely it was to be there, connecting to days past.
BUT! This was not a nostalgia wallow, no, no, and no! Listen up: The Monkees this year released "Good Times!," an album you need to own, as it's one of the very best releases of 2016. It is absolutely delightful, bursting with extremely good songs, written by such diverse hepcats as Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Harry Nilsson, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller, Boyce & Hart, XTC's Andy Partridge, and beloved local Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. OH, SPEAKING OF THAT LAST GUY, he turned up onstage last night, along with some sweet ladies doing a line dance! I got these things on video for you, so please to enjoy! Please also to pay special attention to the first song on the first video, "Me & Magdalena," written by Gibbard for "Good Times!" and the standout performance of the night with stellar vocals from Dolenz.