Thursday, August 22, 2013

Monkee Music on the Impressionable Pre-Teen Brain

First Generation vs Staying Power

This review of the Cupertino show reveals a certain prevalent age-bias.  This may be common among any "Golden Oldie" show.

Each generation recognizes its own.  The older demographic might be the largest (estimated 70%-80% at any given show).

"As we sat at a table on the winery grounds awaiting the concert, my sister looked around and said, "I knew everyone here would be our age." We wondered if we might actually know many of them, but not having seen them since high school no longer recognized them.
A few brought kids - or maybe grandkids - and Micky explained to them that before Shrek, it was The Monkees who sang "I'm a Believer." "

The "kids-or maybe grandkids" is hard to figure out.  One argument could be made for people raised on watching the tv show (in any age) can ALMOST claim to be first generation.  Because several that I know do encourage their children-and grandchildren. After almost 50 years, the possible/average generation combinations are too varied to pigeonhole.

"Their non-stop selection - from "Last Train to Clarksville" to "Pleasant Valley Sunday" - had served as the soundtrack of our idyllic summer days of "Dark Shadows," my brother's Little League baseball games, our family vacation to the Northwest, weekend water skiing trips and nightly games of kick the can.The older versions of Micky, Mike and Peter brought them back, but the absence of Davy, who died on Feb. 29, 2012, served as the intrusion of reality on our journey into the past. "

Interesting to note that 50 years of aged Monkees does not intrude on idyllic summer days, but a death does.  As if the group's music & concerts exists primarily (and most importantly) as a Time Machine.   Other acts from the 60's get critiqued for being "too old", or too "unhip".  Springsteen has been touring for years, has lost band members to death, but each show is a unique "happening".  The Rolling Stones are still trying to prove their cool cred, despite being mercenaries (and 70 + to boot). 

"but maybe also for the loss of those long-gone days, of no longer being 9 and 11."  

Note here that there is an inherent sadness, of the contrast of being 9 and 11 and then coming back to the present.  The wisdom hinted at in the song "Shades of Gray", knowing that you are a grownup and that life is more complex that you could have ever understood.

But their best asset is their ability to activate memories which have been dormant for decades.  And somehow this works for every generation.

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