Hey, Hey, Where Are the Monkees?
35 reasons why the Monkees should be in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
by S.E. Shepherd
August 2, 2001
Hey, Hey, Where Are the Monkees?_S.E. Shepherd-35 reasons why the Monkees should be in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
The Monkees are one of pop rock’s most maligned bands. Sure they were “manufactured” by a TV producer and had hit songs ready made for them. By having a weekly TV show, they were privileged to media exposure that no other band would experience until MTV. But they were a real band, and they did eventually play their own instruments and even write their own songs. They were not Milli Vanilli. So, in honor of the 35th year since their creation, I give you 35 reasons why the Monkees should be in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
1. It’s been 35 years since the Monkees first recorded together. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of fame requires each inductee to have been a recording artist for at least 25 years. The Monkees fulfill that requirement.
2. They could have failed. Just because they had this monster production company backing them, there was still no guarantee anyone would watch the show or by their records. In fact the producers had to fight with NBC to get the show on the air.
3. “Last Train to Clarksville” was a hit before the show even aired!
4. The Monkees exposed us to many future singer-songwriters. Neil Diamond and Carol King are just two talents that got their big breaks writing hit for the Monkees.
5. Except for the first two albums, the Monkees played instruments on every album. And they performed their songs live.
6. They sang on every album. No Milli Vanilli here!
7. Michael Nesmith wrote a lot of the Monkees’ songs and even penned a hit or two. “You Just May Be the One,” “The Girl I Knew From Somewhere,” and “The Door Into Summer” are just a few of his best.
8. He even wrote Linda Ronstandt’s first hit, “Different Drum.”
9. They had more hits than Buffalo Springfield. While some would argue that the members of Buffalo Springfield were more talented, with Stephen Stills, Neil Young, etc., both bands lasted during the same time period, recorded the same type of music and the Monkees charted better.
10. Speaking of Stephen Stills, he tried out for the Monkees and lost!
11. They used drugs. All good 60’s bands did drugs.
12. The Byrds didn’t play their instruments on their first recordings either! And the Beach Boys used studio musicians for much of their songs.
13. They fought. All good rock bands have in-fighting. Michael Nesmith even pushed the rest of the Monkees to get record producer Don Kirshner sacked, so they could play their own instruments and become a “real” band.
14. Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd., the two albums produced after Kirshner left are actually very good. Headquarters was the number one album for one week in 1967, then the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper.
15. Mickey Dolenz wrote a few songs, and a very good one on Headquarters, “Randy Scouse Git.”
16. The Monkees let Jimi Hendrix open for them during their 1967 tour. The results were disastrous, but hey, at least they got Jimi his first national exposure!
17. “I Wanna Be Free,” and “Daydream Believer” were recorded by other artists.
18. The Monkees had a lot more to do with rock ‘n’ roll than Billie Holiday or Nat King Cole.
19. The Yardbirds are in the Hall of Fame only because they had Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page play guitar for them at different times.
20. All the Monkees are better singers than Keith Relf of the Yardbirds.
21. Both the Monkees and Jefferson Airplane were profiled on VH1’s “Behind the Music.” Jefferson Airplane is in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
22. Steely Dan got inducted to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, why not the Monkees?
23. Lovin’ Spoonful did too!
24. Monkees’ reunion concerts sold just as well as some of the Beach Boys reunions.
25. The Bee Gees, who are credited for creating the music that almost killed rock ‘n’ roll (Disco), are in the Hall of Fame.
26. “Pleasant Valley Sunday”
27. They pioneered videos long before MTV!
28. Without the Monkees, we would never know the talents of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.
29. The Monkees made a movie with a very young and very stoned Jack Nicholson.
30. Peter Tork wrote some songs and was/is a great banjo player and all around musician.
31. Run DMC sampled the Monkees’ “Mary, Mary.”
32. Davy Jones wrote some songs too.
33. The Monkees will never be accused of being “sell outs,” because they sold out from the beginning.
34. Um, how many more do I need?
35. Everyone else will be in the Hall of Fame eventually anyway, including Milli Vanilli.
So far the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of fame has refused to acknowledge the genius that was the Monkees. In my opinion, this is the greatest snub next to the Pete Rose/Baseball scandal. If you are as outraged as I am, you will join me in my lifelong boycott of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. A Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame without the Monkees is no Hall of Fame for me.
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