Home of Monkee Magic: a Book about a TV show about a Band

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On the community message board at the women’s choral festival I am attending, there is currently only one message. 

"Does anyone chant "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" and want to join me?  Call ______________, cell #__________.

Somewhere in this large dormitory there is a lonely Buddhist who has no idea how much I’m trying not to make a fandom joke out of her spiritual practice.  Shame on me. 

Filed under Yes it's real. It means I devote myself to the Lotus Sutra. DON'T GO THERE!

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I feel like kind of a tool posting this, but I’m at a loss. I used to blog under goodtimemusic, but I deleted and someone immediately snatched up my URL before I could save it (then I ended up taking a hiatus anyway so it didn’t really matter).

I followed like 2K blogs there, and obviously I don’t remember them all. I want to follow all my friends back again, or at least let them know I’m here and I’m alright (i’ve heard some people were worried about me after I deleted without warning).

I’m not demanding follows or anything, but those of you following me now, who used to follow me on goodtimemusic, I’m guessing we followed a lot of the same people…would you mind reblogging this post? I don’t think I’ve ever asked anyone for a promo for any of my projects before, and I don’t plan on asking for promos again, but I really, really miss a lot of my old followers (yes, even though I can’t remember their URLs, sue me—half the time I knew ppl by their icons and first names!) and I just want to give them a head’s up in case they’d like to follow me again—or frankly, even if they’d even just ‘like’ the post, I’d check the blog and follow them anyway. I realize not all of them will be down with all the Supernatural I’ve been posting, but i still am into all the classic rock and 60s stuff…it’s just not been on my dash much because I’m not following many of those blogs! It will balance out once I can refollow some of the people I used to follow.

Anyway, yeah. Don’t feel obligated by any means, but if you’re willing to help a blogger out, I’d really appreciate it.


Missed you!  Welcome back. 

(Source: rondirkstigbarry)

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In 1968, Mylar was not yet the familiar material for birthday balloons.  It was the stuff of art, and the rectangular balloons that appeared in Mike’s dream sequence in Head would have been strange, indeed.

Today, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I saw a 2010 sculpture by Tara Donavan, Untitled (Mylar).  Yes, that’s thousands of circles of ordinary Mylar, rolled into cones and then hot-glued tip-to-tip into spheres.  The illusion of a sold surface, shiny and sleek and utterly smooth, is uncanny.  I moved up until my eyes were less than a foot away from the surface of one of the spheres before I could see the form’s true texture.

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I must have done well enough on my first Zilch guest spot, they invited me back for the episode discussion!  Here I’m on the podcast with Craig Cohen and Jeff Hulit, for the scene-by-scene live commentary on Royal Flush. 

I’m on this episode, too! Ken from the Zilch Podcast enjoyed my Running Gag Supercut video so much, he had me on to talk about it! 

You were great! 

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Anonymous asked: I just started watching the monkees (i always loved the music but never watched it before) and it's amazing! I'm going through some hard stuff and it just makes me feel so good, makes me laugh, it is really helping me. I want to ask you if they ever said something like that they don't like the tv show or they look down at it? It looks like they are having such a good time on it but i've heard so much rumors, i would hate to know they weren't enjoying doing it


congrats on starting to watch the show! awe, i’m glad you’re liking it and i hope it continues to brighten your spirits whenever you’re down. (the boys have a way of doing that with their crazy antics and their cute songs). 

well, during the first season the boys were getting to know each other and became friends (i think i read somewhere that davy and micky lived together in the early days and were together when they heard last train to clarksville for the first time on the radio — correct me if i’m wrong anyone) but during the second season, the boys grew tired of the same old scripts. they wanted to make the show a more variety show-esque type thing (they even went so far as inviting other performers onto the show, like frank zappa and charlie smalls). the network didn’t like that idea and ended up cutting the show all together. out of the four of them, apparently peter (bless his heart) was the only one who wanted the show to go on for a third season.

now the boys look back fondly to their time as monkees. davy and micky being the most obviously dedicated to the band (or what was left of it) because they continued to tour together until davy’s death. alas, mike and peter did leave the band but for understandable reasons (they felt their time was through, which is totally fine! i mean, i wouldn’t want to be tied down to something that my heart wasn’t in either).

mike has said he never thought of the monkees negatively. (x)

peter’s comments on the show are equally favorable; he thinks that the portrayal of the four boys getting by (albeit just barely) on their own was a positive thing to show the younger generation of the 60s and each generation since that (x)

one of my favorite quotes from davy is “the monkees are like the mafia; you’re in for life. nobody gets out.” (x) and he also said that “wherever i go, people still shout out: ‘hey, hey, we’re the monkees.’ and I never tire of that.” (x)

also i’m sure micky has said lovely things about the band, but i can’t seem to find anything right now in interviews online so if anyone would like to add on with more quotes from the others or from micky, go ahead!

all in all, i think the monkees have come a long way in their relationship with each other and the idea of being a band that most people compare to the beatles.

at the end of the day, though, you could go back and watch the show and just find yourself laughing and having a good time because they had a sort of quality about them that basically embodied the phrase ‘the show must go on.’ no matter what was happening behind the scenes, they always put on a smile and had fun on screen. which gives the viewer a sense of escapism into their world and their antics. 

basically what i’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t let what happened behind the scenes interfere too much with your love of the show. keep it spicy and i’m sorry if i’m incomprehensible or anything! 

have fun and happy watching!

Mrs. Arcadian, that’s a terrific summary and I applaud the effort you put into it.  I would only add a couple of thoughts. 

First, making the TV show was exhausting work.  They were on the set all day long, recorded music in the evenings, and toured on the weekends.  But the TV show was their main project.  It’s what they were hired to do. 

Second, Peter has said that The Monkees was revolutionary, in that it depicted a functional group of young adults with no senior adult to advise them or tell them what to do.  The show was also revolutionary in its style and format, breaking the sitcom mold in new ways nearly every week. 

The Monkees won two Emmy awards—Best Director (James Frawley) and Best Comedy—after its first season and I believe they were all immensely proud of it.  But they were also immensely full of confidence and energy, eager to move on to bigger and better things, while the show’s producers, Rafelson and Schneider, were ready to move on to other projects. Thus, the feature file Head was both their big-screen debut and their big-screen suicide.  

I don’t have Micky’s autobiography with me (I’m on vacation) but I do recall that he said that their personality conflicts were mostly confined to the recording studio, and that on the TV set they all worked together very well. 

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Sunshine Factory


Hi everyone!

I’ve just done a major update to my Monkees site, Sunshine Factory. There’s not really anything new content-wise, but the site in general should be much easier to use, faster, and nicer looking. This update is also a big step to making it easier for me to add new content (especially pictures!) to the site, so hopefully you’ll be seeing some more updates soon.

Check it out, and let me know what you think! :)

There may be a few bugs here and there that still need ironed out; if you find any, or if you have any other suggestions for the site, don’t hesitate to contact me here on Tumblr or on my site’s contact page.

Awesomeness!  You’ve done all this work, and I haven’t even gotten the quarterly invoice for all the photos I’ve been borrowing. 

But seriously.  Your website is an magnificent resource and I am deeply indebted to you.  I’ve recently started plugging it on facebook, and I hope you get lots and lots of traffic (and not all of it me). 

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It took me a very long time to figure out that he’s faking it.  In the earlier shot (when he really was bouncing on the pogo stick) the handle barely reached above his waist.  Here, it comes up to the middle of his chest.  Also, as he bounces around and carries on a conversation, you can hear his feet hitting the floor!
That said, he did an extremely good job keeping the pogo stick in line with his body and making it look real.  Bravo!

It took me a very long time to figure out that he’s faking it.  In the earlier shot (when he really was bouncing on the pogo stick) the handle barely reached above his waist.  Here, it comes up to the middle of his chest.  Also, as he bounces around and carries on a conversation, you can hear his feet hitting the floor!

That said, he did an extremely good job keeping the pogo stick in line with his body and making it look real.  Bravo!

(Source: lanadillrey, via davyssleepyjean)

Filed under Episode gifs and photos Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers

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Mr. Babbit, we’re having a party tonight. And what we need is a review of The Chaperone.

The In-Which
The Monkees throw a party to impress Davy’s latest girl—and her overprotective father.

Overall, this episode is a simplistic plot tied to an overextended drag joke, saved from utter insignificance by two of the best romps in the series.  My biggest beef with the episode is not the weakness of the plot, but the way it contradicts Davy’s well established character: mooning over Leslie from across the lawn, urged on by the advice and encouragement of his bandmates, he comes across more like the tongue-tied Peter of One Man Shy than the suave, confident Davy of so many other episodes. 

The entire situation serves to make the characters seem more like teenagers than young adults.  I’m not sure whether Leslie is meant to be perceived as an underage schoolgirl, but that’s how she comes across—meekly accepting her father’s authoritarian ways, then pleading with him rather than defying him.  In return, Davy’s character reads like a cheeky schoolboy, trying to sneak a moment alone with the girl behind her daddy’s back.  There’s even something about the way Davy delivers the line about Mrs. Arcadian being “my roommate, Micky” that sounds very juvenile.  I don’t recall any other instance of the Monkees referring to one another as roommates. 

Read more …

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Folks, I’m headed out on a 2-week vacation tomorrow morning.  I’ll have my laptop with me, but will likely only be able to be on-line for an hour or so each evening.  Toward the middle of the trip, I’ll be at a Sister Singers choral festival, living in a dorm and attending a steady stream of workshops and performances.  Bottom line: you won’t be hearing much from me for the rest of July.  Catch y’all in August!

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Kindle Unlimited


Just in case anyone was wondering, my books won’t be being made available in the new “Kindle Unlimited” borrowing programme. Not because I think such a programme is a bad thing, but because (at least for self-publishers and small presses) it requires the books to be in “KDP Select”, an Amazon programme which requires books to be digitally exclusive to Amazon, and which then shares a pot of money (decided by Amazon) between authors based on what proportion of borrowings they get.
I would not, even were all the other terms favourable, be happy about helping Amazon to become simultaneously a monopoly and a monopsony in digital publishing, but that it puts authors into a zero-sum game (where if I get a higher share of borrowings, you get less money, rather than us both being paid a fixed amount by number of borrowings) makes it so pernicious I couldn’t actually live with myself for doing it even in the unlikely event it looked profitable to me.
So if you want to read my books on your Kindle, I’m afraid you’ll have to buy them…

I have shied away from KDP Select for the same reasons, though I didn’t even go to the length of doing the math—and I’m an accountant!  KDP Select means no sales through Barnes & Noble for Nook devices, nor through iBooks for iDevices, or through Smashwords for whatever devices the Smashwords customers use.  Resist our new Corporate Overlords!