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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 88 Head

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I’m creating this a bit early since I’m homeschooling my boys at the moment and I’m liable to forget.

Anyway, we saw:

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Davy Jones was Rock’s most electrifying hype man...

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this was much better and more watchable than I expected!

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Who’s your favorite Monkee? Mine is Mike Nesmith.

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2 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

Who’s your favorite Monkee? Mine is Mike Nesmith.

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The only sensible answer.

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22 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

The only sensible answer.

I'm pretty sure we may be the same person...

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

I'm pretty sure we may be the same person...

We've found the person who's going to pick Elephant Parts for their next selection.

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I gave up after 25 minutes, but from what I saw, my favorite Monkee is NONE OF THEM.

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7 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

I gave up after 25 minutes, but from what I saw, my favorite Monkee is NONE OF THEM.

I will say this, as far as music goes, the first two songs, “Porpoise Song” and “Circle Sky” are the best.

I can totally understand why you’d bail though. It’s a pretty confounding movie.

From what I understand, the director, Jack Nicholson, and the Monkees got together over a weekend, got super high, recorded everything they said, and that became the movie. My question is: how good we’re those drugs that even after that weekend was over they looked at the script and were like, “Yup, still good.”

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32 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I will say this, as far as music goes, the first two songs, “Porpoise Song” and “Circle Sky” are the best.

My two faves were "As We Go Along" which I thought was gorgeous and I immediately went to try to listen to it a bunch, and "Can You Dig It?" was fun

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23 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

I gave up after 25 minutes, but from what I saw, my favorite Monkee is NONE OF THEM.

Yeah. I didn't rewatch this but I saw it maybe 15 years ago. It's a bad movie. The are some bits I remember vaguely liking or liking the premise even if it didn't work. But, overall, big no from me.

I would recommend at least checking out an episode or two of the show which was very different. It was much goofier and funnier (but that might be my nostalgia from loving the show as a kid).

From what I understand, the movie basically killed their careers. The show was kind of losing its popularity a bit and was mostly a kids or tweens show. The movie was rated R so their entire fanbase couldn't see it. So, it bombed hard and, coupled with the waning ratings going down, that was kind of it for the group (there was also fighting in the group and with management for a number of reasons that didn't help).

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17 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

Yeah. I didn't rewatch this but I saw it maybe 15 years ago. It's a bad movie. The are some bits I remember vaguely liking or liking the premise even if it didn't work. But, overall, big no from me.

I would recommend at least checking out an episode or two of the show which was very different. It was much goofier and funnier (but that might be my nostalgia from loving the show as a kid).

From what I understand, the movie basically killed their careers. The show was kind of losing its popularity a bit and was mostly a kids or tweens show. The movie was rated R so their entire fanbase couldn't see it. So, it bombed hard and, coupled with the waning ratings going down, that was kind of it for the group (there was also fighting in the group and with management for a number of reasons that didn't help).

I'm the opposite - hated the show, always hated the band (who were before my time anyway, apart from their 80s revival) but was impressed that they would make a film that called the band "plastic" and that they would position themselves with musicians like Frank Zappa rather than do what everyone probably expected, eg. a remake of A Hard Day's Night or worse, yet another version of A Star Is Born. It's a crazy document of a crazy time. But yeah, probably helps if you get super high before you watch it.

Speaking of, if you DID like Head, check out Zappa's 200 Motels, which makes Head look like Oklahoma!

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11 minutes ago, theworstbuddhist said:

hated the show, always hated the band

I’ve always loved The Monkees. I think their biggest hurdle was the insecurity they felt being a “manufactured” band. Of course it didn’t help that that’s what the music critics accused them of. (As far as I know they are still unofficially banned from the Rock Hall of Fame.) 

The way I see it, a band can get together for any number of reasons. Ripping a tag off a flyer, meeting up at school, or being put together by a television network is really all the same. Either the chemistry works or it doesn’t. 

They also get a lot of flack for not writing their own music (which they actually did write quite a bit) or playing their own instruments, but that was pretty standard at the time. The documentary The Wrecking Crew is an awesome documentary about the studio musicians that wrote and performed the majority of music in the Sixties. The only difference between The Monkees and those other groups was their fabrication was public.

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58 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I’ve always loved The Monkees. I think their biggest hurdle was the insecurity they felt being a “manufactured” band. Of course it didn’t help that that’s what the music critics accused them of. (As far as I know they are still unofficially banned from the Rock Hall of Fame.) 

The way I see it, a band can get together for any number of reasons. Ripping a tag off a flyer, meeting up at school, or being put together by a television network is really all the same. Either the chemistry works or it doesn’t. 

They also get a lot of flack for not writing their own music (which they actually did write quite a bit) or playing their own instruments, but that was pretty standard at the time. The documentary The Wrecking Crew is an awesome documentary about the studio musicians that wrote and performed the majority of music in the Sixties. The only difference between The Monkees and those other groups was their fabrication was public.

I don't know about other bands, but The Monkees, or maybe just Michael and Peter, actively wanted to write and perform music. It's been presented they Peter and maybe Michael genuinely thought they would be a proper band when they signed on (that seems pretty farfetched but they've said it). Then, once they were really dragged in public about it, went out and actually did record their own album with Headquarters. They did play live. So, I think they deserve at least a little bit more respect even if they didn't play on any of their hits.

Of course, once they had more control, they flopped. Headquarters isn't a great album. Head is generally considered a not good movie. So, it's a mixed bag in how much acclaim they deserve.

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22 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

Of course, once they had more control, they flopped. Headquarters isn't a great album. Head is generally considered a not good movie. So, it's a mixed bag in how much acclaim they deserve.

Yes, but by the time they flopped I feel like they’d already been dragged by “respectable” music critics. It’s kind of like Milli Vanilli’s attempt to record a legit album. The quality doesn’t matter if no one’s going to give you a chance. (I also don’t hate Headquarters)

As a band, I think Dolenz has one of the best voices of that era (something Nesmith has said himself), Nesmith and Tork were solid instrumentalists, and Davy was cute. There are worse bands in the Hall of Fame for sure. And I like Nesmith’s writing even if they weren’t exactly “hits.”

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6 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I’ve always loved The Monkees. I think their biggest hurdle was the insecurity they felt being a “manufactured” band. Of course it didn’t help that that’s what the music critics accused them of. (As far as I know they are still unofficially banned from the Rock Hall of Fame.) 

The way I see it, a band can get together for any number of reasons. Ripping a tag off a flyer, meeting up at school, or being put together by a television network is really all the same. Either the chemistry works or it doesn’t. 

They also get a lot of flack for not writing their own music (which they actually did write quite a bit) or playing their own instruments, but that was pretty standard at the time. The documentary The Wrecking Crew is an awesome documentary about the studio musicians that wrote and performed the majority of music in the Sixties. The only difference between The Monkees and those other groups was their fabrication was public.

I watched a YouTube movie review that mentioned this.  According to the review the group was originally intended to only exist in the TV show.  Once the members showed themselves as real musicians and songwriters, they wanted to be respected as a group.  The movie was intended to depict the struggles the band (and by extension, anyone with fame) found themselves in, being shoved into a box time and time again.

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4 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

Yes, but by the time they flopped I feel like they’d already been dragged by “respectable” music critics. It’s kind of like Milli Vanilli’s attempt to record a legit album. The quality doesn’t matter if no one’s going to give you a chance. (I also don’t hate Headquarters)

As a band, I think Dolenz has one of the best voices of that era (something Nesmith has said himself), Nesmith and Tork were solid instrumentalists, and Davy was cute. There are worse bands in the Hall of Fame for sure. And I like Nesmith’s writing even if they weren’t exactly “hits.”

I have Headquarters but I've also listened to it maybe twice in my life. My recollection is that it was fine but wouldn't have made a splash at all without all the baggage/fame of being The Monkees. I don't remember anything on it being nearly as good as their hits (which isn't a totally fair comparison when you have some of the biggest songwriters of all time writing your music). The best Headquarters music was maybe on par with the album cuts from their first two albums and even that's kind of a big maybe.

I see both sides of why they wouldn't get into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. Of course, plenty of hugely famous, respected singers never wrote a song or barely played instruments get in. So, why not a "fake" band who have several hits to their name?

But let's be honest, the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame doesn't recognize the true value of The Monkees.

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I went into this movie pretty neutral on The Monkees. I know they were a manufactured band, but like what was said before, so were a ton of respected performers. You think any of those girl groups who recorded with Psycho Asshole Phil Specter wrote their own songs?

ANYWAY, I always viewed the TV show and their music as pretty safe, pre-packaged versions of the British Invasion, and it certainly wouldn't be the first or the last time entertainment companies tried to ride the coattails of a pop culture trend. So yeah, some catchy songs, some magazine covers. Cool. It's not really for me but I wish the Monkees and their fans the best.

But THIS, man, this is NUTS. The intercutting of Vietnam War footage is fucking crazy in the context of the era. 1968 was the year of the Tet Offensive and most of America was still in favor of the war at the time. Somewhere in 1968, the mood really shifted on the conflict. According to Wikipedia, 'Head' started production in February of 1968, which means the Tet Offensive, which started on January 30th of that year, was in the minds of every American. For the band to position themselves in contrast, almost as if they were complicit in the same sort of media manipulation that led to the war, is pretty astonishing. Maybe it was inspired by drugs, maybe it was youthful exuberance and naivete, maybe the movie is a series of psychedelic skits (it CERTAINLY wouldn't be the first 1960s art film to do that), but I have to give them respect for actually putting this together and releasing it. I mean, fuck, Victor Mature, star of films directed by John Ford and Cecil B. DeMille, makes a few brief appearances, one about 30 seconds before Frank Zappa appears on a Hollywood backlot. This shit is crazy.

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2 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

I went into this movie pretty neutral on The Monkees. I know they were a manufactured band, but like what was said before, so were a ton of respected performers. You think any of those girl groups who recorded with Psycho Asshole Phil Specter wrote their own songs?

ANYWAY, I always viewed the TV show and their music as pretty safe, pre-packaged versions of the British Invasion, and it certainly wouldn't be the first or the last time entertainment companies tried to ride the coattails of a pop culture trend. So yeah, some catchy songs, some magazine covers. Cool. It's not really for me but I wish the Monkees and their fans the best.

But THIS, man, this is NUTS. The intercutting of Vietnam War footage is fucking crazy in the context of the era. 1968 was the year of the Tet Offensive and most of America was still in favor of the war at the time. Somewhere in 1968, the mood really shifted on the conflict. According to Wikipedia, 'Head' started production in February of 1968, which means the Tet Offensive, which started on January 30th of that year, was in the minds of every American. For the band to position themselves in contrast, almost as if they were complicit in the same sort of media manipulation that led to the war, is pretty astonishing. Maybe it was inspired by drugs, maybe it was youthful exuberance and naivete, maybe the movie is a series of psychedelic skits (it CERTAINLY wouldn't be the first 1960s art film to do that), but I have to give them respect for actually putting this together and releasing it. I mean, fuck, Victor Mature, star of films directed by John Ford and Cecil B. DeMille, makes a few brief appearances, one about 30 seconds before Frank Zappa appears on a Hollywood backlot. This shit is crazy.

I agree with all this and never realized how close this was to the Tet offensive or its specific place in time relating to Vietnam War. I really appreciate this as a time capsule both visually and is mentality. I just don't really enjoy it.

I think I appreciate what this movie is trying to be but I don't think it accomplishes its goals. In the hands of a better writer/director, this might have been a better movie but it also might have felt less authentic/immediate. So, we get this kind of a mess.

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This is my favorite.  Until recently I thought it was one of the weirdest songs I had ever heard, like "Who would write a song like this?" Now I see it's a fairly standard song with just unusual (to me) music.

 

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Hi all! Last week was—I’ll be honest—fairly rough for me and this film was too trippy or cerebral or whatever to get into. I watched about twelve minutes of it.

Perhaps I will give it a chance when not concerned about family illness (my father had a slight fever that hopefully is not related to COVID-19, and has been feeling slightly better and slightly crummy alternately. He’s doing fine, but it’s a bummer because I live two blocks from him and can’t see him or my mom right now).

Anyway, I like weird, but that was too weird for the current moment.

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50 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

Hi all! Last week was—I’ll be honest—fairly rough for me and this film was too trippy or cerebral or whatever to get into. I watched about twelve minutes of it.

Perhaps I will give it a chance when not concerned about family illness (my father had a slight fever that hopefully is not related to COVID-19, and has been feeling slightly better and slightly crummy alternately. He’s doing fine, but it’s a bummer because I live two blocks from him and can’t see him or my mom right now).

Anyway, I like weird, but that was too weird for the current moment.

I’m sorry to hear it! I’ll keep your family in my thoughts.

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

I’m sorry to hear it! I’ll keep your family in my thoughts.

Thank you!

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