Monday, March 07, 2011

2. The Monkees - Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones ltd. (1967)

45 years, 45 LPs, 45 days...

August 20, 1986: My first Monkees concert
(photo by Tina Curtis)
I became a Beatles freak in 1977, but I've been a Monkees fanatic for as long as I can remember. Before I was even pre-school age I was watching stuff like The Monkees, H.R. Pufnstuf, and The Banana Splits on Saturday morning tv.  I can't help but think that these shows played a part in shaping  my penchant for psychedelia. The more I think about it, The Monkees were probably responsible for a lot of what I look for in music today.

At a Tork solo gig in '97.
Peter was
very gracious & friendly.

Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones ltd. has been a part of my collection longer than any other album on the "45 LPs" list.  When we were very young my brother and I had the first four Monkees albums inadvertently handed down to us by one of our neighbors. She had lent the albums to us but seeing as we knew nothing about the proper care of records we beat them up so badly that she just let us keep them. Of these four albums, Pisces... always stood out to me as the strongest.

1991: I got Micky's autograph after
this solo show in downtown Minneapolis
In the late 70's/early 80's I began to learn about post-Pisces Monkees LPs. It was around this time that Japanese imports started trickling over to the U.S., and I could not have been more excited. When I was in high school I saw the band's feature film HEAD at a Monkees convention.  Then 1986 and the whole MTV MonkeeMania thing happened, along with the re-issue of the entire Monkees catalog on Rhino records. In the 90's The Monkees catalog got a handsome reissue on CD, and the fans even got an all-new CD from all four Monkees (Justus, 1996). And now we're in 2011 and the Monkees are preparing to hit the road again.

With the legendary Davy Jones in 2005
Next to Cheap Trick I have seen The Monkees in concert more than any other band.  Recently a fellow fan and friend posted pictures on Facebook from her very first Monkees show in 1986, which happened to be MY first Monkees show as well. Talk about a friggin small world. I have since seen Monkees (minus Nesmith) in multiple cities and venues of varying sizes. When I first put this list together I knew that there was a good chance of a 45th Anniversary tour, but I had no idea whether that tour would come to Minnesota.  As I type this I am happy to report that I have my ticket to see The Monkees perform once again when they play the Minnesota Zoo this summer.


John Medd said...

Jeff - you're pushing at an open door here.

John Medd said...

Re: my comment above - click where it says 'here' (your blog doesn't pick hyperlinks out in a different colour). Sorry to be so anal!

Jeff said...

Ha! Thanks John! I admit I get bugged when The Monkees get called a "boy band". Actually, it bugs me that boy bands are even called "bands", since they're really just singing groups.

Thanks for the link, and thanks for linking to me from your blog!

John Medd said...

No problem Jeff! Feel free to reciprocate - after all, the UK is meant to have a 'special relationship' with the US!

Jeff said...

Hey I'm happy to do my part to contribute to world peace :).