As I’m still on a Monkees kick, I thought I’d put up this Facebook post of Mike’s from April, 14, 2012. I don’t care so much about the Hall of Fame issue – really – if the Moody Blues aren’t in it yet, what’s the point? I love his description of people in their own personal hurricanes.
“Should The Monkees be included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?”, you ask.
I’ll try to keep this short — may not work.
When The Beatles were recording Sgt. Peppers, Phyllis and I spent a few days with John and Cynthia at their home, and one in the studio with “the boys.” That’s where those pictures of John and I come from – the “Day in the Life” session.
The minute I had the wherewithal –cachet and money – I raced to London and looked up John.
During the ‘60s it seemed to me London was the center of the World and The Beatles were the center of London and the Sgt Pepper session was the center of The Beatles. It was an extraordinary time, I thought, and I wanted to get as close as I could to the heart of it.
But like a hurricane the center was not stormy or tumultuous. It was exciting, but it was calm, and to an extent peaceful. The confidence of the art permeated the atmosphere. Serene – and really, really fun.
Then I discovered the reason for this.
During that time in one of our longer, more reflective, talks I realized that John was not aware of who The Beatles were. Of course he could not be. He was clueless in this regard. He had never seen or experienced them. In the strange paradox of fame, none of The Beatles ever saw The Beatles the way we did. Certainly not the way I did. I loved them beyond my ability to express it.
As the years passed and I met more and more exceptional people sitting in the center of their own hurricane I saw they all shared this same sensibility. None of them could actually know the force of their own work.
With no intention of comparison of work, I am in something of the same position with The Monkees. It was one of my private hurricanes – long gone and calm now, leaving me with great memories and artifacts – but with a critical element hidden to me in a most profound way.
Indeed. I don’t even know what the element is.
Weird, I know. But there you have it.
With this latest group of inductees into the RARHOF, once again I see this campaign to induct The Monkees. I hear a lot of anger and sense a feeling of injustice among the Monkees’s (Monkeeses?) fans about The Monkees being “overlooked” or worse, somehow snubbed.
This all may be true. In this I am afraid I am the last person qualified to judge – or even opine.
I can see the HOF is a private enterprise. It seems to operate as a business, and the inductees are there by some action of the owners of the Enterprise. The inductees appear to be chosen at the owner’s pleasure.
This seems proper to me.
It is their business in any case. It does not seem to me that the HOF carries a public mandate, nor should it be compelled to conform to one.
And that may be the rub.
The main argument afoot is that popularity and the history and the work should somehow provide the HOF not only a mandate but also validation that should compel and convince them/it, and also be enforceable.
That doesn’t seem like a good argument, but as I say – I don’t know. I rode out the hurricane in the mobile home that is all that is left standing while all about it are vacant concrete pads and stubbs of power lines.
It would be nice if the Monkees were inducted – but frankly a bit odd. I would try to go to the show if I was invited, but I might not.
I am not for it or against it. I find myself somewhere between Axl Rose and Woody Allen – but very likely not for the same reasons. I imagine there are three very different drummers here.
The whole Monkees/ HOF question could use some good critical thought. But I have no inclination to do it. (Go over to The New Inquiry if you want to see how critical thinking is done. It’s hard.)
I have moved out and on from the pristine, intact mobile home left after the hurricane, to my own endeavors. I have met with great good fortune in the meantime and am happily free from these quandaries.
I have my Little Shop of Wonders –Videoranch www.videoranch.com — and I have happy horizons in every direction of thought.
Rays, everywhere, Rays. http://www.videoranch3d.com/100/100-059.html
Except this one.
So please, dear friends, don’t ask me about The Monkees and HOF.
I don’t have a clue.”