News to Make All Baby Boomers Feel Very, Very Old

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Peter Tork of The Monkees has died at age 77.  May his soul rest in peace.

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18 Comments

  1. It’s odd. I’m too young to remember them in their prime. They were formed for TV the year before I was born. I remember seeing some of their shows on rerun growing up. Not often. Then in 1986, they did a 20th anniversary album (greatest hits, with a couple originals). I still associate that with my early college life, since it was my freshman year at OSU. So in that, I share common memory of sorts with those Boomers out there. RIP

  2. For Boomers of my vintage, circa 1957, we watched the show ad nauseum. Remember, this was a time when almost all people had a big choice of three, count ’em three, stations, not counting fuzzy UHF stations, and the TV was always on. Even at the time I thought the show was pretty dumb, and the music bad, but I watched it nonetheless, usually only paying half attention at most.

  3. My sister was mad for Davy Jones, so, of course, we had all the albums.

    The music wasn’t that bad, but musical tastes are fodder for status-games, and the reputations of some performers are enhanced or diminished by that. (There’s a Canadian band still touring which sells a gazillion records and is the butt of jokes at the same time).

    Not sure any of them ever got out of the business of performing. Trying hard to imagine what it must be like to be a septuagenarian but recognized primarily for something you did for the period of your life between the ages of 24 and 27, There wasn’t one of them who didn’t have a disastrous domestic life.

  4. The music on the Monkees records wasn’t bad, thanks to the work of elite studio musicians. I think Glen Campbell played on some of the Monkees records.

  5. Greg, actually the pool of talent they had behind them was very impressive. The songwriters as well as the backup musicians. I’d say it’s not among the best of the era, but over the years, it’s held up much better than others (and compared to much of what is out there today, comes near classical music levels).

  6. I’d say it’s not among the best of the era, but over the years, it’s held up much better than others (and compared to much of what is out there today, comes near classical music levels).

    Look down the list of the top 100 singles of 1967. You’ll see scads of songs you’ve forgotten if you ever knew them and you’ll see songs you recall produced by performers whose names you don’t recognize. Here’s a small sample.

    1 “To Sir With Love” Lulu
    2 “The Letter” The Box Tops
    3 “Ode to Billie Joe” Bobbie Gentry
    4 “Windy” The Association
    5 “I’m a Believer” The Monkees
    6 “Light My Fire” The Doors
    7 “Somethin’ Stupid” Frank & Nancy Sinatra
    8 “Happy Together” The Turtles
    9 “Groovin'” The Young Rascals
    10 “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” Frankie Valli

  7. My impression is that Baby Boomers want to retire early so they can enjoy their retirement. My kids who have reached 60, and those that are near, all are focused on retirement. One of them age 55 is on a year long bike around the world trip and has decided to retire when he returns in June. He just left Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and is now in Morocco.

  8. Actually, Art, everyone of those songs you listed, including the Neil Diamond-penned Monkees hot I’m a Believer, still gets some air play on the radio today. The only exception is Something Stupid.

  9. And, Something Stupid is a wonderful song. I have loved it since those days. It is foolish if no oldies stations play it.

  10. Actually, Art, everyone of those songs you listed, including the Neil Diamond-penned Monkees hot I’m a Believer, still gets some air play on the radio today.

    If you say so. On the odd occasion when I turn on the car radio, the only thing I hear is static and ads

  11. Now the 70s have largely vanished…and deserved to…but the 60s did have some decent songs, once you apply the 90% of everything is no good rule of thumb.

  12. Compared to the Seventies, that kidney stone of a decade, the Sixties were medical Nirvana. With the exception of Gordon Lightfoot and a few others, the Seventies music deserves to be played only in one of the less fashionable pits of Hell!

  13. I think in any span of years you have congenial, forgettable, and awful material. The horrid anti-music known as ‘rap’ hadn’t appeared yet during the 1970s, which is reason to prefer it. You had a number of bands producing satisfactory popular music at that time (some of whom had been producing earlier) – rock, jazz-rock, free jazz, reggae. Traffic, Weather Report, Jethro Tull, Yes, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, the Doobie Brothers, Chuck Mangione, Bob Marley, Supertramp &c.

    Personally, I’d rank the ‘adult contemporary’ of that era more highly than the ‘traditional pop’ of the first decade after the war. We in our house once ordered a CD set from the Time-Life Co. of popular music organized by year. A great deal of tiresome material from the 1940s. The singer Jo Stafford once said she herself had never been much bothered by the shift in popular tastes ca. 1955 (she and her husband were still in demand and touring and she’d made enough of a pile that she could retire at age 49), but she did think it odd that music which had been growing more sophisticated and complex for a half a generation did a radical reversal at that time (she compared rock lyrics to nursery rhymes). Well, she and some of the other girl singers produced engaging work, but much of what that complex and sophisticated output got you was the feeling of being inundated in corn syrup and molasses.

    My grandmother enjoyed operetta, among other things. That’s the sort of thing you might listen to with an anthropological ear, to attempt to understand the sensibility of a different vintage; you don’t listen to it to enjoy it. The engaging music of that era was swing jazz, in which my grandparents took no interest.

  14. The way in which the 70s was a real kidney stone was visual aesthetics – grooming, clothing, graphic design, architecture. All pretty gruesome. Bad architecture and planning has been with us for more than 70 years and just goes on and on.

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