Jesse Jarnow

links of dubious usefulness, no. 13

o Peter Tork kvetches about how the Monkees have been kept from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I must respectfully disgaree with the otherwise heady folks at Hidden Track. In fact, not only would I argue that the Monkees deserve to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for their roles as pioneering cultural archetypes, but that a canned institution like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was veritably invented for canned bands like the Monkees. I also think it’s a bit of a double-standard for them to honor those doing the canning (like, say, Phil Spector) but denying the messengers’ existence.

o Some great Mets-related profiles over the past few months: Jose Valentin (and how he is a player/owner in Puerto Rico), El Duque (and an older story about his arrival in the United States on a raft), Jose Reyes (and how he’s da bomb), Rick Peterson (and how he’s batshit, into crystals, and could conceivably turn an Oblique Strategies deck loose on the bullpen), and — on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week — Omar Minaya (and the Mets’ new new pan-racial funk; step over Sly Stone).

o An academic paper titled “Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies.” Haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but it looks promising.

o Wunderkammern pal and Sea of Sound host Michael Slaboch contributes (along with Tony Mendoza) to the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Their “New Pleasant Revolution” is the fourth audio documentary down.

o A preview of the forthcoming (and officially sanctioned) Robot Chicken Star Wars special, out this weekend.


  1. Jesse,
    My biggest problem is with the short era in which The Monkees released good material. The Monkees only released relevant music for a three year period, imho.
    Things are going to get interesting with the next 10 years of inductees, but I really hope the R&R HOF makes it tougher rather than easier to get in.
    When I think of Hall of Fame bands I think about Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, The Police, and The Beatles; not The Monkees. Funny part is, I like The Monkees, I just don’t see them as among the best of the best or most influential.

  2. SoS says: - reply

    Thanks brother!

  3. Jesse says: - reply

    I agree, the Monkees aren’t influential compared to the Beatles or Zeppelin, but I’d sooner listen to any of their albums than anything Sting has ever released.
    In terms of their career length, Hendrix’s was just as short. Again, not saying the Monkees were nearly as good (though Hendrix did open for them). More, think about bands like the Ronettes, who are being inducted this year. According to their profile on the Hall of Fame site, their career is notable for having five Top 40 singles between September 1963 and December 1964 — none of which they wrote, produced, or played instruments on. In terms of success, longevity, originality (ever see “Head”?), and influence (MTV!), the Monkees destroy them!
    There are plenty of other two-or-three-hit wonders in the Hall, as well, from the same period — the Mamas & the Papas, the Lovin’ Spoonful, the Young Rascals, etc. — whose music didn’t have half the transformative effect as the Monkees, connecting rock & mainstream cultures.

  4. Back in ’85 or ’86 when MTV started showing The Monkees I got really into the band. I went to my local video store and rented Head. As you can imagine as a nine year old I was really fucking confused by that movie.
    I saw it again in college, and I thought it was brilliant. Kooky, but brilliant.
    So much of what The Monkees contributed to culture was copped from A Hard Day’s Night. Perhaps Richard Lester should be inducted as well for truly inventing the format MTV ran with.
    You bring up a good point about the other unworthy bands in the Hall of Fame. The HOF has made some bad decisions in their day.
    Have a great weekend!

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