It was June of 1997, long before meeting the Frodis Femmes and even longer before Gazpacho became one of my favorite soups. Fresh home from my study abroad year in Scotland that coincided with one of the most eventful periods of the Monkees to date, I tried to make up for one of my dumbest life choices (not seeing a Justus show in the UK) by driving down to Dallas to catch Peter in a Two Man Band Show with James Lee Stanley. After the Justus Reunion imploded I knew that there would almost certainly never be another Monkees reunion or tour again (especially since all four of them were in their *gasp* 50s), but at least I’d get a chance to see one Monkee, one time, and say thanks to one of the people who had saved me in the 1980s, and introduced me to new friends in the 1990s, courtesy of the internet.
It was a memorable night. From meeting other Monkees fans in the flesh for the first time in my life, to nearly weeping when Peter opened his solo set with Take a Giant Step, to awkwardly stammering my way through my first meet and greet with any celebrity, I knew I would treasure that evening forever. When I went home, I rummaged through my old foot locker filled with childhood relics. I was specifically looking for my old orange poster, with the vague notion of putting it up in my dorm room when I moved back to college in the fall. It was at the bottom of the truck, dogeared and and creased beyond any hope of looking good on my wall. I pulled out my childhood diary and a few LPs from the trunk, and then closed the lid with a gentle sense of regret. Around the time I left elementary school, I listened to the band, and took a giant step back into the world. The risk turned out to be worth the price, but the price was leaving behind the childhood obsession that saved my sanity but which had eventually become a gilded cage separating me from reality. I didn’t imagine that one day I would find the strength to return to Monkees fandom, if only at what I was certain was the very end of the band’s story.
18 years and 7 concerts later… Continue reading