After 33 years of data gathering and analysis, all the way from the 1986 revival to their (probably?) final US show last Saturday, I finally feel ready to propose a Grand Unified Theory of the Monkees. The Monkees, singularly and collectively, on screen and on stage, through their music and in their individual lives and work, can be understood as exploring a (the?) central question of humanity: How can one make a difference in the world while remaining true to one’s friends, one’s art, and most importantly, to oneself? I suspect we all grapple with that balance between gaining the world and losing one’s soul. The Monkees’ journey suggests that this dilemma can be resolved by striving for an ideal that is rooted in our values and sense of self, but that is directed toward making a better world for others.
More on that later, though. We’ve got a show to review.Continue reading