The meaning of ‘Monkees’


Last week, we were fortunate to have Peter Tork of the Monkees visit for a talk about the passing of his bandmate, Davy Jones, and the meaning of the Monkees – the group and the show. Afterward, Peter sent us this:

When The Monkees first aired, it was the first time on network television (in the days when there were only three networks) that a group of young adults was presented as being in charge of their own lives, without a “wiser” senior adult figure directing or advising them. In the wartime tumult of the 60s political and social change, it was clear to many of us young adults that a great many figures in authority were not a reliable source of information or direction. Every Monday night, viewers tuned in to watch “four crazy boys” muddle through on their own and come out all right by the end of the half hour. The show was both a benign break from the carnage on the world stage and a reflection of a shift (introduced with The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night) that we, as a generation, were called to account for our own truths, our own lives, our own destinies.

Regarding Davy’s death, I hoped to touch upon more deeply the richness of our relationship, which covered parts of six decades. A presence, and an absence now, that defies definition. I have yet to find the right words. Perhaps there simply are none, but I want to note that when I said I liked, loved and respected each bandmate in different ratios, it was Davy that I loved most.

Mr. TorkPeter, thank you for coming on the show. It was a pleasure to have you.

The meaning of 'Monkees'