I liked Speed Racer.
My sister, Megan, adored Space Giants.
Johnny and Joey were devoted to all things baseball.
It was rare for us to agree on a single show, but there was one solitary exception.
That show was The Monkees.
|Me (on right) looking like a Monkee myself and my mom looking HOT.|
As we watched old re-runs, we would sit immobile, mesmerized by the Neil Diamond and Carole King penned tunes. Micky Dolenz, despite modern reports to the contrary, was the true front man of the group, not Davy Jones. Dolenz sang lead on seven of the group's ten biggest hits.
I worshipped him. His amazing vocal range and downright silliness were a two-pronged attack on my heart. Interestingly, several of his songs are finding new popularity courtesy of cable television. Todd and Walt cooked meth together to Goin' Down on Breaking Bad. Mad Men featured The Porpoise Song.
Dolenz did not write many tunes for The Monkees, but he did write my favorite. The song is Randy Scouse Git, and it encompasses his experiences meeting his future wife ("the being known as Wondergirl") and The Beatles ("the four kings of EMI") while visiting London.
The song starts out all light-hearted and happy. Micky makes faces into the camera. We are meant to believe this song and the man himself have very little substance.
But then the tempo changes.
The song becomes angry, accusatory, and indignant. The final refrain:
Why don't you cut your hair?
Why don't you live up there?
Why don't you do what I do,
See what I feel when I care?
Why don't you be like me?
Why don't you stop and see?
Why don't you hate who I hate,
Kill who I kill to be free.
It is Mr. Dolenz's opus.
And it still speaks to me to this day.
Often, I feel the need to play the role of the clown. In a world where everyone is screaming for validation, FEEL MY PAIN! SEE MY HURT! SUPPORT MY CAUSE!, the clown is the safe role. The clown is not expected to have substantial thoughts. The clown is pliable to the rhetoric at hand.
It is a master disguise.
And Micky Dolenz knew it.
But he showed his hand with Randy Scouse Git. He was tired of getting yelled at.
Like Micky, I am on empathy overload, not humanly capable of feeling extreme passion over every pain, every hurt, and every cause that screams across my television, computer, and newspaper. Sometimes, like Micky, I just want to find a place to hide. Does this make me apathetic? Or simply numb to screaming?
Perhaps it is a call to start minding those who speak in whispers and thoughtful reflection. The poets. The songwriters. The composers.
Randy Scouse Git has never been more timely or needed. I hope everyone gives it a listen and takes something away from it.
There is gold in that curly-haired tablecloth.