Friday, November 16, 2012

The Monkees with Michael Nesmith in Minneapolis TONIGHT (11/15/12)

The day has FINALLY come. Hopefully a review will follow soon after.

edit:: (late, after the show) A long review, should come tomorrow, I just have too much to deal with my back and sleep right now. But if all goes well, a review, could be 1 of those tangent/hyberbole/storytelling perspective-filled diatribes, given the significance of this show.

But for now, it was a great show, epic, yet it also flew by leaving me wanting more, or to see another show on this tour. The gf's friend is tomorrow in Chicago.. I hope the more enjoyed experiences Mike has, the more thought of a solo tour of the US in 2013 could be a real possibility.

I believe this is the setlist (as it is from the Greek Theater on Sunday)

Last Train to Clarksville
Papa Gene's Blues
Your Auntie Grizelda
Sweet Young Thing
I'm a Believer
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
I Wanna Be Free
(Davy on video)
You Told Me
Sunny Girlfriend
You Just May Be the One
Mary, Mary
The Girl I Knew Somewhere
For Pete's Sake
Early Morning Blues and Greens
Randy Scouse Git
Daily Nightly
Tapioca Tundra
Goin' Down
The Porpoise Song (Theme Song From "Head")
Daddy's Song
(Davy on video)
Can You Dig It?
As We Go Along
Circle Sky
Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?
Daydream Believer
(Vocals sung by audience)
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?
Listen to the Band
Pleasant Valley Sunday 

11/16/12 9:50PM

When I was a kid, I loved sports. Probably Baseball the most. In fact, no question, Baseball was MY thing. I collected baseball cards religiously. I even at my Bar-Mitzvah, made a silly plea to ask to become a major league baseball player someday. I told my folks, I want to play baseball in the Summer, and be a Rabbi in the Winter, lol.

I'm not sure when my love of Baseball, and maybe later sports like NFL (and Fantasy) Football, NCAA and NBA Basketball and then PGA tour golf. As well, NHL Hockey, especially when I got a Sega Genesis and the NHL'93 video game addiction came to me and my friends. But what I am getting at is, I LOVED that stuff, but I suppose my passion for it did PEAK. I'm not sure what my ultimate goal was, other than maybe doing it professionally, but it sadly in some ways, is not what it was then. And I think a big reason behind that is how my love and addiction to music replaced it.

Over the years, which years probably refers to about 1990 to the present, I have gotten into many bands very passionately. Led Zeppelin, Rush, Marillion, Dream Theater, King's X, Fates Warning, Pain of Salvation, Yes, Renaissance, Genesis, Kevin Gilbert, dredg, Ours, The Dear Hunter and so on. And I have managed to see most of them live, thankfully. Of course the ones that are dead, or bands that are broken up or inactive, are sort of always in the category knowing I'll never see them anyway, but I can love their recordings, and even find live recordings. Plus tributes I suppose.

I suppose in October of 2004, when I finally got to see Marillion in Chicago, I had been a fan for 9 and 1/4 years, and had many times doubted if I'd ever get to see them live. I almost got to the point of thinking I would fork over $1000 or more to 1 of the conventions in either Montreal or Holland. But they did finally come, and I made the most out of my experience, meeting the whole band, even taping the show, etc.
I was at times in tears literally that night, really in disbelief. And ever since, I've come to believe, these things that seem like they will never happen, can and do happen.

I met my girlfriend Joyce, in January of 2011 at KFAI radio. She gave me shit, which has its appeal. Her music taste, while being an important thing to her, didn't match mine incredibly well. She told me her favorite musician of all-time was Michael Nesmith, and her favorite band was The Monkees. I of course knew The Monkees in limited amounts from the tv show and their hits. I had even seen Davy Jones at Taste of Minnesota in 2008, after seeing Roger Hodgson of Supertramp.

But I'll admit, there was a ton more to The Monkees and Michael Nesmith I knew nothing about, before meeting her. So, we started seeing each other a few months later in March. And we of course had countless conversations about music and concerts. While Joyce loved music, and compared to her friends, she was the music addict, but she wasn't really used to knowing someone like myself, who attends 50 or more concerts a year, etc.

So, eventually the topic of seeing what are our "Bucket List" concerts, and she of course said Michael Nesmith with or without The Monkees. But she was convinced it would never happen for her. When Mike did the reunion shows in LA in the 80's she was just a kid and couldn't fly out for it. When Mike went to Europe in 1997, she had tickets for the following leg in the US, which included a show in Minneapolis at The State Theatre in August of 1997. But Mike bailed on the US part of that tour, after seeing a lot of negative reviews from the shows he did in Europe.

See, for those who don't know, Mike left The Monkees in the late 60's to pursue a solo career. He released 3 records shortly after, that was a lot of music he had written that was for, but never made it on any Monkees records. And he had a successful solo career, ever evolving, and pursuing things like music with Video (which he played a big part in the development of MTV in fact). And he didn't struggle financially, unlike the other Monkees perhaps, partially due to the fact he inherited a good amount given his mother was credited for inventing liquid paper aka Whiteout.

So, doing a reunion or touring with The Monkees, was never something he needed to do. The others perhaps like Peter Tork or Micky Dolenz. So, as I came to learn, post late 1960's, The Monkees were either a 2-headed band (Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones) or 3-headed band (adding Peter Tork).

Also the fact Davy and Mike I guess were kind of at odds, which this tour that is happening now, one could guess, likely would not have had Mike if Davy was involved. There's an interview with the whole band on Youtube from the UK in 1997, in which you notice between Mike and Davy it seemed kind of obvious, how Davy was not all that welcoming to Mike's sense of humor.

But that's purely speculation of course.

So, Joyce, having become a fan of The Monkees in 1986 (back when I was in my Baseball addict days), had waited and doubted seeing Michael Nesmith would ever happen. He was getting up there in age, as she said to me "He's going to eventually kick the bucket, and I'll be sitting there thinking, all these years, and I never got to see him, not once."

I told her, probably more than once, with that mentality, you probably will not ever see him. However, instead, maybe if you just didn't dwell on that fact, it might actually happen. It's sort of like the old girlfriend thing for myself. Whenever I felt like I'd never find a girlfriend, I would keep aggressively looking for one. But when I didn't care, or didn't think about it much, it sort of popped into my lap.

So, then this show gets announced, after Mike was oddly posting on Facebook frequently this year. It may have been partially due to Davy's passing which got Mike to become a little more proactive. Mike also did have Cataract surgery in 2011, so his lack of presence online/his website likely had something to do with that. But once he started posting away, almost daily, something was up.

He even recorded some new songs and made them for sale on his Video Ranch site.

So, for Joyce, this was finally it. Her belief is now finally seeing Mike live, just once, she can rest in peace. The rest of her life is just gravy.

And as far as the show, as the setlist above shows, they did a bevy of tunes, featuring much of Headquarters and Head. They had a large Video screen sync-ed up throughout more or less the entire show. The videos even ran between songs, which had a lot to do with the fact they had no set break.

We sat in the 9th row, 9 and 10 seats in from the middle, in front of Mike. It really was about as perfect a location for her. Now the whole debacle I dealt with, having purchased 3 tickets from Ticketmaster the instant the "pre-sale" happened, and then ended up in the Balcony, is an entirely other blog entry to get into another time. But the silver lining I guess is, I learned my lesson. I did manage to sell 1 ticket for $25 at least, which was more than some others outside trying to get anything for their extra tickets.

The band played a bunch of Nesmith's solo tunes, which I'll admit to barely knowing. I knew "Listen to the Band" and 1 or 2 others, but I imagine doing some of his own music was part of what brought him out for this tour.

And "Circle Sky" was possibly the biggest highlight of the night. That is Mike, maybe at his finest. It's just such a tight, memorable piece. I wonder if he has played it live when he has played solo shows. I suppose seeing that, along with Mike playing songs like "Pleasant Valley Sunday" meant a lot to Joyce and myself, as well as the many Nesmith fans who came out.

Now, about the music media. This show was not sold out, after it initially looked like it would in just a few days. Why the media in this town gave it no publicity is frankly, both baffling and appalling. It's MIKE NESMITH. for fucking sake, that people like Jon Bream and the people at Citypages don't seem to grasp how significant it is to have him here. Not to discount, that this is ONLY A 12-DATE tour, and We (being Minneapolis), got 1 of those 12 select shows.

As I was telling Joyce, having seen this happen with the buffoons that have positions of influence in the Music community in this town, I do wonder if there is some un-revealed, undiscovered CONSPIRACY with the music media in Minnesota. It's like, if Pitchfork doesn't shove it down your throat, or they aren't showing up at The Grammy's, it's not "current" enough to cover and give publicity to.

In a parallel dimension or fantasy of mine, I would find some way to spread my message, beyond this little blog, to the people who run those music sources. But that's not how this world works. Perhaps someone else will find a way to change that potential conspiracy. Someone from the next generation, that is smart enough not to kiss the ass of Owl City or Bob Mould for the ump-teenth billionth time.

But, all in all, this show will go down historically for her and myself. It really did fly-by, though. I suppose it's like a fun weekend or vacation, it seems to be over before it even starts. But I think that speaks to how significant and enjoyable it was.

Now that Joyce has Mike off her bucket list, she only has him as a solo act. Which as I wrote last night above, I hope the pleasure he seems to be experiencing at these shows from playing with Micky and Peter and the rest of the band (including my fellow prog/Kevin Gilbert fanatic and his son Christian Nesmith), and the adoration from the fans, he may be able to actually look into doing a solo tour in the States. He just did the 4 shows in the UK, which seemingly went rather well. And he has new music which he could promote on a tour here.

Joyce has mentioned to me more than once, how Mike is sort of alone now, given he is not with the 3rd woman he married anymore. He may be divorced, I'm not sure. But he has a dog (or dogs?), and his children, who are all grown up of course, doing their own thing. And friends of his like Douglas Adams and Frank Zappa of course are not around anymore. So, while Mike wouldn't necessarily need to tour for money, he may find touring could fill an empty part of his life now.

I guess it comes down to after this tour is over, and into the new year, if Mike is still posting away on Facebook like he has most of 2012, it could happen. To expect it to happen would be silly. But if it does happen, even if he plays like 5 dates, just in LA, NYC, and 1 or 2 others..perhaps Chicago too, if the timing works out, Joyce and I will certainly try and go. And if a tour happens, and it does end up in Minnesota, of course Joyce and I as well as most of last night's crowd would go. The music media in Minnesota probably wouldn't say much about it either, but of course, I wouldn't expect them to.

But as far as Joyce, we have this little battle now, now that she's seen her 26+ year wait come to an end. I am sort of in the front, given I never saw Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd (or any of the members save for John Paul Jones). But she likes to kill that possibility given I knew John Bonham was dead the day I became a fan of Led Zeppelin in 1990.

The Kevin Gilbert 'Shaming show coming in January in Milwaukee may finally end my wait to see Kevin's music played live. But even if that happens and counts, my live bucket list is limited. But to just list of some (if not all) the names..mostly 2nd/3rd levels of passion for me.

John Arch
Andre Matos (doing Angra or his other work)
Shadow Gallery
Faith No More
Peter Gabriel
Jeff Buckley (tribute)
Imogen Heap
Bend Sinister
Neverending White Lights
Godspeed You Black Emperor
The River Empires
Janelle Monae
Hotel of the Laughing Tree
Pepe Deluxe

Mahavishnu Orchestra
Apes and Androids
Pure Reason Revolution
Kiss Kiss