The Monkees and American History

Magazine: Monkee Spectacular
Editor: Ralph Benner
Published:
Volume: 1
Issue: 15
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Co.
Pages: 32–33

What would Davy, Peter, Micky and Mike have done if they had been born 200 years ago?

Despite the fact that the Fourth of July traditionally means hot dogs and firecrackers throughout the United States, it also means American History. End of first lecture.

For part two, have a bit of fun trying to match up the Monkees with famous characters out of the American Revolutionary Period. It’s not as dull as it sounds.

Call Micky Ben

Micky Dolenz
Micky as Ben Franklin

Like, who wore wire glasses and flew a lot of kites and had long curly hair and specialized in saying the right thing at the right time and could also just sit in on things because people wanted him around?

Well, his modern day counterpart is obviously Micky Dolenz, who specializes in having curly hair and building things like gyrocopters and wire sculptures and no doubt spent at least one Sunday this past spring flying a kite.

Micky’s forefather was, of course, Benjamin Franklin, the man who lead America through all sorts of perilous times and oversaw the drafting of the Constitution.

Humor the same

Peter Tork
Peter as Paul Revere

Ben was a great guy who also had a sense of humor much like Micky’s. Some of his practical jokes are famous. And the clothes he wore would probably appeal to Micky right now. He had groovy ruffled shirts and velvet coats (Micky owns a red one, which Ben might have worn) and he had the wildest hats imaginable—big feathered plumes were always attached to the crown.

Peter, of course, had to have been involved in the Boston Tea Party—and probably thought it up. But he wasn’t after all. His biggest project was jumping on a horse and riding around the country side at night yelling things at people. He only worried about counting to two and almost didn’t go at the last minute, but then talked himself into it.

Naturally, Peter and Paul Revere have a lot in common. For one, their hair would have been about the same length.

Paul Revere’s ride

Mike Nesmith
Mike as Patrick Henry

Paul Revere made his great ride (sitting the right way on a horse and not backwards like Peter sometimes manages) in the spring of 1775. What happened was that a British soldier by the name of Gage decided to seize a supply of military goods belonging to the colonists. Paul Revere got wind of the whole idea—he was tipped off by the lanterns as to whether the troops were coming by land or sea—and rode through the night to warn all the farmers and the Minute Men that the British were indeed coming.

By the way, Paul Revere reached Lexington in time to save the goods, but he was captured before he got to Concord.

Now, Mike could have been George Washington—but that’s too easy. Mike was obviously Patrick Henry.

Mike has the same sparkle in his eyes that Henry had to have when he said “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Mike has always been a man portrayed as torn between two factions—like sanity and insanity on the Monkees show. He’s always been the calming influence, unlike Patrick Henry, but he’s also always had a lot of solid things to say and a feeling of stability when he said them.

Same sideburns

Davy Jones
Davy as ?

Patrick Henry had the same facial and hair coloring as Mike does now—though Patrick’s hair was shorter (and his sideburns were the same length).

Henry stood sort of between a radical party of colonists, who hadn’t come out and asked for independence yet, and a conservative element, who swore allegiance to the King of England. But despite this, the two factions managed to agree that the colonies claimed the right to legislate for their own affairs and also had other rights like personal and political liberty. That’s why Henry gave his speech.

To keep you informed, what happened later was that a compact was made not to import from or to export to Great Britain after certain dates—sort of like not letting any English singers perform here or sending any U.S. groups there… then, of course, it was for better reasons than singing groups. Then the Congress adjourned.

The problem now becomes what to do with British-born Davy Jones. Perhaps he could be an interested by-stander. But now, that’s your problem.

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