Unbend your mind from Monkee thoughts for a moment and take a look at the rest of the pop scene. Remember what it was like B.M. (Before Monkees, naturally)?
There were Beatles and Stones and Spoonfuls and Rascals and Hollies and Raiders and Mindbenders and many, many others. Some of them have disappeared, some of them have gotten stronger, and some of them have stayed about the same.
Take a look at what’s happened to five other faves while the Monkees have reigned supreme:
Five other faves
Everyone knows what’s happened to the BEATLES. They’ve meditated themselves into an entirely new groove which was first (and so far, last—Magical Mystery Tour doesn’t count) brought to us on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Actually, Sgt. Pepper is the only thing the Beatles have done musically since the Monkees came into the forefront of pop music.
You can’t say that the Beatles died down because of The Monkees, no matter how big a Monkee fan you may be. The Beatles have spent the Monkee-era resting up and getting themselves together. They’ve produced things like “Lady Madonna” and the material from Magical Mystery Tour but they haven’t done anything really huge except Sgt. Pepper (of course, that may be enough!).
The RAIDERS are a rather interesting study in pop groups. During M.M. (Monkee Madness, naturally), they’ve gone through a series of changes big enough to knock the most ardent Raider fan on her record listening ear.
First, the Raiders almost quit getting hits completely but this was balanced by the increase in their popularity at concerts. They seemed to finally have realized that they are more a show band than a recording group and learned to live with it.
Then, pow! bang! what happened?! the group lost everyone but Mark and Paul and people were saying, “The Raiders will be dead as a group in three months.” Uncle Paul just smiled and found three more Raiders and now the group is as strong as ever.
Fans of the Raiders have, for the most part, stuck faithfully by them during all their changes. Once in awhile, they seem to take a temporary vacation to listen to new groups but they always come back faithfully for more.
DINO, DESI AND BILLY were hurt by the Monkees, there’s no doubt about it. And too, the group is young and have things like school to worry about. During M.M. (Monkee Madness again), DD & B have concentrated on developing themselves as musicians and more recently, as actors. Once they get school out of the way, they’ll unpack their talents and really hit hard!
This isn’t to say that the three groovy guys disappeared during the reign of the Monkees but it is to say that the temporary lull the group has experienced has given Dino, Desi and Billy time to think about what they want to do in pop music—and decide whether they want any part of it at all.
Some of their fans left them when they quit issuing as many records as before—and ceased getting hits—but the ones who have stayed loyal will never ever give them up!
What about Sajid?
Everyone in the music business thinks SAJID is a phenomenon and he is! The reason is simply that’s he’s gotten so famous without even cutting a record.
Sajid has hit the star scene so huge and heavy that people are still shaking their heads in disbelief. It used to be that you had to have a record to enjoy success like Sajid’s—or at least, seem to have success like that—but our favorite Indian import did it with a television show which was quickly cancelled.
But still, during M.M. (you know what it stands for), fans took time to thrill over Sajid too. Proving, of course, that the world is big enough for both Sajid and the Monkees.
And speaking of a big world, the COWSILLS do their part for the population—and popularity—explosion during the Monkee era. If someone had walked up to you a year ago and said a rock ’n roll singing family (and a mother who performs on stage!) was going to be the next big thing, you would probably have attempted to have the individual committed to the nearest institution for his own good. And you would have been wrong.
The Cowsills have come on the scene so strong that they’ve all but moved onto Ed Sullivan’s stage for a second home.
It all goes to prove that while the Monkees still reign supreme, there are other stars who have had their ups and downs. The question is, what will the future bring?