Monkee business

I recently got an email from a fan of the Monkees, berating me for not writing a post about Davy Jones, who sadly died of a heart attack earlier this year. Here is an excerpt from the message:

I’ve searched your blog and you’ve never mentioned the Monkees once. If you’re really a gorilla they should be your favourite band, but you’re always banging on about Paul McCartney and The Beatles. Why?

In replying to the email, I pointed out that Paul McCartney is a self-declared friend of the gorilla nation, who has praised our diet, our physique and our divorce laws. I would have written posts about him if he’d been the bass player of Herman’s Hermits.

Although it’s true that I’ve never mentioned the Monkees (until now), let no one interpret this as a snub. Muchly do I like them, even though they were scorned and derided for not playing on their own records. The end-product is what matters to a gorilla. Daydream Believer is definitely one of my favourite pop songs, even though I’ve never been able to make head or tail of the lyrics. Is sleepy Jean upset because the daydream believer is in love with the homecoming queen? Or is the daydream believer making Jean sleepy by telling her about his daydreams (which frankly would make me rather dozy). Oh, what can it mean?

As for Davy Jones, he was a handsome little fellow who will be sorely missed. When I heard of his untimely demise, I raced to the safari camp to inform the manager and request that the flag be flown at half-mast. Unfortunately he was out foraging for mushrooms when I arrived, so I had to tell his wife.

“Which one was Davy Jones?” she asked after I gave her the sorrowful news.

“The English one who played the tambourine,” I replied.

“Oh, how sad, that darling boy was so cute!” she lamented. “I would have loved to shampoo his sweet little head! We should fly the flag at quarter-mast for him.”

So I lowered the Congo Heraldic Ensign three-quarters of the way down the pole.

When the manager returned with his mushrooms, I told him why the flag had been lowered.

“You did the right thing,” he declared solemnly. “If Micky Dolenz had died, I would have worn a black armband as well.”

“Was he a more important member of the band?” I asked.

“Of course!” he answered. “He was the Monkee who most resembled a monkey.”

What this touching anecdote demonstrates is that the absence of a eulogy for someone in this blog does not imply a lack of appreciation. When I admire the work of great artists, I don’t immediately feel the urge to write a blog post about them like a star-struck ninny. And when they kick the bucket, I will mourn their passing in my own way, which may involve the lowering of a flag, a 21-gun salute or vigorous chest-thumping. Only egghead humans believe that words are the answer to everything.

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