Sunday, December 12, 2021

An RIP kind of weekend.

losw | Deposit Photos
Today I heard that Anne Rice had passed away due to complications from a stroke. Rice was the mistress of big, glitzy vampire novels in the 1970s and '80s. I read Interview with the Vampire when it first came out and loved it. (There's a chapter in the second Atherton Vampire novel called, "Interview with the Atherton Vampire." I bet you can guess where I got that title from.) I went on to read many of her other books, including several with the vampire Lestat as the main character. I admit that I kind of went off her work when she had a vampire -- I think it was Lestat -- suck the menstrual blood from a used tampon. But her work added much to the modern-day vampire mythos. As somebody who has been writing her own vampire books, I appreciate everything she has contributed to the genre.

And then a couple of days ago, I learned that Michael Nesmith, one of the Monkees, died of heart failure. I've mentioned a few times here on the blog that the Monkees were my favorite group when I was a kid. For a long time, it was embarrassing to admit -- but then something weird happened: somehow, when no one was looking, the group gained respect. Nobody cared anymore that they'd been called the Prefab 4; fans simply appreciated their music, and they way they'd stood up to the producers of their TV show and their records and demanded that they be allowed to be an actual band. It was Mike who put his fist through a wall in frustration over the way Don Kirschner treated them, and who galvanized his fellow Monkees to write and perform their own songs. And it was Mike who went on to win the first-ever Video of the Year Grammy. He also was executive producer for Repo Man and several other movies.

Mike mostly stayed away from the various Monkees reunion tours, but in recent years he seemed to have become reconciled to, and even develop a fondness for, that part of his past. Just a few weeks ago, he and Micky Dolenz completed a tour billed as "The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show" -- a tour that had been delayed by Mike's quadruple-bypass heart surgery in 2018 and then by COVID. I've read a few interviews of Mike's friends over the past few days. They say the tour did him a lot of good -- that he died knowing the fans loved him. 

In 2016, after Davy died but while Peter was still alive, the Monkees put out a well-received album of new material called Good Times! "Me and Magdalena" -- with Mike singing lead and Micky singing harmony --- is one of my favorite songs from the album. Enjoy.


These moments of bloggy remembrance have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaxxed!

No comments: