Pre-Order “Why The Monkees Matter” by Dr. Rosanne Welch Now – Directly from McFarland!

Do you want to be one of the first people to get your hands on “Why The Monkees Matter”? 

Our first pre-order opportunity is now available, directly from the MacFarland web site. They just added “Why The Monkees Matter” to their catalog pages and store.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others will be coming online in the next 2 weeks or so.

Even better news, the book might even be out as early as mid-July 2016 (fingers crossed)

Macfarland monkees

Pre-Order Now

The publishers’ site will also provide academic discounts for students and class sets and review copies (in pdf form) available for professors. 

I hope it pleases academics and fans alike!

Quotes from “Why The Monkees Matter” by Dr. Rosanne Welch – 4 in a series

Monkees Question of the Moment: What Do The Monkees Mean to You?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Quotes from

“The Monkees have come to mean so many things over the years – to me and to many others who have followed their careers both together and individually. As the band members said, even they don’t belong to themselves anymore. The Monkees belong to the audience.”

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch — Coming Fall 2016 – Click for more info!

Why The Monkees Mattered: We Were Made for Each Other: The Sequel: Nascent Television Aesthetic Techniques on The Monkees

Why The Monkees Matter: We Were Made for Each Other: The Monkees Menagerie of Metatextuality

Why The Monkees Mattered: We Were Made for Each Other: The Sequel: Nascent Television Aesthetic Techniques on The Monkees

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch — Coming Fall 2016 – Click for more info!

 

Who Wrote The Monkees? – “Case of the Missing Monkee” and “I Was A Teenage Monster” – by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso and Dave Evans

Who Wrote The Monkees? –  “Case of the Missing Monkee” and “I Was A Teenage Monster” – by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso and Dave Evans Part 5 of an on-going series

Did you know The Monkees had a connection to RFK?   Not the movie, but the man.  Read on…

This weekend Antenna TV is showing 2 episodes of The Monkees “Case of the Missing Monkee” and “I Was A Teenage Monster”. One was written solely by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso, who were the showrunners, and one written by them AND Dave Evans, who I’ve written about before on this page.  So today I’ll focus on Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso.  

Sadly, Mr. Caruso had passed away just a few months before I first had the idea to interview the writers of The Monkees for the article in Written By magazine that turned into the proposal for my eventual book so I was never able to meet him.  But his writing partner, Gerald Gardner, welcomed me warmly into his wonderful home and told me all about their work before, during and after The Monkees. 

Who Wrote The Monkees? -  “Case of the Missing Monkee” and “I Was A Teenage Monster” - by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso and Dave Evans

Who Wrote The Monkees? -  “Case of the Missing Monkee” and “I Was A Teenage Monster” - by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso and Dave Evans

How does Robert F. Kennedy fit into the story?

Mr. Gardner had begun his writing career doing comical political satire books called Who’s In Charge Here?. Those books caught the attention of then President John F. Kennedy, who invited the writer to lunch at the White House.  After his assassination, Mr. Gardner sent a condolence letter to then Attorney General RFK.  When RFK decided to run for the Senate in New York, he asked Mr. Gardner to join his speech writing team.  (Sound a bit like The West Wing, doesn’t it?)  After Senator Kennedy went to work in Washington, Mr. Gardner wrote a book about the campaign: Robert Kennedy in New York.  Mr. Gardner’s first work in television was in New York as the senior writer on That Was the Week That Was which was a forerunner to “Weekend Update” on SNL.  All this work in comedy led him to partner up with Dee Caruso to work for producer Buck Henry on Get Smart and when Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson came to Henry asking to meet some hot young comedy writers to run their new show… well, you know what happened.  And that’s how The Monkees are connected to Camelot? 

 



More information on The Monkees:

Previously in Who Wrote The Monkees?:

Quotes from “Why The Monkees Matter” by Dr. Rosanne Welch – 3 in a series

Monkees Question of the Moment: How did you defend The Monkees to your friends?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Monkees quote 04

“…But I also wrote it in honor of and to honor the fans who love the show and lived with years of teasing when the mistaken reputation of the band and the show as ‘plastic’ kept dogging them. With this book I hope to show that those early and continuing fans all recognized the diamond in the rough from the start. ”

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch — Coming Fall 2016 – Click for more info!

Why The Monkees Matter: We Were Made for Each Other: The Monkees Menagerie of Metatextuality

Why The Monkees Matter: We Were Made for Each Other: The Monkees Menagerie of Metatextuality

Why The Monkees Matter: We Were Made for Each Other: The Monkees Menagerie of Metatextuality

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch — Coming Fall 2016 – Click for more info!

 

With Garry Shandling, it always came down to good writing [Video]

I’m not a specialist in comedy but I always enjoyed the “It’s the Garry Shandling Show” for his unique take on the world.  

Like all good writers (and Garry started as a sitcom writer – with Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter among his early credits before he turned to performing stand up.  

With Garry Shandling, it always came down to good writing [Video}

As a writer Garry knew the truth is always where to go for story – and this never rang so true and raw as when he invited Gilda Radner on his show during her battle with ovarian cancer. Together they wrote the deeply honest joke that involved Gilda saying she hadn’t been on TV in a while, Garry asking her why, Gilda saying she had cancer and then smiling up at him and asking, “What did you have?”

In this Emmy Legend oral history clip, Shandling spoke about working with her on that episode and how they both knew the subject had to be faced — and somehow made funny.  It turned out to be the SNL star’s last appearance on television.

Link: Garry Shandling on IMDB

Who Wrote The Monkees? – “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” written by Treva Silverman

Who Wrote The Monkees? – “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” written by Treva Silverman Part 4 of an on-going series

This weekend Antenna TV airs “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” written by Treva Silverman. One of several staff writers for The Monkees who went on to win Emmy Awards for her later work in television (Her Emmy came from The Mary Tyler Moore Show). Treva was the only woman writer on the The Monkees.

Who Wrote The Monkees? –

Little song monkees

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Treva’s post Monkees work, the blog “…by Ken Levine” did a nice coverage of her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, complete with some script pages and a whole page of biography noting that Valerie Harper (Rhoda) called Treva the “Feminist conscience of the show”. In my book, I write that Treva brought that same feminist conscience to The Monkees where viewers can note that none of the young women the Monkees dated were ever ditzy – they were always women of substance – serious about their schoolwork or with careers already in place or otherwise involved in the world. Not bad for a show about four band members. I believe that attitude came to The Monkees from Treva – the only female writer on staff.

 



More information on The Monkees:

Previously in Who Wrote The Monkees?:

Behind The Scenes with The Monkees On The Set from Big Glee: The Albert Bryan Bigley Archives

In her coverage of a day at the set of The Monkees, Gloria Malerba was able to show her (largely teen) readers how much hard work goes into filming a television show – and how many people are employed by such a hit show. 

I particularly like the photo on the lower left of Davy Jones in costume taking “a last minute look at the script’ – a nice reminder that as often as we hear the show as ‘all ad-libbed’ – it was not.  Writers conceived the characters and conflicts and then wrote dialogue for each of the regular stars.

Monkees bigglee 1

Image: Big Glee: The Albert Bryan Bigley Archives – Click for larger image

My Favorite Book of Letters Between Writers, Cheever’s Glad Tidings

glad-tidings

Answering another friend’s Facebook post reminded me today of one of my favorite books of letters between writers is between Cheever and John Weaver.

I stumbled upon Glad Tidings: A Friendship in Letters : The Correspondence of John Cheever and John D. Weaver, 1945-1982 many years ago at a used bookstore and deeply enjoyed reading how these two writers discussed their work and the origins of their most famous projects.

Of course, Cheever was also writing to Harriet Weaver but the editors left her name off the title, so it’s also a good look at how the Weaver marriage operated (in the same way The Letters of S.J. Perlemnan became a look at the marriage of Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell since he wrote so often to them).

What I enjoyed most was the inside look Cheever gave of coming to Hollywood when a studio adapted his story The Swimmer into a film – Weaver had much more experience living in Los Angeles as a writer of local histories so he helped Cheever navigate La-La-Land.

If you don’t know either of these writers, a selection of Cheever’s short stories, The Stories of John Cheever, won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (not too shabby) and John D. Weaver’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times tells you how important he was: “Weaver wrote two novels and eight nonfiction books, including one that helped change history: “The Brownsville Raid,” a 1970 book that led to the exoneration of 167 black soldiers who had been discharged without honor 64 years earlier.”

Both are well worth reading – as is Glad Tidings. Check them out.