Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power
Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”
Jean: All right, we have one more Monkee to discuss. Who is this gentleman here — the guy right there.
Rosanne: This is Peter Tork and he has quite a following. He is, I would say, as cute as Davy and had Davy not shown up he himself might have been a teen idol.
Jean: He might have been singing the love ballads, right?
Rosanne: Seriously and he said in his later career that he wasn’t pushy enough. When they offered up songs he kind of stood in the background and didn’t jump on them.
Jean: I noticed in this town, in this industry, you’ve got to, you cannot be bashful, right? or you will lose.
Rosanne: No, That is very true and yet he was considered, he was quite polite and he was quite the true hippie of the day. He really believed in the message of peace. He also believed in the message of Buddhism, actually, so he wasn’t a pushy guy. Now as they have toured in later years he tends to sing all of the songs Davy sang in concert and he is quite proficient at them. So it’s kind of sad that he didn’t get into the mix more deeply himself.
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy. Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.
This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers. Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces.
Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.