From The Research Vault: In Defense of The Monkees. American Music Review, XLI(2), Spring 2012

From The Research Vault:  In Defense of The Monkees. American Music Review, XLI(2), Spring 2012

From The Research Vault:  In Defense of The Monkees. American Music Review, XLI(2), Spring 2012

It is an unfortunate truth that performers and artists who were overlooked, unappreciated, or reviled in their time only gain critical acclaim and attention in death. When this article was first conceived, Davy Jones (1945–2012) was still alive, viewed by many Monkees fans (including this author) as the proverbial stick in the mud, the one who warned his bandmates to stick with the formula that yielded commercial success rather than challenge the whims of their management. He was the one who always went to the press with overtly critical and spiteful comments about his cohorts, most recently after the abrupt cancellation of their summer tour. Although Jones was the least innovative of the four Monkees, one can only hope that the band as a whole will still receive the critical reappraisal that should come with his passing.

The Monkees have never quite been able to enjoy their moment in the sun. In their time, the burgeoning rock press viewed them as an instrument of the music industry, an example of plastic pop marketing creeping its way into the “authentic” world of rock music. Their first reunion in the 1980’s was marred by bad publicity and a refusal to play ball with the media, with subsequent reunion efforts being greeted with increasing levels of derision and internal friction. Although they have been eligible since 1991, The Monkees have never been considered for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an embarrassing fact that says more about the music industry than it does about the band. Beneath the pop façade, the one that made the group such a punch line among critics, scholars, and rockists, were creative forces that were innovative, subversive, and groundbreaking.

Read In Defense of The Monkees. American Music Review, XLI(2), Spring 2012


Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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A History of Screenwriting – 24 in a series – What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting by Marc Norman

A History of Screenwriting – 24 in a series – What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting by Marc Norman

Screenwriters have always been viewed as Hollywood’s stepchildren. Silent-film comedy pioneer Mack Sennett forbade his screenwriters from writing anything down, for fear they’d get inflated ideas about themselves as creative artists. The great midcentury director John Ford was known to answer studio executives’ complaints that he was behind schedule by tearing a handful of random pages from his script and tossing them over his shoulder. And Ken Russell was so contemptuous of Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for Altered States that Chayefsky insisted on having his name removed from the credits.

Of course, popular impressions aside, screenwriters have been central to moviemaking since the first motion picture audiences got past the sheer novelty of seeing pictures that moved at all. Soon they wanted to know: What happens next? In this truly fresh perspective on the movies, veteran Oscar-winning screenwriter Marc Norman gives us the first comprehensive history of the men and women who have answered that question, from Anita Loos, the highest-paid screenwriter of her day, to Robert Towne, Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Kaufman, and other paradigm-busting talents reimagining movies for the new century. 



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

05 : Girls, The Beach House and The Monkees: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

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.”

05 : Girls, The Beach House and The Monkees: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

 

Transcript:

Jean: So they had this beach house and this was cool and there are these single boys now, but they did kind of keep it kind of wholesome. Now did they have girls spending the night over at the beach house or anything like that?

Rosanne: They did not. When I came to study the show because I loved it as a kid and when I decided to study it I thought, “Oh, well a show about rock-and-rollers. It’s going to be every week about who’s have sex with which girl and maybe as a kid, I didn’t remember that. And then I watched all 58 episodes in an era when I’m also watching The Big Bang Theory because that’s the number one comedy of our day and that’s of course about 4 scientists who spend their days discussing who they’re going to have sex with and it turned out, of course, because of the rules of what you could and couldn’t do on television at the time that The Monkees couldn’t do that. So when they had girlfriends we always saw that the girls left before the boys had time in their beach house. They never spent the night.

Jean: So it wouldn’t offend the sensibilities of the parents that are watching this television show with their teenagers and things like that.

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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.

From The Research Vault: Davy Jones of The Monkees: A towering multimedia star By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY

From The Research Vault: Davy Jones of The Monkees: A towering multimedia star By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY

Davy Jones

Davy Jones was not a tall man. But what a long pop-culture shadow he cast.

Standing about a head shorter than his mates in The Monkees — the nation’s first made-for-TV boy band — the 5-foot-3, British-born singer had the winning personality of his mop-topped alter ego Paul McCartney, the teen-idol dreaminess of a Justin Bieber and the distinctive voice of a genuine hitmaker.

Jones, 66, died Wednesday of a heart attack near his home in Indiantown, Fla. The news rocked the surviving Monkees.

“This is an enormous event in my world,” Monkee Peter Tork tells USA TODAY. “I have been thinking about his talent and his heart. What is the saddest thing in the world is that not everyone was able to see the range and depth of his heart. He was about as heartfelt a man as anyone I have ever met in my life. … In all his glory as a musician and performer, Davy was in the top rank.”

Read the entire article – Davy Jones of The Monkees: A towering multimedia star


Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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A History of Screenwriting – 23 in a series – The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916)

A History of Screenwriting – 23 in a series – The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916)

This movie is insane, and I love it. Coke Ennyday, a cocaine-shooting detective parody of Sherlock Holmes injects himself with opium from a bandolier of syringes worn across his chest and liberally helps himself to the contents of a hatbox-sized round container of white powder labeled “COCAINE” on his desk. A clock-like sign on the wall divides time between EAT, DRINK, SLEEP, and DOPE. He observes visitors at his door on what appears to be a closed-circuit television called a “scientific periscope”. The super-sleuth helps the police and discovers a contraband of opium (which he eagerly tastes) transported with “Leaping Fishes”, and the blackmail of a mysterious man who wants to marry the “fish blower” girl.

It stars the acrobatic Douglas Fairbanks as the odd action hero and Bessie Love as The Little Fish Blower, was directed by Christy Cabanne and John Emerson, and was written by Anita Loos, Tod Browning, and D. W. Griffith. — Change Before Going Productions

 



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

04 – Monkee Metatexutality: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power [Video] (1:02)

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

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.”

04 - Monkee Metatexutality: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

 

Transcript:

Rosanne: These techniques weren’t necessarily being used by shows like George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. They would eventually be in things like Dream On and many other shows later would use those kinds of old footage, but now that I bring up George and Gracie. What they did is that they spoke to the audience, which is another thing these guys did.They broke the 4th wall of theater by speaking to the audience and admitting to the audience that we know we’re a show and you’re watching us, which is meta-narrative if you want to get all professorial about it, but it made them — it gave them a chance to get closer to the audience and it connected the kids to them.

Jean: So, by doing that there’s a lot of current shows — and I’m going to kind of nerd out with you on this — like The Office for example or these mockumentary type things where they say they’re aware that we’re going to be watching them the Monkees had already been doing that.

Rosanne: They’d already been doing that. Exactly and it made them very hip and cute to the children watching because they were the generation who hadn’t been paid much attention to yet and now these boys were paying attention to them.

Get your copy today!

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.

From The Research Vault: The Monkees’ FBI File via FBI Vault

From The Research Vault: The Monkees’ FBI File via FBI Vault

This is the actual file the FBI kept on The Monkees, as they were worried about subversive ideas the show generated. Silly to see they spelled the name wrong on the cover – makes me wonder about the thoroughness of the agency back in the day.  It does seem, though, that the agents in charge of this investigation understood more than some viewers as they noted the show’s “denouncing the U.S. policy in the war in Vietnam”. They describe the ‘young men’ on the show as dressing as ‘beatnik types’ (perhaps the word hippie had not permeated the agency yet) and report that during concerts “subliminal messages” appeared on a ‘device’ known as a screen behind the performers.

Check it out!

From The Research Vault: The Monkees' FBI File via FBI VaultFrom The Research Vault: The Monkees' FBI File via FBI Vault

Read more of The Monkees’ FBI File via FBI Vault


Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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A History of Screenwriting – 22 in a series – The New York Hat – 1912 – Anita Loos

A History of Screenwriting – 22 in a series – The New York Hat – 1912 – Anita Loos

A History of Screenwriting - 22 in a series - The New York Hat - 1912 - Anita Loos

Short directed by D. W. Griffith, written by Anita Loos, starring Mary Pickford (in her final role for Biograph Studios) and Lionel Barrymore, with an appearance by Lillian Gish.

From Wikipedia…

The New York Hat is one of the most notable of the Biograph Studios short films and is perhaps the best known example of Pickford’s early work, and an example of Anita Loos‘s witty writing. The film was made by Biograph when it and many other early U.S. movie studios were based in Fort Lee, New Jersey at the beginning of the 20th century.[1][2][3]

Mollie Goodhue leads a cheerless, impoverished life, largely because of her stern, miserly father. Mrs. Goodhue is mortally ill, but before dying, she gives the minister, Preacher Bolton, some money with which to buy her daughter the “finery” her father always forbade her.

Mollie is delighted when the minister presents her with a fashionable New York hat she has been longing for, but village gossips misinterpret the minister’s intentions and spread malicious rumors. Mollie becomes a social pariah, and her father tears up the beloved hat in a rage.

All ends well, however, after the minister produces a letter from Mollie’s mother about the money she left the minister to spend on Mollie. Soon afterwards, he proposes to Mollie, who accepts his offer of marriage.



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

03 – Monkee Emmys and “Romps”: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power [Video] (0:55)

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

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.”

03 - Monkee Emmys and

 

Transcript:

Rosanne: The adults that did take it seriously are the adults who were in the business because they won an Emmy for best Comedy Series in their first season.

Jean: They won 2 Emmys, right?

Rosanne: Yes. They won one for Best Directing as well, And James Frawley who won that had begun his directing career on The Monkees and he grew up to direct The Muppet Movie.

Jean: Awesome. And we love our Muppets. So, in terms of the production and everything The Monkees did some interesting things that — and these are the things that I remember. I remember a lot of little chase scenes that were so cute. Kind of zany. Kind of Groucho Marx-y kind of things, but also they employed the use of what, flashbacks and things like that. Let’s talk about the tools that they used.

Rosanne: They used flashbacks. They would use a lot of old footage whenever they would say something funny, they’d cut to — if I’d say, “The Sky’s falling” they’d cut to a building being dynamited down and that sort of thing and that helps because it saved them money, because they’re using old footage, but it also gave a very frenetic, energetic feel to the show.

Get your copy today!

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.

From The Research Vault: Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, Unless it’s Jack Weinberg, (2000, April 6), The Berkeley Daily Planet.

Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, Unless it’s Jack Weinberg, (2000, April 6), The Berkeley Daily Planet.

From The Research Vault: Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, Unless it’s Jack Weinberg, (2000, April 6), The Berkeley Daily Planet.

The man who coined the phrase “Don’t trust anyone over 30” turned 60 years old Tuesday. 
Jack Weinberg uttered the phrase – which became one of the most memorable expressions of the turbulent 1960s era – during the height of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. The Free Speech Movement was a struggle by students over the right to engage in political speech on campus, which helped to catalyze broader political activism on campuses around the country over student rights, civil rights and the Vietnam War. 

In a news release recently distributed by a Chicago public relations agency – owned by his wife, it should be noted – Weinberg says he made the statement primarily to get rid of a reporter who was bothering him. He doesn’t even regard the statement as the most important thing he’s ever said. 

Read the entire article — Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, Unless it’s Jack Weinberg 


Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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