It’s hard not to appreciate The Monkees, who started as a pre-fab concept band that asked What if The Beatles were failures?, then landed a TV show and became successful. They’re self-aware, deadpan funny, have nerdy chemistry and fun songs, plus Micky Dolenz had “Drum” written on his bass drum decades before Demetri Martin hit the scene.
Inspired by A Hard Day’s Night, Bob “Five Easy Pieces” Rafelson and co-writer Jack Nicholson made an ambitious, playfully experimental, substance-fueled, anxiety-ridden, anti-plastic, sideburn-positive, genre-traversing, aggressively plotless, anti-everything, highly-watchable musical satire – conventionally known as a commercial flop. I found it expansive and fun.
Whereas the absurdity of The Bed Sitting Room is artfully dialogue driven, and A Hard Day's Night fires on all cylinders, Head is philosophically gag heavy. A cavalcade of cameos include Bob Rafelson, Jack Nicholson, Annette Funicello, Victor Mature, and Frank Zappa. I just bought The Monkees debut record because it's summer and why not.