I promise that I am working on a whole bunch of reviews and planned content for this site, but yesterday we lost another Monkee and that has led to this post.
The Monkees have always loomed quite large in my life. I remember hearing the songs from an early age and seeing the TV show in the holidays, and the late night weekend re-runs when ITV first went 24 hours.
When we first got online in the mid-nineties it was the Monkees newsgroup where I first found a whole bunch of like-minded fans, most of whom frequented a chatroom that I never really got to due to time zone differences. From there I ended up on the Monkees email list (now part of Yahoo groups) a whole virtual playground of fans hanging out online, sharing experiences and just enjoying each others company. We watched families grow (virtual and real ones) and lost compadres along the way. It was a community, a place to belong.
As the internet evolved there was some drifting but we seemed to all find each other again on the new fangled social networks. Losing Davy in 2012 saw more of us find each other as old memories were rekindled, and last night, after losing Peter, there was an mammoth group chat via messenger, letting us all be together in our sorrow.
Speaking personally, this merrie bunch of fans has led me to lots of other stuff. So many adventures came from this Monkee fandom, even some stuff that would seem unrelated. Not too long ago I found myself trundling across to the Midlands to an event for a TV show I don’t watch just to hang out for a couple of hours with a Monkee friend I hadn’t seen for just under two decades!
As a music fan, losing those who have brought us so much joy over the years is a heartbreak you never get used to, and one that never gets easier. Having a bunch of fans that understand and all support each other means the world at times like this. (It goes without saying that this applies in other fandoms too, but obviously right now my focus is on my Monkees family)
Thank you for letting me get all this off my chest. I will leave you with one of my favourite Peter Monkees tunes since he was the inspiration for this post.