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  • Writer's picturepgracemiles

No. 38 The Monkees

"We're the young generation and we've got something to say."

The death of Peter Tork brought back the memory of a family story I have heard several times. A story I like to exaggerate by starting with the line -- The Monkees saved my life!

At the age of four, I had an asthma attack that required hospitalization. At the hospital, I was placed in an oxygen tent. I was surrounded by clear plastic and apparently not very responsive. The doctors were concerned.

This was 1968 and my favorite TV show was The Monkees.

My older siblings, wanting to cheer me up, bought some teen magazines, cut out photos of Mickey, Peter, Mike, and Davey and taped them to the plastic. According to my siblings, I smiled and was very excited to see images of my first favorite band. I recovered soon after and was back home.

To say The Monkees saved my life might be an exaggeration. To say The Monkees saved American film would not be an exaggeration. Bob Rafelson and his partner Bert Schneider created The Monkees and the money from The Monkees paid for Easy Rider. And we all know how Easy Rider changed the landscape of American filmmaking and ushered in what most consider to be the greatest decade of American movies.

Thanks to kids like me, there was a moment in time worth capturing and someone, because of the west coast fab four, had the cash to do it.

That Moment in Time

“Oh, yeah, that's right. That's what's it's all about, all right. But talkin' about it and bein' it, that's two different things. I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don't ever tell anybody that they're not free, 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.”

-- Character: George Hanson, Actor: Jack Nicholson, Movie: Easy Rider

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