The Two Decade Rule

Fuck yeah! Time to break out that Y2K stash and heat up some canned veggies!

Need a little good vibrations to help you make it through another Monday September morning?  All you need is love, and maybe a nice lost earworm.  It’s time for The Nest to dig up another band of gold out of that sugar shack of sweet soul music we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  Better put on your compression shorts, because DJ Scratchy’s going to have you sweating to the oldies, while the Sponkies get introduced to some more ancient artifacts.  Everything old is new again…

Like something that’s currently in fashion, but you know its expiration date of relevance is coming due?  Don’t worry.  Just wait twenty years, and your favorite fad will be more modder than the bee’s knees again.  It’s the twenty year rule, where certain elements that were fashionable two decades ago will get a sudden and surprising revival in popularity due to the fact that the people who helped set those trends are now staring down a midlife crisis.  It’s why Happy Days and American Graffiti were so popular in the 70’s, My Little Pony came back bigger and better than ever in the 2000’s, and even the wildly reviled disco experience was a thing again while everyone was watching That 70’s Show.

Nice try, guys. But you can’t kill disco!

And so, my decade of the 80’s which had a radical pop culture of its own, was also tinged with remnants of the swinging 60’s.  Tie dye came back in fashion and some of the biggest bands of the 1960’s made a comeback after decades of irrelevance.  One such band who was a living time capsule of the post-JFK generation was The Monkees

See! We really can play our own instruments!

The Monkees were a made-for-TV quartet that was put together in 1966 solely to make money for television executives and to humorously lampoon the everyday life of 1960’s pop stars.  Little did those producers who cobbled this group together for laffs realize that they actually assembled a pretty talented band of musicians who went from having all of their songwriting and musical work done for them to gaining full control over their work by the time their short-lived sitcom came to a close in 1968.  That sitcom, The Monkees, was brought back by MTV in the mid 80’s and was aired in reruns on their sister station Nickelodeon where my 12 year old self utterly fell in love with their humor and music.

Yes, we’d like to speak with the wardrobe consultant please. I think there’s been a terrible mistake.

With their newfound popularity, it was only natural for The Monkees, or at least those who were still together in the band, to release a comeback hit.  And in the middle of a bunch of 1980’s new wave, soundtrack music and hair band fluff… it managed to get up to #20!  Here’s half of The Monkees doing their 1986 welcome back song “That Was Then This Is Now”…

Going along with the title of the song, the video features a lot of flashbacks to the 60’s intertwined with modern shots of Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, the two members who launched the comeback (Davy Jones would rejoin them by the time their star dimmed again).  It’s funny how as a 12 year old kid watching this video and of course The Monkees show, the 60’s seemed like they had to be an eternity ago.  Look how much had changed!  It really kills me to realize now that the late 90’s were that “eternity ago” and it sure as hell seems like yesterday!

Wow, we actually had the internet back in the late 90’s! Now we just need that dial up sound…

I’ll be back next Monday with another classic song that should still look good 20 years later…

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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24 Responses to The Two Decade Rule

  1. like it!!! it’s a saturday night song… when we are on the way to a date or to a fancy restaurant… can not remember when I did that the last time, but the imagination is sweet ;O)

  2. A happy song……this group’s “story” is interesting and they had a tough road to drive for sure. It’s a fun one to listen to for sure……….got my toes tappin’ !

    Pam

    • I think a lot of people still see them as a fake band, but they were more involved in the music than they get credit for. And they’re a glaring omission to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Now if it ever happens, two of them are already gone…

  3. Ally Bean says:

    When I think of the Monkees I think of The Last Train To Clarksville. And I think of madcap silliness, of course. So goofy, so good.

    • It was highly entertaining. That was one of my favorite shows as a kid, even though it was taking place in an era I didn’t even live through. And I still know all of the songs they used to play on the show. The Beatles are probably the only band who I have familiarity with more of their songs than I do The Monkees…

  4. Thom says:

    No arguments here. I was 9 years old when they first hit, prime target age for their original musical mission. But they did put out some very good music, and had some of the very best songwriters contributing tunes, like Neil Diamond and Carole King. Mike Nesmith also wrote some damn fine songs..and the argument can be made that they were pioneers in the music video field.

  5. I happen to love the Monkeys, they were before my generation but I listen to them on television reruns and their music isn’t bad. Last Train to Clarksville, my all time fave! Great pick from DJ Scatchy and the Nest for this one!

    • I’m really surprised it took me this long to think of featuring this song since it was such a part of my childhood. I might have to sneak another lost song of theirs in from their heyday sometime later….

  6. ghostmmnc says:

    Good good song and video! I loved the Monkees, their songs, and the TV show. Made a point to get their albums when they came out, and still have them, and listen quite often. Later on, my girls loved them too. 🙂

  7. Trisha says:

    The Monkeys always remind me of a summer I spent babysitting the boys down the road. They always had the TV on and there was episode after episode of The Monkeys. Not surprisingly, I didn’t know about this song. It sometimes decades for me to become aware of things!

    • The video got played on both MTV and Nick Rocks quite a bit when they were both showing The Monkees show. They also had a follow up song/video called “Heart and Soul” which I liked a lot (and it also features Davy), but it wasn’t a hit like “That Was Then” was…

  8. draliman says:

    I grew up watching The Monkees. Had a lot of good songs!

  9. Wow. Fun stuff. I’ve never heard this one before. It’s a feel good kind of day.

    I’m still sad about the news yesterday about Ric Ocasek. The Cars is my favorite band. Sigh.

  10. crimsonowl63 says:

    The Monkees are my husband’s favorite band. I’ve never heard this one, but it’s pretty good. Not too 80s sounding.

    We went to see The Monkees awhile ago. Mike, Peter, & Micky. Absolutely great fun. We own all their early albums & every episode of their tv show lol.

    I wasn’t part of the MTV music video years, so I saw very few.

    Thanks for another good song! I am going to get some of their later albums.

    • The Monkees seem to have a pretty wide range of fans they appeal to. I guess the TV guys who put them together really knew what they were doing building a band that everyone seemed to like…

  11. Merbear74 says:

    Hey Hey I’m a monkey, I like messing around and eating bananas…
    Banana clips! I really hope that they make a comeback!

  12. Those fellas always made you happy with their music and their antics. 🐒

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