Erica fits in to a micro micro demographic. It's not just that she's a Monkees fan; there are plenty of those (the band was a TV phenomenon in the late '60s, and I imagine thousands of 60-something ladies still consider themselves devotees; Rolling Stone put Davy Jones on the cover when he died last year.)
But Erica is not a baby boomer. She's a Gen-Xer. She seems more like a Ned's Atomic Dustbin girl to me.
But here's the deal: For a brief moment in 1986, the Monkees had a comeback, and Erica, who was in elementary school, was the target audience. Evidently, it worked.
"We’re just the delivery system for your memories."—Monkee Micky DolenzThe surviving three Monkees—Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz—are playing at Benaroya tomorrow night. Erica's going, obviously. But what's more, and I've never seen her so giddy, she also interviewed Dolenz, the Monkees' drummer and dulcet-voiced singer, in advance of the show for Seattle Met's arts blog.
Here's an excerpt:
You've been doing this for more than 45 years now. Are there any songs you are just sick of playing?
Not really. The way I approached the whole project, right from the beginning, is that I was an entertainer cast to be the wacky drummer in this imaginary group that didn’t really exist. It's a lot like Glee—that’s the first thing that’s come along in a long time that has a similar paradigm, which is a TV show about an imaginary glee club, yet all the performers and actors and singers can actually do it. I’ve always approached it like that. So when I get back on stage, I’m sort of recreating my role, like I would if I went back to do another musical.
Mike came up with this way of looking at it: We don’t own these songs any more—the audience does. If you go into it with that sort of an attitude—we’re just the delivery system for your memories—it makes it fun.
I'm also no baby boomer (though I do know the hilarious trivia that Hendrix opened for the Monkees), but my middle school best friend's older sister was the perfect age for the original Monkees. We found her diary once and I quote: "I love the Monkees. I bet my parents don't even know what psychedelic means." (It's an even better line with the bubbly blue Bic pen cursive.)
The Monkees play tomorrow night at 8pm; tickets available on the Seattle Symphony's website.