Diltz will be on hand to provide color commentary between songs, reminiscing about his hippie days in the canyon, where talented musicians converged from all over North America in the sprawling homes of “Mama” Cass Elliot, the den mother they considered the Gertrude Stein of folk-rock; Frank Zappa, who lived for a time in the grand log cabin that once belonged to cowboy actor Tom Mix; and the Monkees’ Peter Tork, whose hillside home had orange walls and huge picture windows.
Terry Allen asked if I would submit a song for use in his installation of "Road Angel" at the Austin Contemporary site of Laguna Gloria.
The American romance with the automobile and the open road can be seen throughout Terry's decades-long career, as he came of driving age in the 1950s, filled with the promise of adventure and escape. He has noted: "The sense of hurtling through great black empty space...late at night on a dead straight line of asphalt with headlights shining...driving a car as fast as it would go...and listening to The Wolfman on the radio turned up as loud as it would go...is probably where every freedom I most value first began."
Road Angel, 2016, a bronze cast of a 1953 Chevrolet coupe, embodies a range of emotional and nostalgic associations with the American automobile. Terry has placed this three-wheeled car far from any road, resting haphazardly amid the trees, as if the vehicle has careened off its path or the stage were set for a lovers' tryst.
There is something spiritual in the way the sculpture of an abandoned car, spent, dissolving into the past efforts of searching for "adventure and escape" that meets precisely the spirit and faint hope of the song "Dance of Mother and Child." I can hear the mother sing the song to her child, hear the 1950's radio station playing the song in the car radio, see the sweep of the desert and the one lonely road that leads everywhere, and touches all lives.
I was happy to comply with Terry's request, proud to be a part of the installation, and now give you the song as a gift you may download.
"As We Go Along" was first performed live on The Monkees' 1989 summer tour that visited the United States, Canada, and Japan. This audience recording, from the group's final show in Japan to date, was recorded at Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo, a popular venue for concerts in that city that closed in 2010.
Peter Mills is a longtime Monkees fan and author of The Monkees, Head, and the 60s. Back in September, Peter and his publisher, Jawbone Press, were kind enough to share an exclusive excerpt from the book with the Live Almanac. It's both a scholarly and entertaining work that fans of The Monkees are certain to enjoy. If you haven't checked it out, it's available in paperback and as a Kindle download. I've had the pleasure of exchanging several emails with Peter and I'm happy to give his book an enthusiastic endorsement!
Click on the image below to listen to Peter's interview with Ken Mills from the Zilch podcast:
The Monkees aired on NBC from 1966-1968. The official Davy Jones Facebook page posted the following message earlier this morning:
UPDATE 2/17/17: It appears that The Monkees television series will be showcased during NBC's television special this Sunday evening, February 19:
"Nesmith may be most remembered for his role as the stoic guitarist in the Monkees, but his brilliant, candid, and humorous new autobiographical musings give readers a much clearer picture of his originality and inventiveness."
The Monkees performed in front of a sold-out audience of over 17,000 at the historic Hollywood Bowl on June 9, 1967. Just five days earlier, The Monkees had attended the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards where the group's television series took home two awards, including 'Outstanding Comedy Series.'
After this concert, The Monkees recorded "Pleasant Valley Sunday" in the studio, which became their smash hit during the Summer of Love.