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.
"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.
Jon Andersen directed two episodes of The Monkees, "The Christmas Show" and "The Wild Monkees," and was assistant director for a multitude of episodes throughout the first and second seasons, and for the movie Head.
Over the last few weeks, longtime Monkees fan Jennifer Winkle has been sharing with the Live Almanac her rich collection of photos from Monkees concerts going all the way back to 2001. Jennifer has taken some great photos, and you'll be seeing them here on the blog and elsewhere over the coming months. Here's two from The Monkees' show at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on December 2, the last night of the 2012 tour.
A new page has been added to The Monkees Live Almanac website, chronicling The Monkees' appearance at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, California this past September, which Michael Nesmith said would be his last with the group. The essay examines Michael's history with The Monkees since the group's revival in 1986 as well as the Pantages concert itself.
I'd like to say a big thank you to Sherri Hansen who provided most of the photos you will see on the page (with more on the way to be added at a later date). A shout-out as well to Elliott Marx, who shared his wonderful audience recording of the show on SoundCloud, and to all the fans who uploaded their video footage to YouTube. Please enjoy - and I welcome any feedback.