I’ve been tagged on Facebook to do the 7 Songs That Changed My Life game. Each day I’ll post a song that influenced me in some profound way, particularly in forming my musical taste buds because otherwise it would take far too long. Let me know if you want to play, and I can tag you. This is tough, but here we go….
THE MONKEES – TAKE A GIANT STEP
Oh sure, it should have been the non-pre-Fab Four, but I had the Monkees’ first album on 8-track tape and listened to it constantly when I was tiny. Being a little too young to understand the Beatles, I latched onto these guys like so many others my age did at the time. They were silly, charming, and inspiring. You hear so many stories of people becoming musicians after seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, but it was seeing the Monkees on TV that prompted me to ask for a guitar one Christmas. In fact, I dreamed of naming my first band The Monkees, Jr. because I was that enamored (and that uncreative), and I recall plucking a Sears electric guitar unamplified in the store and thinking its twang sounded just like them. I’m all about that treble, ’bout that treble, after all.
Anyway, so many of their songs changed my life by sending me off on a journey of pop awareness, but I chose this one because the thought of taking a giant step outside your mind sounded like a really dangerous thing to do, yet a very necessary thing as well, and my young brain thought that was just swell (and I still do). Listening to it today, I get much the same feeling I did then, with its nearly nursery rhyme-ish melodies and far eastern-like arrangements providing a grounded trip just off-center of your usual bubblegum ditty. And that echoing rimshot thing and subsequent bass fart are pretty cool, too!