Shortly before starting high school, my heart was truly & completely broken by my best friend who essentially outgrew me. I didn’t really know how to make new friends and mostly went through high school without.
However, Nick at Nite played a week long Monkees Marathon…
A full week of the old Monkees TV show, right before my birthday. We recorded most of it on VHS, and then I begged my mom to order the $300 dollar box set of ALL THE EPISODES on VHS. We had to hide it from my dad because it was so expensive, and he’d have been mad.
I watched those episodes of The Monkees over and over again. They were fun, silly, goofy, and they felt like friends. I got to spend time with them, when I didn’t have kids my own age that I knew how to spend time with in real life.
My best friend had dumped me. My extended family had split apart, distancing me from the cousins I’d been really close to. And I was probably undiagnosed autistic, and mostly just miserable at school.
But I watched The Monkees, and Micky, Davy, Peter, and Mike felt like friends.
To this day, when I listen to The Monkees—especially anything sung by Micky Dolenz—it sounds like friendship.
So many of the “real” friendships I’ve had have ended in burned bridges & pain. But the Monkees are always there.
This is the power of art.
Art gives artists the power to share themselves and their hearts with others who may not know how to connect with others directly. It’s a kindness, packaging up a piece of yourself and leaving it in a book or recording, just waiting for someone who needs it to open it up.
I have benefited so much from artists like Micky Dolenz spending their lives recording pieces of themselves, and that’s part of why I write.
I may not be great with real life friends. But I have a heart that overflows with love and feelings… and I can package some of that up.
All I can do is hope that the people who need my art will find it, in the same way that I’ve found so many pieces of art that I’ve leaned so heavily upon.
(These thoughts brought to you by the 2018 Monkees Christmas album which feels like it reaches directly into my heart.)