Honest Abe, the vampire killing machine
I've been reading the amusing SETH GRAHAME-SMITH book, "ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER," and it is enjoyable.
The author of "PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES," Grahame-Smith specializes in a type of literary "mash-up."
In this case, he combines a biography of the 16th president with a fanciful tale as told through Lincoln's "secret diaries" -- that Lincoln was both a rail-splitter and a vampire killer.
"There are but two types of men who desire war: Those who haven't the slightest intention of fighting it themselves, and those who haven't the slightest idea what it is. Of my youth I can decidedly say that the latter was true. I ached for this "war" with vampires, knowing nothing of its consequences. Knowing nothing of holding a dying friend in my arms or burying a child. Any man who has seen the face of death knows better than to seek him out a second time."
I like the way Grahame-Smith seamlessly blends historical fact with his blood-sucking fiction. In an interview, Grahame-Smith even said a reader could become a Lincoln expert by reading "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter."
All you have to do, Grahame-Smith said, is subtract the vampires.
What would you do with a time machine?
ROUTE 1 gives readers an opportunity to use their imagination this week, thanks to the following FRIDAY QUESTION:
"You have a time machine and one hour to use it. What year would you aim for and why?"
KERI M. -- 1988. I would take my fiance to the year that my Grandpa was still alive so that they could meet each other.
JOHN S. -- October 1955. That's when Emmet Brown came up with the idea for the Flux Capacitor...which is what makes time travel possible.
MIKE D. -- 2005, when my parents were in the last months of their lives, so I could spend more time with them.
STEVE M. -- 1968 to reconcile my memories of that year with the actual feel. So much great music, and real life tragedy. What was the feel on the street in LA, NYC, and London. Oh yes, I could zip over to Rishikesh too for 15 minutes. Is my time machine like a matter transporter as well? Is that an option, like leather seats?
RICK T. -- 1959 so I could see my dad one more time. He died in 1960.
SASKIA M. -- I'd pick up my Mom and travel with her to the early sixties and spend an hour on the flea-market in Amsterdam.
JIM S. -- The year - and hour - that Jesus did his Sermon on the Mount. (Would it be 32 AD?) I would love to hear his voice and see the people's reactions to his words. Of course, I'd need an interpreter to understand Him.
ERIK H. -- 1912. I'd say to the captain of the Titanic: "Hey, don't you think you should be looking out for icebergs?"
A tribute to the pioneering Earl Scruggs
We have lost a tremendous musical talent.
The pioneering bluegrass musician EARL SCRUGGS has died, age 88.
First coming to prominence with BILL MONROE, Scruggs revolutionized the playing of the banjo, as exhibited by his lengthy career with guitar-playing partner LESTER FLATT (1914-1979).
Author Ross Nickerson described Scruggs' contribution to the banjo as "massive."
"Between Lester Flatt's smooth vocals and personable demeanor and Earl Scruggs' tasteful, fluid, driving and exciting banjo playing, they did things with bluegrass music that were never done before and blazed new trails for all bluegrass musicians," Nickerson writes. "It's fair and accurate to say today's most innovative and accomplished five-string banjoists who have expanded the borders of the banjo have all sprung from the Earl Scruggs' style technique, especially his picking rolls."
Most non-musicians probably associate Scruggs and Flatt with the theme tune to "THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES."
Think "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" is a minor novelty tune?
Listen to it. The banjo playing is astonishing in its virtuosity.
My musical tic is in season
Other drivers must think I have a tic. They see me at the wheel of my car and my head is jerking from side-to-side, rhythmically.
That latter adverb offers the clue that my "tic" is merely a seasonal affliction: It's listen to REGGAE in the car season again.
Warm weather and a new, larger iPod have combined to shunt my current musical tastes in a single direction -- the direction that points to JAMAICA.
"Choo choo wakka choo choo wakka! Choo choo wakka choo choo wakka!"
"ROCK STEADY TRAIN," a 1967 gem by EWAN & JERRY just blasted out of my car stereo and now it's replaying it's catchy self in my head.
Ewan McDermott and Nathaniel "Jerry" Matthias are a couple of my favorite reggae performers, their songs so catchy that I occasionally find myself exhibiting another "tic" while driving: My shoulders shake in time to the music, too.
Wickets fall all over the place
What a day of CRICKET!
Seventeen wickets fell during day two of the first Test as SRI LANKA (318 & 84-5) face ENGLAND (193) in Galle.
I only heard a little of it on the radio, unfortunately, as I had to drive KERSTIN to school by 5:30 a.m., so that she could line up for tickets for events held next week.
I work a later shift today, so I plan on reading some cricket magazines once everyone else has gone to school and work.
RANGANA HERATH was one of the Sri Lankan stars. He took six wickets for 76 runs, including four wickets leg before wicket.
GRAEME SWANN has done well for England, taking four wickets for 28 runs.
Hopefully I can hear more of tomorrow's play.
"Jai-uh-warr-duh-nuh" leads Sri Lanka on day one
I've been practicing my pronunciation of the SRI LANKAN players' names in advance of this week's FIRST TEST against ENGLAND in Galle.
I'm listening to the first day's play on the radio online.
Sri Lanka are at 289-8 thanks to a score of 168 by MAHELA JAYAWARDENE ("Muh-hey-luh Jai-uh-warr-duh-nuh").
Heading into the series, I thought England could have their hands full dealing with Sri Lanka.
Thus far, thought, Jayawardene is the only one of the hosts with a decent score.
JAMES ANDERSON ("Jaymz Ahn-dur-sun") has taken three wickets against 56 runs scored for England.
Study of blunt mallet force upon the vertical properties of cylindrical aluminum
Reggae comforts after mishaps
REGGAE has always been my comfort music, especially the soulfully sung rock steady and bouncy ska of the 1960s.
I needed such comfort yesterday, following a pair of rather painful mishaps.
We're minding my father-in-law's big black lab, REBEL, while Jill's dad is away this weekend.
I went to let the dog out early yesterday and Rebel bolted through the door while I clung to his collar. Rebel dragged me down some wet back steps and onto the sidewalk, skinning and bruising my knees.
Later, we were helping my visiting brother-in-law cut a new kitchen counter top when I attempted to sit in a metal lawn chair.
The chair was broken and I slipped through, scratching my hands.
"JOE GIBBS: SCORCHERS FROM THE EARLY YEARS (1967-73)" helped heal the aftermath of those mishaps.
Gibbs was one of the most influential producers of early reggae, and this collection of his tunes contains work by some of my favorites -- The Heptones, Nicky Thomas and Stranger & Gladdy.
It also includes NORA DEAN'S shockingly R-rated paean to sexual activity, "WRECK A BUDDY." Credited to The Soul Sisters, the 1969 song features Dean seeking a man for purely physical gratification, all sung to a tune reminiscent of "Little Drummer Boy."
The song didn't heal the scrapes on my knees, but certainly made me smile, and that's a medicine in itself.
Books to movies: Our favorites
In case you have been cut off from television, radio, newspapers and the Internet the past few weeks, then allow ROUTE 1 to bring you the latest pop culture news:
Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" arrives in cinemas this week.
We know, because our ANNIKA has read the books, displayed the posters, read the books again, worn the T-shirts and read the books again.
The only thing she has not done (until tonight) is seen the film.
That invariably leads us to this week's FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?"
KERSTIN H. -- I love "Twilight," but my favorite adaptation is "My Sister's Keeper."
STEVE M. -- Has to be "Godfather."
JOHN S. -- "Band of Brothers."
ROSEANNE H. -- "The Help" is my favorite.
KERI M. -- "Adventures in Babysitting."
BEKAH S. -- Hands down, it has to be "Anne of Green Gables." That movie defines the very word classic.
ERIK H. -- I'd say Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" is right up there. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I had actually read Anthony Burgess' novel before seeing the film. Thanks to that background, I could see how well Kubrick turned the novel into a stunning film.
Warm enough for reggae
Our record-setting WARM SPELL continued yesterday.
The 80-degree high temperature meant DUBUQUE had broken or matched a record for six of the past seven days.
Today could make it seven out of eight, which seems like a good time to crank up the REGGAE on the car stereo.
How unusual is this warm spell?
Well, an 80-degree day usually occurs on June 21, not March 21.
Rain should roll into the region tomorrow, dousing the record-setting temperatures along the way -- at least for a couple of days.
Definitive view of Queen
"Why would you call your band, 'Queen,' if there were obviously four guys in it? That was puzzling."
-- Harvey Kubernik, Melody Maker, Los Angeles, discussing mainstream American attitudes to the band.
BRIAN MAY and ROGER TAYLOR point to MTV's decision to pass on the music video for "I Want to Break Free" -- featuring the band in a drag pastiche of British soaps such as "Coronation Street" -- as a defining moment in the end of mainstream America's love affair with QUEEN.
This pivotal moment in band history is one of the memorable passages of the brilliant BBC documentary, "QUEEN: DAYS OF OUR LIVES," that I watched on DVD last night.
There was always something different about Queen, a set of circumstances made plain in the film.
All four members were from university, for starters, and they were all strong songwriters.
The late FREDDIE MERCURY had a fey presentation that illustrated his sexuality, but that's another part of the band that became lost in translation when crossing the Atlantic.
May and Taylor provide insightful, sometimes emotional, testimony to the history of the band. (JOHN DEACON has irrevocably left the music business, so his documentary contribution is limited to contemporary interviews).
For an in-depth view of such an iconic band, I can think of no better vehicle than this documentary.
Perfect cricket-reading weather
I arrived home last evening from work, poured a cold beer, sat under a ceiling fan and read about CRICKET.
I love reading about cricket on warm evenings.
DUBUQUE'S warm spell continued yesterday, when the 80-degree temperature meant the city had set or matched a record high for five consecutive days.
That trend could continue at least through today. The record high for March 19 is 77 degrees, set in 1921. The forecast calls for 77 today.
The current forecast also calls for a week's worth of thunderstorms beginning tonight. Those should reduce temperatures to below-record levels.
That means at least one more evening of perfect cricket-reading weather.
I love receiving care packages from Inger
I love receiving "CARE PACKAGES" from my sister INGER.
She travels to all corners of the world, sending back candy, condiments and SOCCER MAGAZINES (and occasionally, CRICKET MAGAZINES).
The latest package arrived yesterday and followed my sister's trip to ROMANIA via LONDON.
The contents included a Romanian candy bar called FĂGĂRAŞ and some "Pate de Porc" that my sister reports is ubiquitous in Romania.
The included British candy includes Maltesers, Curly Wurly and the distinguished-looking ROMNEY'S KENDAL MINT CAKE.
Newspapers, soccer and cricket magazines in the care package will provide my reading material for the week.
Like I said, I love getting these care packages!
Time to get out from behind the wheel
It's time for some JAZZ and a little light reading.
I know I was supposed to make an appearance at one of JILL'S family reunions this afternoon, but I just can't face it.
After an all-day shopping trip to DAVENPORT, IOWA yesterday and taking ANNIKA to a dance competition today, I have put in 365 miles of driving in two days.
If I had applied that mileage in a straight line, I would have found myself in GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.
I rather feel like I'm somewhere else.
I need to relax.
Let the sunshine in!
SPRING has definitely sprung around ROUTE 1 H.Q.
Birds are singing, temperatures are rising, burgers are grilling and even the dog got shaved over at the groomer's.
The sun is also shining, which leads to this week's FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What do you love to do in nice, sunny weather?"
CLINT A. -- Paddle, paddle, paddle! Kayaks, outrigger canoes, dragon boats, surf skis, stand-up paddleboards, and regular canoes. A crappy day on the water is better than any day at work!
KERI M. -- Take my dog to the dog park.
JOHN S. -- Ride my bike.
JIM S. -- I like to work in the yard or go for a jog, but preferably where it's shady.
SANDYE V. -- I love to be in my garden -- "working" and just looking at it -- bike riding and swimming.
RICK T. -- Here in Florida I just sit outside on the porch swing and enjoy the day. Of course I do go to the beach too.
ERIK H. -- I love to go for a walk, then sit outside, following a day cooped up in the office.
Soccer interest made in Germany
While I watched BAYERN MÜNCHEN'S 7-0 demolition of F.C. BASEL in the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE on television last night, I recalled my introduction to televised soccer, all those years ago.
SOCCER MADE IN GERMANY was a weekly show on PBS that aired hour-long, edited highlights from the BUNDESLIGA, hosted by the play-by-play announcer TOBY CHARLES.
I watched it religiously, particularly during the 1977-78 season.
Bayern were uncharacteristically poor that season, finishing below mid-table in 12th.
Instead, the top of the table featured a battle between eventual winners 1.FC KÖLN and BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH.
I cheered for 'Gladbach as I watched highlights of their encounters with Eintract Frankfurt, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, Hamburger SV and the other exotic-sounding clubs that became household names, at least in my household.
The TV show helped spark an interest in the game that has endured for decades -- to the days when I can watch live matches from around the globe, not just a Germanic corner.
Subterranean memories of The Cure
THE CURE, Foo Fighters and Kasabian will headline this summer's Reading and Leeds festivals in Britain.
The Cure will be performing at Reading for the first time in 33 years.
The news brought back memories of underground sounds --literally -- for me.
Here's my Cure story.
My first work-study job in COLLEGE required that I sweep dust and debris from the subterranean pedestrian passages linking campus buildings.
The task earned me both an endearing nickname -- "TUNNELMAN" -- and an enduring appreciation for the music that accompanied my melancholy custodial work.
The Cure's double cassette, "CONCERT AND CURIOSITY," provided such accompaniment.
A combination of The Cure live in 1984 and band rarities from 1977-84, the cassette's music represented the lovably dreary Cure, not the lighthearted Cure of "Let's Go to Bed" or "The Love Cats."
It's woe-is-me vibe perfectly matched my mood while sweeping through the darkness of those tunnels.
Although the cassette has long since worn out, I can't bear to part with it. I haven't found the album on iTunes, either, so its music remains a cherished memory.
My Mick Taylor "Crusade" continues
If MICK TAYLOR is one of the unsung great British guitarists, it's through no fault of mine.
I sing his praises at every opportunity.
Today, I'm listening to one of the first pieces of evidence of Taylor's greatness.
"CRUSADE" by JOHN MAYALL'S BLUES BREAKERS marks Taylor's debut in the big time, as recounted in the liner notes of a reissue of the album:
"Ever shrewd and retaining that remarkable knack of finding unknown talent, Mayall decided to contact a teenager who'd once helped him out at a gig in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. For whatever reason, Clapton had not arrived that night and seeing his chance, the young man promptly informed our leader that he knew all the band's repertoire from their records and watching them live. With little choice Mayall had agreed, and was suitably impressed by the skill and maturity of the quiet natured aspirant. At the evening's end the guitarist disappeared leaving no contact number or address. John now searched in vain to re-locate him, finally resorting to an advertisement in the 'Melody Maker' music paper. It was seen; re-enter Mick Taylor."
It's a joy to hear the future ROLLING STONES guitarist showing off his electric blues chops at such an early stage on "Crusade."
Bulgaria has wild hamsters
I've been reading about BULGARIA in "THE LONELY PLANET GUIDE TO EASTERN EUROPE" and examining the country's soccer history on the excellent Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation website (find it here).
Here are three things I learned yesterday:
1. VARNA was established as Bulgaria's first seaside resort in 1921, but human settlement in the location on the BLACK SEA dates back 6,000 years.
2. The RUSENSKI LOM NATURE PARK is home to 172 species, including Egyptian vultures, wolves and HAMSTERS.
Hamsters as domesticated pets only emerged in the 1930s. Bulgaria is among the many countries that wild hamsters call home.
3. PLOVDIV in central Bulgaria (pictured) is home to two famous soccer clubs.
Black-and-yellow-striped BOTEV PLOVDIV won a pair of Bulgarian titles (1929 and 1967) and a pair of Bulgarian cups (1962 and 1981) but now reside in the country's second division.
Black-and-white-striped LOKOMOTIV PLOVDIV won the title in 2004 and have a trio of cup wins (1960, 1971 and 1982).
However, neither club matches the Sofia clubs for success.
Footy has me craving more from Down Under
Watching it made me crave seafood pie, VIOLET CRUMBLE and an ice-cold Toohey's. Too bad those things are all in AUSTRALIA and I am in DUBUQUE.
CANTERBURY beat ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA, 30-4, in a NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE match I watched on television this morning.
Josh Morris scored a first-half hat-trick of tries for the Bulldogs, who have been impressive in the first two games of the new season.
ANZ STADIUM hosted the match, which also made me nostalgic for my 2010 trip Down Under. I visited the former Olympic stadium located in SYDNEY'S western suburbs.
At least we have a hint of spring coming our way. If I cannot transport myself back to Australia, at least I can enjoy some better weather around here.
I know it's around here somewhere
Now, I know this week's FRIDAY QUESTION was around ROUTE 1 somewhere, but... Ah, here we go:
"What's an item you always seem to misplace?"
JOHN S. -- My keys.
KERI M. -- My phone.
SANDYE V. -- Pens. I have them everywhere -- purse, car, desks -- but at a crucial moment (phone call, interview), there never seems to be one (that works.)
JIM S. -- My glasses. I don't wear them at work; only for driving, going to movies, watching TV, etc. So I take them off when needing to look at something close up, set them down and walk away. It's a regular joke around my house.
BRIAN M. -- I don't seem to misplace these, but I always seem to leave cellphone chargers lying around. I now have one that I leave at home and one I specifically take with me on the road... and I still sometimes leave the "traveling" charger. In fact, it's on a plug-in more than 200 miles away as we speak. I just bought another one that recharges through the PC with a USB end.
SASKIA M. -- My keys.
RICK T. -- My glasses!
KERSTIN H. -- My glasses.
BEKAH P. -- Pens. I am always using them to journal, make lists, make notes in a good book, do homework, etc., but whenever I want to use one, I have to spend 5 minutes or so hunting one down. I've tried to designate "pen places," but I raid the stash, carry them off, and the search begins all over again!
STACEY B. -- My phone.
MIKE D. -- I must be getting old, because it's the car keys. Also, the TV remote, but I can blame that on the kids.
ERIK H. -- CDs! I always seem to be searching through a pile of CDs for just that one song that I *really* need to add to my iPod.
A little 10cc with my spring
The funny, catchy and memorable music of 10CC seemed like the perfect accompaniment to a SPRING thaw we experienced this week.
Writer Frank W. Hoffmann described the Manchester band as being "rivaled only by singer/songwriter Randy Newman as multilevel humorists -- spanning satire, black comedy, word play and nonsense verse."
"Within the rock music scene, 10cc also excelled within the realm of pure music: All members were consummate songwriters and studio producers both inside and outside the band," Hoffmann writes.
This musical ability elevates songs such as "RUBBER BULLETS" beyond the status of novelty tunes.
Inventive arrangements and melodic hooks sit side-by-side with funny lyrics in 10cc's canon.
The combination provides for sunny listening -- just the way to celebrate recent springlike days.
Anybody wanna go to Albania with me?
When my globe-trotting sister flew to ROMANIA recently, I did the next-best thing -- I "ARMCHAIR TRAVELED" across the former IRON CURTAIN.
I picked up "THE LONELY PLANET GUIDE TO EASTERN EUROPE."
After reading the Romanian chapter, I delved into the descriptions of neighboring MOLDOVA (including its oddly still-communist breakaway territory, the TRANS-DNIESTR).
Last night, I read about ALBANIA, and I decided that -- one of these days -- I would like to travel there.
My own globe-spanning adventures (London, Sydney, Mexico, Canada, er... Nevada) are unfortunately few and far between.
That's why I cherish books like the one I'm reading now.
Worldsoccerapalooza: It's coming Friday!
That's the year my WORLD SOCCER subscription began. It has continued every year and I have even managed to keep every issue I have received.
Well, like I have patiently explained to concerned family members: Occasionally, I like to haul out my tote of World Soccer magazines and dip into the archives of results, club features, player profiles and all the other items from all corners of the globe.
I like to call the endeavor "WORLDSOCCERAPALOOZA" and I plan to partake it the event my next day off -- Friday.
I can't wait. I have 17 years of soccer information to spend the day with me.
Remembering Ronnie Montrose
RONNIE MONTROSE was always a "guitarist's guitarist" -- a musician better regarded by his peers than the public at large.
Montrose died this past weekend, age 64, of prostate cancer.
The first paying gig I ever saw was Montrose at the CONCORD PAVILION.
When I told my guitar-playing cousin about the show immediately after the gig, I remember my astonishment when he regaled me with Montrose's living legacy.
As I said, Montrose's stature among his fellow guitarists was staggering.
He played for Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and Edgar Winter -- that's Ronnie on "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride" -- before forming his own band, named MONTROSE, in 1972.
This combo's sound helped pave the way for California hard rock to come -- it helped having young SAMMY HAGAR on lead vocals.
Rock writer Eddie Trunk tells how Montrose the band has been cited "as a blueprint for Van Halen's early recordings."
"Montrose has become a landmark for many hard rock and metal artists. Montrose has inspired bands like Iron Maiden," Trunk writes.
Ronnie continued in the music business after the demise of his self-named band, playing until shortly before his death.
His legacy has always loomed large over other musicians, and that will continue, too.
Makems and Geordies produce classic derby
Here are 10 things that made today's TYNE-WEAR DERBY -- a 1-1 draw between NEWCASTLE and SUNDERLAND -- a true derby.
An early rash challenge and yellow card to set the tone.
Visiting team scores first via a disputed and/or "soft" penalty.
Eruption of pushing and shoving by players.
Numerous, dubious calls for penalties.
Legitimate penalty for home side. Kick saved.
Opposing managers barking at each other on the touchline.
Eight yellow cards.
Supporters' undisguised hatred for opposing fans.
Ridiculously late equaliser by home side.
If it's Canterbury, our dog is definitely watching
Our dog RORY doesn't watch much television, but she actually did pay attention this morning.
The visiting CANTERBURY BULLDOGS defeated the PENRITH PANTHERS, 22-14, in the season's first NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE game for each club.
I guess Rory just feels a natural affinity for Bulldogs.
Ben Barba, Josh Morris, Bryson Goodwin and Josh Reynolds scored tries for Canterbury, who were outplayed by Penrith for much of the game. The Dogs' play improved in the second half, just as Penrith's fortunes dipped.
The Panthers lost two players to injuries, wings Michael Gordon and David Simmons.
Gordon's loss could be profound. Penrith's star player suffered a suspected broken leg in the game (yet walked off the field -- a sign of the toughness of rugby league players).
I was thrilled to be able to watch NRL on American television. Last season, our only option was listening to games on the radio.
I do love listening to rugby league on the radio, but it is a treat to see some on TV, too.
Our dog appears to agree -- as long as we're watching her Canterbury Bulldogs.
Singing along with Friday Question
La-la-la-la-la-la-laaaaa -- cough! cough! cough! -- laaaa!!!
Sorry. Singing along to something this early morning.
Sometimes you just can't help singing along, as ROUTE 1 readers reveal by answering this week's FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What song do you unashamedly sing along with whenever you hear it?"
JOHN S. -- "What it Takes" by Aerosmith
KERSTIN H. -- Anything Culture Club... They are amaze-balls!
RICK T. -- Any and all OLD country music songs.
BRIAN M. -- "Rock Bottom" by UFO. I JUST discovered this song, and the riff is just soaked into my head and I hear Phil Mogg singing "17, Nature's queen..."
ANNIKA H. -- "Drinkin' Bone."
JIM S. -- Too many to list (and I'd call it more like screaming than singing), but here are a few: "Two Tickets to Paradise," by Eddie Money; "867-5309 (Jenny, Jenny)," by Tommy Tutone; "Shattered," by The Rolling Stones; "Should I Stay or Should I Go," by The Clash; and "Love Shack," by the B-52s.
KERI M. -- "Baby" by Beiber. Thankfully, I don't hear it a lot.
ERIK H. -- "Somebody to Love" by Queen. "Can anybody fiiiiind meeeee, somebody tooooo... luhhhhhv!"
Davy Jones' legacy: Fun and warmth as well as music
Here is how the legacy of DAVY JONES struck me.
I was typing the news of the death of the MONKEES' star for a NEWSPAPER website post yesterday afternoon when "DAYDREAM BELIEVER" began emerging from my subconscious.
I began humming the song while writing. In my mind, it wasn't only the song that was "playing" in my head. It was the sparkling eyes and warm smile of the singer that seemed projected.
The extent to which the Monkees were a manufactured act -- one for which session players provided the true musical involvement -- seems particularly irrelevant to those of us who grew up watching and hearing them.
Their signature will always be one of laughter and warmth -- the aura of good times and friendship that seemed to accompany "Daydream Believer" while it played in my head as I typed.