Friday, February 8, 2013
Rant #901: "Don't Do It" ... Well, He Did
Looking outside now, it must be the calm before the storm, because it seems to be pretty still out.
As you probably know, the Northeast is supposed to get a major snowstorm later today.
Everybody seemed to be out and about yesterday evening as I was coming home from work, and the gas stations looked like they did post-Hurricane Sandy: lines, lots of honking cars, and everybody in a rush to fill up, as if the apocalypse was coming, not simply a snowstorm.
So how do I put everything in perspective while others are going out of their minds?
I listen to music from my music collection, and I have a good one to talk about today.
In the late 1950s, there was a kids' show on television, "Circus Boy," that was very popular.
It involved a little puff of a kid named Corky who was an orphan and trailed around with the circus, and all the adventures he had while doing that.
No, none of the adventures involved picking up after elephants, but the show made its star, Micky Braddock, a big kid star for a year or two.
When the show went off the air, that was that for this kid. He worked here and there, but he basically went back to being a real kid while his parents worked.
Of course, he couldn't be a real kid, because he lived in Beverly Hills and his dad was a well-known character actor by the name of George Dolenz.
Micky was never that far from show business because of this connection, but he gravitated toward music rather than acting per se.
He was in several garage bands in the mid-1960s, including a band by the name of the Missing Links, and he recorded a couple of single sides that went nowhere but into a vault somewhere.
Of course, this band name foreshadowed something major that happened to him in 1965. He went on an audition for a network TV show and got the part, and the rest is history.
Micky Braddock took his real last name, Dolenz, and so began his Monkees career.
But what happened to those sides he recorded when he was a virtual nobody?
Challenge Records got a hold of them, and released them as Micky Dolenz singles during the height of Monkeemania.
Two sides were released--"Don't Do It" and "Huff Puff"--and the former actually charted, reaching No. 75 on the charts in March 1967.
This often happens to singers who seemingly come out of nowhere and become big starts overnight. They all have recorded before, and some enterprising record company gets the masters and releases the music at the height of the performer's popularity.
It even happened with the Beatles and the music of theirs that was released on Vee-Jay Records after they became huge over here with their music on Capitol Records.
Anyway, "Don't Do It" really isn't that bad a song. It is sort of a slightly manipulated "Louie, Louie" clone, with Micky doing his best with lyrics like, "Don't do it, why don't you do it, don't do it, why don't you do it, don't do it, why don't you do it to me" or something like that if I recall them correctly.
His vocals aren't as smooth as they became during his time with the Monkees, but he gives it a real good try. And as I said, the song really isn't that terrible, so he gets an A for effort on a song that really is nothing more than a C+ at best.
Whatever the case, the release, and the other one that didn't chart (which I also have in my collection) show a future star doing the best with what he was given to do.
After the Monkees, Dolenz recorded numerous singles, none with any success, and he records to this day, recently releasing an album called "Remember," where he covers numerous tunes, including reworking some Monkees material.
But "Don't Do It" was what it was, a lame attempt by a record company to cash in on a perfomer's newly found fame. It is an el cheapo product all the way, from the cheesy picture sleeve to the B side, which was an instrumental and had nothing to do with Dolenz.
Funny thing is that this song refuses to go away. Several years ago, the song was actually re-released in a "disco-type" version.
But listen to it as it was released, and I think you will agree with me that while it doesn't show Micky at his best, he has done much, much worse than this record in his nearly 50-year recording career.
Speak to you on Monday. Here comes the storm!
Posted by Larry at 2:14 AM