Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Randy Scouse Git" - The Monkees (1968)

This is one of those songs that sometimes nag at your memory. You can almost hear it but not quite. I was trolling through the You Tube garden and ran across a title I didn’t recognize; which is this record. That was weird, because I remember the song completely. Just never stored the title I suppose.

The real reason I probably remember this song is because of the backstory to it; which involved The Beatles, who had thrown a party welcoming the Monkees to London in May 1967. This was the same time frame as the Mick Jagger/Keith Richards “Redlands” bust. I remember the news saying stuff like “but the American pop group The Monkees have stayed out of trouble while in London.”
Micky Dolnez came up with the title while watching the BBC show Til Death Do Us Part”; which was the precursor to our American series “All In the Family.” In this show the main character was a guy named  Alf Garnett who spent much of the shows insulting his son-in-law from Liverpool and calling him a “scouse”; which is is kind of a nasty term. Anyway, it made an impression on Dolnez; enough that he wrote his first song about it. That’s some powerful TV!

The Beatles threw a party at the Speakeasy; a popular London nightclub of the day. The song is really about the people at the party. From the opening line of “She’s a wonderful lady, but she’s mine…” it alludes to the people they met that night. The “wonderful lady” is Mama Cass Elliot; while “the four kings of EMI” are The Beatles themselves. The “disc  girl” is Samantha Juste, who later became Micky Dlonez’ wife. It’s interesting to note that this is kind of the same way in which Don McClean wrote “American Pie” about 4 years later.

This song was never released as a single; only on the album. The Monkees; as was the practice with most groups at the time; released several singles which were not on the LP’s; like “D.W. Washburn”, which was a favorite of mine.

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