Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Useless List - Me and Magdalena

My brother is much older than I am, and so, growing up, his influence was that of an adult. Because of him I was able to participate in a world of grown-ups that wasn't ordinarily the realm of an 11-year-old; places like Wallichs Music City at 3am in one of the record store's listening booths. (I remember specifically the Three Dog Night album One.) As my mother was busy gallivanting around, I'd spend time with him in all-night coffee shops and just driving around the Valley.

He worked as a short order cook at the Sambo's on Ventura Blvd. and one Christmas, I'd say 1969 or so, he played Sambo in the Ventura Blvd. Christmas Parade. I was instructed to stand at the lamppost in front of the restaurant and "don’t move." I sat at the curb and watched as the marching bands and make-shift floats passed by on a balmy L.A. night and then I looked up to find Mickey Dolenz standing next to me. He looked down, smiled and said something, but I was unable to utter a word.

They say not to meet your heroes, and yet the sentiment there, I believe, is in retrospect, and having played the remarkable single, and my favorite from 2016, "Me and Magdalena" by The Monkees, Mike and Mickey to be specific, I'm struggling with the thought of getting the meet and greet tix for the upcoming Monkee shows. My Mickey is still banging on a tympani in the "Randy Scouse Git" video; or looking down at me at the Studio City Christmas Parade.

But I can't stop listening to "Me and Magdalena" (I'm sure you have your fleeting obsessions as well – those songs you just listen to over and over). I don't live in L.A. anymore, and I am well-aware that the L.A. of my youth is gone, like the gas stations and landmarks that adorn this post, but I have to add to my "useless list" (it's a bucket list of really stupid things): I'd like to drive around L.A. with the top down and this song playing.

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