Roadie #42 - Blog #678 February 2009 8:31 am#42 and the London Monkees
Well, it would appear we've brought the weather with us. As we sped up the freeway tonight to the hotel, the heavens opened. Los Angeles is far better at clear blue and hot - but it's certainly demonstrated the breadth of its repertoire today. Perhaps the British-style downpours are a good omen for the Grammys? Let's hope so, eh?
But the Grammy Awards aren't until Sunday. We've come out early for a show next door in honour of Neil Diamond. Now if the mere mention of this guy's name doesn't set you involuntarily singing at least a couple of tunes to yourself then you're missing out.
One of the songs you might be singing is I'm A Believer. Made famous by the Monkees, it was written by Mr Diamond. This is the tune that the fellas are doing tonight. The show is a charity event and takes place before a huge roomful of diners. Both the relaxed nature of the show and the kooky-ness of the track mean that the fellas have taken a sharp left turn some distance before the signpost marked "slick". It's supposed to be fun and they're treating it exactly thus.
They soundcheck with a somewhat hilariously shambolic run through the track. Will and Jonny have acoustic guitars, Guy is tambourine-ing like a demon and Chris has the cheapest nastiest home keyboard we could find. It's chaotic, silly and completely wonderful. Words get lost along the way, but it all comes together on the "Woooooh! - I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her if I tried" and the guitar riff. Hell - it'll be fine...
Come showtime, they bound on, Chris opening with the line "Hello, we're Neil and the Diamonds and we're from London, England". They dive into it and it all falls into place. The crowd - or at least those who've been paying more attention to the wine waiters than their Blackberrys - join in enthusiastically for the refrain.
I reckon they played a blinder. Good to know, I guess, that if the pop stardom ever wanes, they can still earn a good living as a Monkees cover band - available for functions nightly.... ;-)