By Jim Fusco:
Hello and welcome to a Valentine’s Day edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco! Tonight, I bring you a great song by the Monkees in “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?”. I’ve always loved this song, especially because of the great country-rock spin that Mike Nesmith put on it. I was a little disappointed, though, to find out that he didn’t write it. All these years I thought he did!
This is the final leftover video from last year’s recording sessions. So, I guess it now means that I’m going to have to record some new videos this year! I have a ton of ideas, it’s just about getting the time set aside to record them. My ambition is growing, so that’s always a good thing!
I’ve always loved the songs that Mike Nesmith sang for the Monkees. He is very similar to Gene Clark (of the Byrds) to me. Nesmith was the first one who stopped touring with the Monkees, just like Clark. And on future reunions, both Nesmith and Clark were the “flaky” ones that gave up on the projects before everyone else. Their style of singing and musical styles are very similar, as well. I consider them both pioneers in the “Southern Rock” category. I think the most important similarity between the two musicians was their lack of recognition. As everyone knows, the Monkees have never gotten the respect they deserved. Everyone always just considered them a vocal band that did songs other people wrote. That might have been true for a period of time, but it wasn’t necessarily their choice. On albums like ‘Headquarters”, the members of the Monkees played almost all of the instruments. And, Mike Nesmith was a very accomplished songwriter. His song, “You Just May Be The One” is one of my Top 5 songs of all time! And, Gene Clark, as great as he was, was never given the recognition he deserved, either. He truly was one of the best rock songwriters of all time, claiming another one of my Top 5 favorite songs in “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better”.
I think a main difference between Michael Nesmith and Gene Clark is how they went about dealing with their fame and lack of recognition. Nesmith kind of receded into the background and many people didn’t hear much from him for a long time. Gene Clark, however, kept pushing on, but let the disappointment he felt from not regaining his Byrds popularity get to him. Nesmith is still around, playing the occasional tour and Gene Clark has been gone for about 20 years now.
One frustrating thing about Nesmith is that he didn’t go on the reunion tour with the Monkees while Davy Jones was still alive. And now that Davy is gone, Nesmith decided to go back on tour with the other two guys! I really wish he could’ve had some more foresight and went out with the whole original group in tact. Now, I’ll never get to see all four together.
I hope you enjoy today’s acoustic cover version of “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round” by the Monkees here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog. Stay tuned, because we have many more Guest Sessions and future new Laptop Sessions cover videos with me, Jim Fusco!