Earlier this week, I found out, on the same day, of the passing of two big influences on my creativity. I found out about Anne Rice first, during my morning Facebook browse, and then, a little later, Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Both of those hit me, but in different ways.
I first discovered Anne Rice when I stumbled upon Interview With the Vampire, movie version, maybe a half hour in, on a random FB browse. I sat there rapt until the end, immediately sought out the book, then The Vampire Lestat, and hunted down more information on Anne Rice, who had created them. Of course Interview was about grief, and man oh man did she nail it. Not so much the vampire part, surprisingly, but her historical atmosphere so real that it dripped with the Old New Orleans feel. I was actually more of a Louis gal than a Lestat one, but that’s okay. What stuck with me most wasn’t the actual vampires, but the feelings that came along with it. I don’t remember when I wandered away from the franchise. Maybe before Egypt came fully into play, and maybe I will one day go back and read it all.
What I absolutely had to know was the author’s relationship with the Lestat character. I remember reading in some nonficiton book or article or even paper (yes, I tracked down an academic paper) where the author knew the exact moment Lestast left her, and I could see it, feel it, along with her. I also remember reading at a later date of the moment when Lestat came back, and I felt that, too. It’s a special relationship between author and character.
And then (hey hey) there’s the Monkees. We were born the same year (me and the group, that is; the original people were young adults.) All I knew at the time I discovered them in the early 70’s, when their TV show was in reruns, was they were silly and funny and I liked their music. I wasn’t sure where their parents were until I figured out they were adults and performing was their job. Oh, like The Partridge Family, but adults. Okay. Once again (or really before, since I found The Monkees before Lestat and company) I was more of a Davy gal than a Mike one, but I can say that Michael Nesmith was an amazing songwriter, and I have fond memories of watching his special, “Television Parts” which only addressed Monkee-dom with “I was a Monkee. This is my hat,” and then on with the show. I can respect that.
When the Monkees reunion in the 80s happened, I was in ult, and while disappointed that Mike wasn’t going to be part of it, I also understood. As a newly minted adult myself, he wanted to do other things. Cool. I still love Pool It, the Micky/Davy/Peter comeback album. They still had it. The earlier losses of Davy Jones and Peter Tork also hit me. I appreciate all of their work and am thankful for the legacies they left. I watched a clip from one of their last performances, attached to an official statement from Micky Dolenz, possibly their last time performing “Me and Magdalena,” which I adore, from their first release after Davy’s passing.
Maybe it was even the last time Mike and Micky performed it. This was advertised as The Monkees Farewell Tour, the Micky and Mike show. Micky described Mike as “frail” near the end, and yes, I saw it. I also saw what Micky said about Mike insisting on doing the tour, no matter what anyone else said. Micky carried more of the load than usual there, but Mike gave it all he could, and it showed. I can one thousand percent respect that.
There’s definitely part of both of their works in the writing I have done and am doing and will do. Just remembering for right now, thankful for what they gave us in more ways than they knew.
What celebrity’s work would you like to celebrate this week?