Realization of a Charmed Life

Randi with Peter Tork and the Dashboard Saints 1989-ish

I was going through some old photos the other day and ran across this one….another example of dreams coming true.

At the time, Diane and I were living in Venice, California..I was trying to write a book.  It started out being just something about ’60s pre-fab groups but quickly evolved into “Daydream Believers,” the working title for a book about The Monkees.

Why?  First off, because I’m a fan.  Always have been one and will always be one…and why not?
Great music, great t.v. show and just plain fun.  When they first came out, the whole world was going crazy….they just gave it a laugh track.

Anyway, we started by doing tons of research….we scoured the libraries, record companies and memorabilia shops on Sunset Boulevard, got names and interviewed people. That’s when we heard about the conventions.
Thus began the Rock n Roll portion of our lives.  We attended a convention, all the research on little index cards and note pads full of questions.  We met a lot of people and eventually formed the Monkees Press Club, dedicated to archiving and enjoying The Monkees.

The newsletter, Press Club News, went international and for about eight years we were doing that full time…when not working to keep the rent and bills paid.  This meant traveling to the various cities where major conventions were held; Philadelphia, Chicago and of course Hollywood.  There were others, like the one we attended in Pennsauken, NJ,   that were small by comparison but gave the opportunity to visit our families.

What started out being just a bunch of like-minded collectors and enthusiasts turned into a well oiled machine of people capable of helping out at these conventions and even operating as extra security for the band when needed.  Folks got the idea that the Monkees Press Club wasn’t your every day, ordinary gang of screaming fans, we were there for what really counted.  And if help was what was needed, there we were. Being reliable and responsible gave us tremendous access, and we never abused it.

Anyway, one of my secret, not even spoken of loudly-type dreams was to jam with Peter Tork.  It wasn’t something I thought about every day, mind you…hardly ever crossed my mind actually.  In truth, I thought it would be inappropriate to use any professional access to my own advantage. So I never pressed the issue.

But one night, he and his “other” band, the Dashboard Saints, were playing at 19 Broadway in Fairfax California.  Diane and I naturally attended the show to report for Press Club News, plus we knew our Northern California friends were going to be there.

In between sets, we were all standing outside 19 Broadway for a smoke.  We were all kind of laughing and joking and singing and my big mouth got noticed.  When we got back inside, Peter came over to me and asked me to sing a number with the band. 

After a couple of ideas, we decided on “Stormy Monday.”  It was kind of thrilling, really. Tork played harmonica and I just kind of wailed along with the band. There’s even a recording of it around somewhere.

So for today, Fifty Five Is The New Realization of a Charmed Life….looking back, I’ve had one, and am eternally grateful!

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