No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?
Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.
"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
Even before (and well after) Larry White moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to
manage the career of The Monkees’ Davy Jones, fun ensued.
There was the time they tipped a golf cart at Joe DiMaggio’s charity tournament.
There were the times they hung out with fellow Monkee Micky Dolenz, Harry Nilsson and Alice Cooper in Los Angeles.
There was the time White’s 1971 Chevy Malibu SS ran out of gas by the San Francisco International Airport, so Jones belted a particularly loud rendition of The Beatles’ “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” as the police stopped to help them.
And then there was the time when a fan from Tokyo followed Jones home.
“I’ll never forget, we were at the LAX baggage claim when Davy came up to me and said, ‘Larry, we have a problem,’” White said, recalling two weeklong Monkees tours in the mid-’70s of Japan, a country whose Monkees fans made America’s Beatlemaniacs look apathetic. “There was a 15-year-old girl from Tokyo with a suitcase there. She’d bought a ticket and followed Davy to America.”
White said they secured the fan safe passage home a few days later, after they notified her parents, a feat complicated by the girl’s lack of English. It’s just one of the scores of stories he’s shared with friends, reporters and Jones’ family since the beloved entertainer died Feb. 29 of a heart attack. Jones was 66.
Jones’ last public performance was Feb. 19 at Thackerville’s WinStar World Casino.
“He was my best friend,” said White, who met Jones in 1968. “He had a memory for jokes like anybody. He could’ve been a stand-up comic, and he kind of was.”
In the wake of Jones’ passing, White confirmed what those who’d only listened to Monkees albums or had seen him play Oliver!’s Artful Dodger in a Tony-nominated turn on Broadway could guess.
“[The public’s] image is that he’s a nice, lovable, funny guy and he was,” said White, who lives in Tulsa, where he manages bluegrass duo Desi and Cody. “I miss him a lot.”