A reader writes:

I assume you're not a fan of the Monkees, but I'd hazard to guess that you're largely unfamiliar with their canon and their place in pop music history. I'll leave it up to you to do the research if you're curious, but suffice to say, the Monkees were essentially a repository and an opportunity for some of our greatest pop songwriters of the 1960s (Goffin/King, Sedaka, Diamond, Nillson, etc.), not to mention a result of some of LA's best players (you've heard of the Wrecking Crew?).

In contrast, Kid Rock, while respectfully and sincerely representing Michigan and a midwestern working-class sensibility, is a lousy singer and rapper, and mediocre pop star. He's mostly a good-willed representative of Rock for the Reality TV era.

I love the Monkees and grew up on them, including a pubescent crush on Peter Tork. More on the Monkees' "impact and legacy":

They found unlikely fans among musicians of the punk rock period of the mid-1970s. Many of these punk performers had grown up on TV reruns of the series, and sympathized with the anti-industry, anti-Establishment trend of their career. Sex Pistols and Minor Threat both recorded versions of "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" and it was often played live by Toy Love. The Japanese new wave pop group The Plastics recorded a synthesizer and drum-machine version of "Last Train to Clarksville" for their 1979 album Welcome Plastics.

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