Some of us remember them. They had solid color or psychedelic backgrounds. Most were found at geocities.com or angelfire.com. Some of them played midi files and had animated .gifs of peace signs, hippies, a whole lot of buttons that proclaimed things like "NezScape" and "Best Viewed with a Monkee." They used comic sans font in all different colors and used photos straight from monkees.net that were approved by Rhino Records.
They were the original Monkees fansites on the world wide web. Old school Monkees fansites were made between 1996-2000 and can be divided into two groups: those made by older generation fans that had been chatting on the newgroups alt.music.monkees since the mid-90s, and the third generation fans that were around my age (14-18) in the late 90s. Although the sites made by the older fans (Auntie Grizelda's Page, Monkees.net, etc.) were very interesting (as was the discussion at a.m.m), I was more intrigued by the fansites made by younger people; the sites that had loads of photos, fan fiction, interesting layouts (for the times), a sometimes snarky attitude, and were definitely from a younger perspective.
But before we talk about these, I'll give you a brief run-down of my history on the dear old world wide web. I first made a website in 1998 on aol. I don't remember what it was called. It might of had the world "Groovy" in the title (hey, I was a hippie back in the day....) It was about music in general. I think I tried to block it out of my mind. After that, I made a Beatles site in 1998 called "The Beatles Domain." It was on angelfire.com. I found some of the old content. How precious. Keep in mind I was 14 or 15 at the time. Around that time, I was just getting into the Monkees, so I made a website called "The Birds, The Bees and the Monkees" on fortunecity. A lot of the content that you see on Psycho Jello was on that site as well, and I soon changed the name to Psycho Jello in 1999. Here's a blast from the past. Around the same time, I also had a music site called ZILCH which is pretty lame. I can't believe I used to say groovy so much. But my Monkees and Beatles sites were my babies.
When I first started my Monkees website, it was 1999 and the online Monkees community was huge and very vocal. Alt.Music.Monkees had been kicking since the early 1990s (when Nez himself used to post there), Monkees.net was the "official" site, the Monkees Mailing List was always hopping and the Monkees themselves had recently reunited for JUSTUS, toured with Nez, and there was a whole new generation of fans on this whole new contraption called the internet.
Early Monkees fansites, as I mentioned earlier, generally looked like this or this. They had a lot going on; graphics, backgrounds, animated stuff, midi files, etc.) Early Monkee fansites are generally characterized by the following:
- -A longwinded name that generally uses some sort of Monkees inside joke. (ie: "Sleepy Jean's Daily Nightly", "Washy's Groovy Lil Page", "Can You Dig It?", Nezgirl's Shrine of Monkees Grooviness", "Rows of Monkeesites", "The Frodis Room", etc.)
- -Typically found on geocities, angelfire, or tripod and contained loads of pop-up ads and took forever to load.
- -Color!!! Crazy psychedelic backgrounds, colored font, font that moved, comic sans font, a Monkees red guitar icon somewhere on the page.
- -Buttons galore. Webrings galore. Awards from other Monkees sites that were OH SO IMPORTANT.
- -A links page that was titled "MISSING LINKS (or LINX)"
- -A page called "HOW TO TELL IF YOU'RE MONKEES OBSESSED!"
- -Usage of the word "psychedelic", "groovy" (everyone used this word A LOT), "save the texas prairie chicken", "phantasmagoric", "nezaholic", "dolenzkateer", "dig", "gleeb".
- -A fanfic section
- -pop up windows that when you entered the site, said stuff like "Hi, welcome to my shrine of groovyness and Monkeedom. Come inside!" that you had to click to enter the site.
- -Things you've adopted. Virtual pets, Fluffballs and whatnot. Some of us remember this trend.
- -Pleas to Nick at Nite and VH1 to "PUT THE MONKEES BACK ON TV!!!"
Those were the glory days. If you were not lucky to be old enough to remember this, you missed out. Back then there were literally over 300 Monkees fansites, and most were updated on a regular basis. This was between 1998-2002. If you look at Washy's Links Page you can see she had listed about 220 Monkees Fansites. While most of them were amusing, there were some Monkees Fansites that stood above the rest. These sites were the most original, contained the best content, had the best graphics and layouts, contained a SENSE OF HUMOR AND FUN, and were generally worshipped by all of us Monkees fansite owners. They were:
- The Monkees Pad. I literally would spend hours here, reading everyone's dreams and stories, participating in the Round Robin section. It was run by a lady named dobalina (or dob*) and it was definitely the biggest and bestest Monkees Fansite on the web. You should go and read the Storybook section, its all still intact. Dob* had the most amazing photo gallery too, and a Monty Landis tribute section.
- Monkeedom. This site was around before mine and was run by a girl named Katie. It later moved to gleeb.com, with two other fantastic fan sites (PVS and It's a Monkees Timewarp). Katie was amazing with layouts and graphics and had a lot of good photos and a sense of humor. I wish some of her site still existed. I remember when she first signed my guestbook at "BBM" I felt so honored. I definitely looked up to her.
- Bailey & Andrea's Monkees Obsession Page. This site probably influenced Psycho Jello the most. Bailey & Andrea were my age and from Canada, I remember. They were totally hilarious and crude, made fun of the wives and had a large collection of Monkee Wives photos. I am so sad none of their site is online because I can't remember some of the sections, but it was genius. I think they had an advice column. I can't remember what else.
- Washburn's Groovy Lil Pad. I just remember Washy had the largest collection of links and everyone thought she was really nice.
- Kokani's Temple of Dolenz. Back in the day, I was a Micky fan and this was the best Micky fansite. Everyone used to love this site, I remember.
- Madame Spy's Top Secret Files. This was a part of dob*'s site, but it was an awesome episode guide to The Monkees. Very creative and very funny.
I'm sure there were more, these are the ones that I remember being very inspired by. It's sad today that there are so few Monkees fansites. I don't know if I would blame it on the Monkees lack of popularity, because honestly, I still get a lot of hits on this site. I honestly think that livejournal and myspace have really decreased the creativity on the internet, especially for fansites. Back in the late 1990s, you signed people's guestbooks, joined their mailing lists, filled out their surveys, and joined webrings. Now, people just log into myspace and livejournal where they don't have to code their own HTML or make graphics or design content. It makes me sad.
The Monkees fansites of the late 90s look cheesy in 2007, but back then, the internet was so new and there were no rules. No one knew what they were doing, they just wanted to share their love of the Monkees with everyone; they wanted to be creative, write stories, draw artwork, dig up old photos and information that could suddenly be seen by anyone all over the world. It was a great time for the internet and for Monkees fans in general.
Thanks for reading this and remembering the good old days, and feel free to e-mail me or leave comments about your memories of the old school Monkees fans and fansites.
[ glory days ]