The Songs of Summer #30: ‘The Door into Summer’ by The Monkees
The Monkees always got a bum rap as a fake, prefabricated band…And that’s a shame. It’s true, the four fellas comprising the group (Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith, and Davy Jones) were hired to portray a fictitious pop band a la The Beatles for a TV show. This is true.
But The Monkees really were a real band. At first, the show’s producers gave them very little control of the music, which was written by outsider songwriters and performed by studio musicians, with the band supplying only the singing. But, luckily for us, the four stuck together and put their collective feet down to have more say in the music: performing and writing. The results of all of this, the hit TV show, the very talented songwriters (including Goffin/King, Neil Diamond, and Boyce & Hart), and the band’s musical talents, resulted in some of the very finest pop music of the late 60’s. The finest pop music of any era, really. So many great, great songs. Including this one, this Song of Summer…’The Door into Summer.‘
‘The Door into Summer‘ is the third track on side 1 of The Monkees’ third album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd.‘, released at the tail end of 1967. It was during this period that the band members started having more control over their music, and played some (but not all) of the music on the album. They also did some of the writing for the album, although this particular track, one of five on the record sung by Michael Nesmith, was written by Chip Douglas & Bill Martin.
Despite its title, ‘The Door into Summer‘ isn’t really about the summer. It’s lyrics are about searching, and about opportunities not taken. Pretty deep….Deeper than most ‘fun in the sun’ songs, but we’re all searching for an elusive something, and despite our best efforts, there will always be opportunities we wish we would’ve not passed up, that road not taken.
With his travel logs of ‘maybe next year’ places
As a trade-in for a name upon the door
And he pays for every year he cannot buy back with his tears
As he finds out there’s been no one keeping score…’
Summer, with its long days, can be a good time to look inward, to examine our lives, to take stock of where we’re at… Don’t work yourself to death this summer. Take that time off, if you have it. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Spend time with friends and family. Don’t miss out. You’ll regret it later.
That’s kind of what I take away from this song. That, and an unbelievably catchy melody.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear one of The Monkees’ lesser known, but one of their best, tunes: