Dropped just shy of a month prior, television’s favorite fake band that clearly wanted to be The Beatles, The Monkees ripped a hole in the pop-culture continuum with their very real Billboard-charting hit on this day in 1966.
Titled “Last Train to Clarksville,” it’s basically “Paperback Writer,” inverted to lace a tale about love. Or whatever the “last train to Clarksville” could turn into for a young couple, rather, before one of them takes off the next morning. Date of return — unknown. But there will be “time for coffee flavored kisses and a bit of conversation,” so says its narrator.
Why this matters: the ball started rolling for The Monkees here, as songwriting team Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart incited legit artistry ambitions by their real-life Monkees personalities. And America ate it up. Call it a stepping stone to American Idol, if you will:
Take the last train to Clarksville,
And I’ll meet you at the station.
You can be be there by 4:30,
‘Cause I made your reservation.
Don’t be slow, oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!