Originally released in 1973 on RCA records










Magnetic South
Loose Salute
Nevada Fighter
Tantamount
And the Hits...
Ranch Stash
The Prison
Radio Engine
Infinite Rider
The Newer Stuff
The Older Stuff
Tropical Campfires
Rays
Complete
The Garden
Solo 63-66
Monkees
Soundtracks


Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash

The point just may be that it doesn't make any difference... This is my sixth album since the whole Monkees trip went down, and I think I'm beginning to finally understand that it doesn't make any difference at all. It's because of the framework... Once that superstructure is built, it's very difficult to get past it and into substance... the framework that it's all relative to. Mine has been built on logic, which is probably one of the subtlest traps going... that whole 2+2 trip... the logical development that leads to fear of anything outside itself... "If it doesn't compute, man, then it can't be good." How many times have I told myself that? And if there was never anything there to base everything on, then it was instant dip-into-the-past time... Pull out some obscure, meaningless piece of a foundation, and use it to prop things up. Music was always the gum in those works... All that thinking went to hell when the music came. I'd be sitting around, immersed in this bubble-bath serenity of having figured something out... put right into its nice little orderly spot, and then - WHAMO - I've got to deal with music... no reason... no basis other than just its purest expression. And it always came right out of left field... tapping me on the shoulder. There was a long period of time when I used to respond very positively... or at least it seemed positive at the time... by being super- responsible... really getting out and putting everything together behind it. Lots of study and quiet muse. Communion of some sorts. I never could understand why, just about the time I would get it together, all of a sudden the whole thing would vanish... just disappear... leaving me exactly where it found me... peering out from a column of numbers. Looking for the 6 that followed the 5 that followed the... Finally I bailed. Just packed it in. No more fuss. Simple. That's when it began to take on a whole different complexion. It began to be its own thing... have its own identity. Instead of shadows dancing on the wall, it became an old friend, always greeted with a warm embrace and a certain casualness that wasn't usually a part of it. Me and the music ...we began to talk... Hey, man, how you doin'...? You O.K.? What you been up to... that kind of talk. Pal talk. Trouble was, I wasn't sure how much I liked this new guy that walked in... I couldn't put my finger on it... maybe that was the problem ... The music was just the music. Not really earthshattering, mind- blowing, brilliant... none of that. Just music. This whole album was one of those conversations me and the music had. Don't get fooled by the lyrics... Lyrics aren't really the communicative part... Lyrics are just the logical part for people who are into that... Seem to always be there, the lyrics... but they aren't really the meat. The real stuff is what makes it different from a fire bell, or an air- conditioner hum, or sleep, or whatever ... bust down the framework, the incarnation, and it is still music... Urging one on to places only hinted at ... no ending, no beginning... so you can really see past the car payment, and the laundry, and the other paper claims. I'm not that good about paying attention yet. Fortunately, there is the band. Six or seven people conversing within a medium unlike any other... Pushing at the walls all the time... trying to break the barriers of harmony and melody... examining that other dimension beyond the senses that peeks out from the cracks through the plain musicalness of it all. We'd be playing along... wandering in and out, and someone would shout, "hey, look over here, man; check out the color; dig the texture." Taking only a piece at a time... and finally realizing that each piece was not part of a puzzle... but that each piece was all there was... Each one was whole... and uniquely different from the other ... And based around the oneness was the music. It really freaked me out a little. I kept waiting for the song which would correct our foreign problems with Paraguay, cure cancer, or make everybody dress and talk like me. Instead I got love songs... I love you, loved you, will love you, was to have loved you, maybe won't love you... Couple a nice country tunes. I was sure this would be the album that would catapult me right up there with Dylan and Cole Porter... or at least right in there with the ethnomusicologists saying things about my beautiful poetry, sensitivity... intensely personal, blah, blah, blah. Nope... just music... and an expression of the joy... pure exuberance at having encountered it. What fun... what a total gas to have such an experience, and what peace when I finally realized that it didn't make any difference... Of course there was always the why... I was always a good one for that... Yeah, I can see it man; I can observe the phenomena as well as the next... but why...? I mean there must be a reason. A reason. What the hell is a reason... a goal, an achieved end... that point in logic that will accept at least the existence of music. Very dangerous, this whole point... good excuse for doing one of those... Well, what the heck, if there's no reason and it doesn't make any difference, then just don't do it ... get a job, make something of yourself... as if yourself weren't something... Why go through the thousands of dollars and aggravation of making a record to sell. I've thought about that a lot... I'm sure there's an answer, but it beats me. At least I'm prepared to accept anything... waxed fruit, tree surgery, whatever. And if I come to a fork in the road, I don't panic anymore, I just assume that one is the road and the other is a road off to the side.

Michael Nesmith, ©1973

After two or three months this album may lose potency although some aroma may linger.




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