Husband Follies Number 33 and 1/3 RPM: Mysterious Sheet Music

My husband Gary and I love a lot of the same things: family above all else, movies, food, some music, shows, and having an active friendship base and social life. Other than that, we are opposites which I have explained in my husband follies blogs previous to this one and in this Huff Post blog linked here.

Though we both love rock music, and have a lot of adored groups and acts in common, Gary likes the blues, and other music that I do not care for: mostly what I would refer to as Stoner music. I am more of a pop princess, appreciating top 40 hits and more peppy tunes.

Gary is a Grateful Dead fan, and I can barely stand to listen to their music, as the twangs and bluesy type of music does not sit well with me. I know there will be a lot of haters out there as I write this, but I respect the Dead, and all Deadheads like my husband, I just do not care for their music.

So my husband and I have a running gag with each other: When I want to torture Gary, I play Monkees music. I have written many blogs in the past about how deep their actual catalog is, even if most only know their biggest hit pop tunes. I am an album appreciation Monkees fan. When Gary wants to torture me, he plays Grateful Dead music.

We have been in our new home, rebuilt after floods, for exactly four years (Dec 2016) and in that four years, Gary when moving back in placed his guitar and his sheet music stand at the corner of our bedroom, near our reading lounge chair. Neither of us makes much use out of this area of the bedroom, as I now read in bed, and Gary has not picked up the guitar since we moved back in.

With that said, each night as I put our throw pillows on the lounge chair (which has earned its use just for being the receptacle for these,) I notice a Monkees photo on a piece of sheet music on the music stand. If it belonged to me, it would make perfect sense, as I have a lot of Monkees memorabilia, however I have never purchased their sheet music as I have never played an instrument. Plus, this is Gary’s spot, and this is all of his stuff, not mine.

It’s crazy because Gary does not like the Monkees, so why would he have guitar sheet music for a Monkees tune? After four years of noticing it, I finally decided to get to the bottom of it.

The sheet music is for “Mary, Mary,” a great album cut that was played on their show, but never was a mainstream radio top 40 hit. Mike Nesmith wrote the words and music and it has a very fancy guitar lick through it. With Gary as rusty as he is in playing guitar, there is no way he could pull off this very quick-paced and fancy guitar lick throughout the song.

So finally, finally, after noticing this Monkees image umpteen times over the past four years, but never mentioning it to Gary, I asked him why he had the sheet music for a Monkees song, prominently featured at the front of his music stand. Then I asked him what was it about the song Mary, Mary that he decided to purchase the sheet music to play on guitar?

This is where the humor comes in. Gary swears he never heard the song, and never purchased the sheet music. I opened it up and it is yellowed with age, meaning it is very very old, and probably was purchased long before the twenty years we have been married. It says it cost $.75 – and I know things cost more now.

So I played Gary the song on YouTube and he still had no idea as to why he had the sheet music. It is a rougher-edged Monkees tune, more like garage-rock than pop rock, so I assume he heard it at one point and aspired to learn how to play it, guitar lick and all. But that memory is long gone and forgotten, and for some reason, the sheet music made it along with his others through all of his moves.

I like the song well enough, even though it is a simple song – an early effort of Mike Nesmith and it only sounds great because of Micky Dolenz’ heavenly voice on it. I think I liked the premise of desiring a girl like in the song, way back in the day. That was sexy. Listen to it here on this link.

I took this opportunity to ask Gary to take up the guitar again, to play for me as he did when we were dating. Playing guitar and singing to me was a large part of his wooing technique – well that and the many very passionate love letters he wrote to me, which are all saved and bound in a book. (And if I ever publish the Husband Follies book, I will have to include snippets of some of those!) With COVID and the fact that we have no social life to speak of due to staying home-bound, this is perfect timing to once again take up that hobby of his, don’t you think? In fact, I would like to hear him play Mary, Mary!

Where on Earth did the “Mary, Mary” sheet music come from? And who was clever enough to place it on top of the others for a more prominent view? These are the burning questions I may never get answered.

What are your thoughts? And let’s hear you convince Gary to take up the guitar once again. Love to hear from you.

2 comments

  • Arlene, there has to be at least ONE Grateful Dead tune you can tolerate. Phil was not a fan either. And yet, he listens, sings and can name tunes after only 3 notes!

    • I can tolerate both Truckin and Ripple if I have to – there is something about blues that hit a sour note in my brain and I cannot help that. But I do respect them and their cult following. I know they made great music for their genre. It is just not one of my preferred genres.

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