Like The Asbury Park Love Contingent, which I wrote about yesterday for NJArts.net’s Songs to See Us Through series, veteran New Jersey psychedelic power-pop band The Grip Weeds channel sunny Hippie Era optimism in their new video version of The Monkees’ “For Pete’s Sake.” The song may have been recorded in a socially distanced manner, but it is nevertheless a tight, buoyant band effort.
Drummer-singer Kurt Reil and guitarist Kristin Pinell Reil, who are married, filmed themselves in their House of Vibes studio in Highland Park, where The Smithereens, The Weeklings and many others have recorded, over the years. Rick Reil (Kurt’s brother, who usually plays guitar with the band but is on keyboards here) and bassist Dave DeSantis performed in other locations, though they all chat at the start of the video as if they are in the same room.
“In this generation/In this lovin’ time/In this generation/We will make the world shine,” sings Kurt Reil, with backing vocals by his wife and brother. Old footage of the band performing the song together is also used at times in the video.
The band posted the video on social media this week with the following message: “Wash your hands. Wear a mask. And for pete’s sake, stay at home! Enjoy this — it comes from the heart.”
“We’re all going through a very weird time,” says Pinell Reil. “The Grip Weeds are in the middle of recording an album, we had to cancel shows and haven’t seen each other in weeks. It was fun for us to jam together this way and do a song for our fans that captures the underlying sentiment of how much we all care about and need each other.”
“The Grip Weeds will will return soon … with a new one on Jem Records,” says a written message at the end of the video.
“For Pete’s Sake” was named after Monkees member Peter Tork, who co-wrote it. When the song appeared on The Monkees’ third album, Headquarters, in 1967, it marked the first time Tork received a songwriting credit on a Monkees album. (His co-writer was actor and musician Joey Richards, who was in the original Broadway production of “Hair” and later collaborated with the band The Tubes.)
The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz sang the original version. You can hear it below, under the Grip Weeds video. An edited version of the song was used as the closing theme of the second and final season of The Monkees’ popular sitcom, in 1967 and 1968.
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