Miscellaneous Rumbles

Anyone here anti-Grizelda?

1

Just another in our series of demographic self-identification surveys.

So howbout it?

2

I knew someone who had an Anti Grizelda. She was quite nice.

3

Peter Tork.

4

We played that song in my very first band in junior high school.

"I know she's having a fit
She doesn't like me a bit"

6

I'll take Auntie Grizelda over Uncle Ernie any day.

8

Just another in our series of demographic self-identification surveys.

So howbout it?

– Proteus

You need to explain what a/your Grizelda actually is, please.

9

She couldn't budge a smile and do it for free.

10

I adore the Monkees catalog but this song, for some reason, has always creeped me out. Maybe it's the music, maybe it's Peter Tork's goofy vocals, but it makes me uneasy.

12

I adore the Monkees catalog but this song, for some reason, has always creeped me out. Maybe it's the music, maybe it's Peter Tork's goofy vocals, but it makes me uneasy.

– Mark Nason

Same here. Glad to know it wasn't just me.

So, that means that I'm Anti-Auntie Grizelda, as well as being mechanically Antikythera.

13

I thought we were having a GrandParent's moment with this Grizelda.

14

Nah, strictly not anti-anything except antipodean.

15

Thought I'd post this to help out the Kids on here who are wondering, "What the heck is going on?"

Edit: Crocodile Corp might be a cool band name.

16

Yeah well.

The topic started as sound-similar wordplay to follow on the recent and fairly odd who isn't a geezer/who isn't a greaser series. First I wondered "who isn't a gazelle" - but that would clearly be all of us (unless we have any high-prancing dancers who've kept their terpsichore quiet). Then the dimly-remembered name "Grizelda" came to mind as close enough, and to keep symmetry with the "who isn't" construction and superimpose the homophone with the name of the song, "Anti-Grizelda" seemed just right. (Not to mention the Gretsch-Monkee connection.)

A long way around, I know, and either pitiably obvious or bizarrely obscure.

I hadn't really given much thought to the content of the song - but it's worth looking up the lyrics to see that Diane Hildebrand's (the lyricist's) hidebound, discouraging, and bitter Grizelda sounds like the distaff reflection of the "get off my lawn" geezers none of us will admit to being. (And which I, at least, remind myself to avoid becoming.)

Somehow when I started remembering fragments of the song, it sounded in my mind's ear like something Nez might have written and sung. It's not, though: it's one of the many Brill Building gems which made up the two first Monkees albums. But whatever, it's really an awfully good song.

It was kinda thrown away with Tork's kabuki vocals and the mouth-noise solo in the middle (reportedly forced onto him by the producer), but even with the banging vaudeville arrangement, Jack Keller's (the composer's) vaguely exotic modal melody and fuzz guitar accents suggest what could have been a more satisfying psychedelic droning raga epic.

From the very different perspective I have now than when I heard the song in 1967, I'm astonished at the focus and concentration of the lyrics, how completely they present a layered and textured situation in the most economical way. There are numerous cogent phrases, but "no bird of grace ever lit on Auntie Grizelda" is just crazy good.

At the time, I took it as the zany novelty song as which it was presented - and I suppose in its recorded form it's hard to take as much more than that - but it's easy to imagine how an arrangement that took it more seriously might have gone. It's not even hard to imagine it as a Beatle song: caustic observation a la Harrison, homely details a la MCartney, cautionary personal advice per Lennon - and a music-hall presentation by Starr to dull its sting. "Grizelda" might be a more comic name than the Beatles would have used, and the thoroughness of its condemnation of the character may reflect less sympathy than the Beatles usually mustered for their protagonists. But, recorded in October, 1966, it does fit uncannily into that era of the Beatles' work.

Even as presented, I wonder how many kids squirming under the weight of expectation and familial or scholastic repression took courage from it to get free of the Grizeldas in their lives.

For the record, I am very much anti-Grizeldas - but belatedly quite taken by the thrown-away brilliance of "Your Auntie Grizelda."

17

Am I supposed to know what a "Grizelda" is?

– Twangmeisternyc

Exactly my thoughts.

18

Grizelda to Canadians, The Ghastly Gourmet, often introduced in poetry by Vincent Van Price. [Isn’t she lovely!]

19

Yes, I’m anti Grizelda! This song has the ability to induce migraines in otherwise, pleasant, happy people of both modest and rather extravagant pedigree! It just sounds god awful..... Now get off my lawn!

20

For some reason, my brain went to "Grizabella" and TS Eliott, as channelled by AL Webber.

Glad someone set me on the proper course. It might have turned out somewhat different.

21

I use to cringe when I heard this song but have become more fond of it over time.

22

I worked with a Grizelda before but I was not against her nor was I for her. I was indifferent about her.

23

To me...and I was almost old enough to be in the demographic they were aiming at... this song, as well as “ Gonna Buy Me A Dog” was the Monkees’ declaration that they were not taking themselves, nor the entire “ instant pop star machine” seriously, and I dug it! Felt like I was in on the joke! They were iconoclastic and fun...thumbing their noses at the powers that be! It wasn’t until later, when they wanted to be taken seriously as a real band, and even later with the overly-psychedelic, trippy stuff, that I stated to tune out somewhat. But when they first burst onto the scene, I thought they were cool!

I guess I’m pro anti Grizelda!

24

When I first opened this thread I thought what hell are they talking about? I watched the clip and realised there's a good reason I forgot this.

Ignorance is bliss some days.

25

There are different shades of Grizelda, either the goofy Monkee's song, or murderous Grizelda Blanco the cocaine queen....neither peak my interest.. Oh, and I always disliked those Beatle-esq "Running" videos. What the heck are you running for!?!?!?. It appears they are running away from that song.


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