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West Valley City Journal

Nothing to do with Coupons – An Evening at Red Butte Gardens with the Monkees

Jun 29, 2016 09:51AM ● By Bryan Scott

By Joani Taylor

Last week some friends and I enjoyed the musical stylings of the Monkees at Red Butte Garden. Being a Monkees generation Baby Boomer, who dreamed of one day marring Davey Jones, I could not wait to see them. Dawning my tie-dyed style neon shirt I was ready to sing every song right along with them.

 Now, I could go on about how to save money when attending a concert at Red Butte. What’s allowed, what to bring, how to get tickets, where to park, but I’m feeling the need to deviate from the money saving genre for a moment.

 When the Monkees performed Shades of Gray they expressed that it was time for us to rock out with the dearly departed Davey Jones. They told us because of the shootings in Florida just 3 days earlier, this song was far too emotional for them to sing it alone. They then brought up video and the voice of Davey singing the song as they played and we sung along.

 In light of what’s going on in the world and right here in our own country the audience and the performers (Dolenz and Tork) were overwhelmed with sorrow while performing. It was an emotional moment that left me, and I imagine a great many of the audience with tears in our eyes.

 Some dear friends of mine are an interracial couple that have been married for many years. They are an amazing family raising 4 great kids, that routinely give back to the community. She mentioned the other day that while dining at a restaurant right here, in the self proclaimed most tolerant state in America, that when the server presented the check(s) they had been separated for each to pay their own. When asked, the waitress admitted she had made assumption and apologized. My friend chuckled and went on to tell me that this was not an isolated incident and that these things happen all the time. It was just something they live with, something that has become routine. She stated that this was mild compared to some of what they’ve experienced.

 Our religious leaders of every faith preach kindness and tolerance daily, that it is not for us to judge. They are right, it isn’t. Yet, I’m often scratching my head as they are the very ones that fight against protecting all peoples right to live peaceably within their own core religious values. They judge other religions as wrong and untrue, they fight for laws remaining restrictive, passing judgment on those who don’t conform to the attitude that they “know best” what is right for each of us. Then when something like Florida happens they tell us we must be a less hateful and a more tolerant people. 

 Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very spiritual person, but until all leaders of this country start teaching the real meaning of peace and tolerance and lead by example instead of words, how will it ever get better? Won’t we just continue on this slippery path? As someone that lived through the hate that was going on during the Shades of Gray era, myself, and I’m sure the 47 families, that today are living without a loved one, can say it’s definitely not getting any better.