Monkeying Around

IMG_0475 tagged BW
100 Monkeys from L to R: Uncle Larry, Ben G, Ben J, Jackson, and Jerad.

 We’ve got a great guest post today by @mouse555 on the band 100 Monkeys! We hope you enjoy it!

When New Moon hit cinemas, I discovered the Twilight film. Unlike many, I didn’t love it straight away, but my cousin talked me into reading the books. 4 days later, I was a little hooked… ok, more than a little.

I googled the cast because I already knew who that guy who played Edward was, but I was somewhat more interested in the quiet one who looked constipated. After a few hours of admiring pictures of him, I stumbled onto www.100monkeysmusic.com (now a defunct website sadly) and found a video for Ugly Girl and must have watched it almost 30 times.  Then I realised that the guy with the crazy hair and gorgeous lips was Jasper from Twilight. He (Jackson Rathbone), was in a band called 100 Monkeys. Next thing I knew,  a Monkey Junkie was born.

I was never really “in” with the Twidom, but I used to post on a blog that reviewed and rec’d small fry fics. There was one other Brit posting for the blog too, and we kinda got chatting a little, nothing major. Once the blog was shut down, I moved on to other things. It wasn’t until she realised I was a Monkey fan too that we got to really know each other. Now I can’t get rid of @SarahAH30!

I had managed to find other 100 Monkeys fans online and was happy chatting away to them when I was asked by Donna from 100 Monkeys UK Fans if I wanted to help run the FB page and Twitter account. I wasn’t overly busy and thought why not.

I was with UK Fans for a few months when the woman who had started it up decided that they didn’t need the three of us posting and as I was last in, I was first out. Then Ellie pounced and poached me for Hell Yeah 100 Monkeys.

We scoured the web looking for photos from shows in the US to use (with permission) on Tumblr, Twitter and the FB page. We ALWAYS credited who allowed us to share their photos and soon had a bank of go to gals. It got to the point where we no longer needed to ask permission of the professionals as they knew we would credit them and not remove any watermarks. They loved the reaction they got from our followers on Tumblr and on their own Facebook pages as much as we did.

What I loved about Hell Yeah were the theme days.

·         Monday – Jackson

·         Tuesday – Ben G

·         Wednesday – Gun Show (Jerad)

·         Thursday – Johnson

·         Friday – Everyone’s favourite Uncle Larry

·         Saturday – Group Day

·         Sunday – Videos

Each day had very specific fans who expected great photos, funny captions and general chit chat about the boys. We soon got to know our followers really well and they us. I made some of my closest monkey fandom friends through them HYeah.

Another good thing was that we didn’t take ourselves very seriously. If you have seen any interview with the band, you’ll know the guys didn’t either. They were a group of fellas living the life and enjoying being on stage. They knew a lot of the fans by sight, if not by name, and were so appreciative of each and every one. Even Marty (the bananager) and Gus (Sound guy Scott Coslett’s og) had their own fans. We were able to take the piss out of the guys that was never degrading and our followers loved it. (Put it this way, there was a tag on the Hell Yeah Tumble of ‘Jerad’s Face’ and ‘Jerad’s Armpit’ –  I think that says a lot). Also, it’s where the #KetchupGate hashtag was started. (Google Jackson ketchup bottle)

I LOVED working on the account, even more so when in June 2011 there was an announcement that the boys were hitting Europe in the December. Cue lots of phone calls to both Sarah and Ellie and a fair amount of squealing.

Amidst the excitement, Marty left as manager and Lani the publicist took over. I will bite my tongue on this for now, but I will say Lani could teach Modest a thing or two on how to treat fans like shit. Still we waited to hear about whether we’d been granted an interview with the band or not.

Eventually Ellie heard back that we’d got it. It was hard, but we kept it to ourselves for a while whilst we compiled a list of questions. We didn’t want to repeat those they had been asked countless times before such as “where did you get the name 100 Monkeys?” as all fans knew that backwards. Plus, after having been asked multiple times, the band were starting to answer in various ways that were just getting more and more ridiculous.

We got our questions ready, but we still didn’t have a date for the actual event, but it was finally tour time. I couldn’t make it up to Manchester for the first UK show as I had an assignment due to be handed in that day, but the guys were hitting my city next and we had a whole day together before the show.

Ellie, Sarah and Jen arrived in Birmingham and after they had checked into the hotel, we headed into the city centre to meet up with some other fans who had travelled from Europe.

Now, this is where I get a little mushy and emotional. If it wasn’t for those 5 crazy guys (sound familiar?) I wouldn’t have most of the friends that I do living in my laptop. Thanks to 100 Monkeys, I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had. Even if I don’t speak to some of them every day, I know I can send them a PM and things will revert back to fangirl status fairly quickly. I am, and always will be, be forever grateful for the Monkeyverse for that. Especially for Sarah, Ellie and Leanne. They are the 3 main people I speak to most days and they accept my crap and randomness by spouting their own. We have become RL friends who make plans to meet up, and stick to. I couldn’t ask for better.

Anyway, my first monkey show. Ellie and I had already decided that if either of us won a meet & greet, we would be each other’s +1. I got a text at stupid o’clock in the morning from Ellie telling me that we were meeting the band. Cue screaming.

 The weather was SHIT, but it didn’t stop the nerves and excitement as we waited outside the venue… and waited… and waited… (Monkey Standard Time is a time zone all unto itself). Eventually we were ushered inside. Ellie had already decided to speak to Lani about our interview, and when she did, it was going to be in London. THE VERY NEXT DAY! I had to sit at the back of the venue (where I had 3G) during the support act and send an email to pin down a time.

Ellie and I (among a bunch of others) sat on a coach from Birmingham to London (roughly 2.5 hours) and the nerves are kicking in. The buzz from seeing them the night before hadn’t yet worn off. Ellie and I were once again looking over the questions we were going to ask when she hit me with a bombshell. She wanted me to take over the speaking while she recorded it as she had a sore throat and couldn’t stop coughing.

What the fuck? I was NOT prepared for this. It was highly likely that I would walk into wherever the interview would happen and either pass out or throw up on THE BOOTS. Quite possibly both. I quickly gave Ellie a tutorial how to use my dad’s camera to record.

After arriving in London and making our way to a friend’s house, it was soon time to head up to the venue to meet Bauer (tour manager person) and get the interview done. Ellie and I met up with Bauer (Tour manager guy) and were told we’d have to wait outside until after the M&Gs had finished. I must have smoked about 4718964740921 cigarettes with nerves, then one of the venue staff called us in and led us upstairs. I was ready to turn around and run away.

Then the door of the interview room opened and THERE THEY WERE! I took a step into the room and fell into the room singing out a “hi”. I could have died, then Graupner spotted my shirt which had “His name is Jackson NOT Jasper” emblazoned across my chest. I asked if they would sign it after the interview as I wanted to send it to a friend in Australia.

The interview went well… up until my phone, which was being used as a dictaphone rang. I couldn’t bloody believe it. At least my ringtone was pretty decent (a snippet of Orson Brawl) that seemed to make the guys smile. After that, it was smooth. Both Ellie and I were pleased with the end result  and yes, they did sign my shirt. In fact, they had to remind me. The rest of the week passed me by in a blur, and every time i look back, I remember something new from it.

When the band split, shit went down in the fandom. It was suddenly very much a “them and us” mentality among the fans which makes me sad as I have lost contact with many of those I used to speak to daily, but I HAVE kept contact with friends who are not only “online” friends, but have become real life friends also. I have traveled around the UK, had people come to me and a group of us went to Amsterdam last year… all because of meeting through a particular fandom.

I will always be grateful to Twilight and in turn 100 Monkeys for the friends I have made, even if I don’t speak to them all the time as we used to. There are so many people i would never have met, either online or face to face, if it weren’t for those guys. They always showed their appreciation for their fans in the best ways and I don’t think they ever truly understood how much they did for us simply by existing as a band. Even now they are no longer a 5 piece, their inspiration continues so for me, 100 Monkeys lives on. I still listen to the music, watch old YouTube videos of interviews and live shows, and I still talk about the amazing experiences I had that 1 week.

-@mouse555

M&G

 

Brie Keysmash
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Brie Keysmash

Professional fangirl, with an over-priced Juris Doctor. Music is her lifeline, and brunch is her hobby. You'll never see her running, unless she's being chased. Her cats are better than your cats, boybands make her world go 'round, and never forget, there's always money in the banana stand.
Brie Keysmash
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Latest posts by Brie Keysmash (see all)

  • MichelleMyBelle

    I miss Monkeys. *sigh*

    I had my first girls-weekend-roadtrip following them around Texas on their last tour. SUCH (drunken) FUN! I flew out to meet up with some amazing girls I’d met thanks to the NKOTB reunion a few years before. 100 Monkeys helped solidify our friendship. Not a day goes by that I don’t talk/text/tweet at least one of them.

    Sometimes I wonder if any band boy ever truly realizes what they, their music, and their relationships with each other & their fans really means to us.

  • Brie Keysmash

    This post transported me back to 2010 when I participated in the Jackson Rathbone and 100 Monkeys comm on LJ, and the road trip I took with a friend I made via Twilight and 100 Monkeys from DC back to my hometown, Michigan for the Spencer Bell memorial concert. It was so much fun to hang out with her, and other ladies I’d met through the band and just party for hours. Plus, I got to be home which was an added bonus. I literally ran into Jackson when I was on my way to the bathroom and felt all shaky afterward. Even better, he was staying in the hotel room across from us. Like, I opened my door and there was his door. Too random. I never did properly meet him, but I did meet the other boys at an event honoring Spencer Bell where Jackson didn’t perform. They were/are such nice guys. Great time in my life!

  • Amy / FutureGirlNZ (was TwiKiwi)

    Ah, Monkey fever. I miss these boys so much. Total Monkey Junkie over here! Your story is so familiar I just had to share mine as well.

    I became a fan of 100 Monkeys via the Twilight fandom, like a lot of other people. As I ‘met’ more and more friends on Twitter I became curious about these Monkeys I kept hearing about, and as I became really close friends with Jamie (@Jaymes805) her Monkey obsession rubbed off on me (twss). I downloaded Grape and fell in love with the album. I absolutely love how the boys would switch it up with vocals and instruments – naturally Jackson drew me in at first (hot damn!) but as I got to know the Bens, Jerad and Uncle Larry I knew it was the whole package that appealed (sorry that sounds filthy!) (ok no I’m not)… anyhoo.

    This was all around early 2011 and I was planning a trip to the USA to meet online friends for the first time. Jamie forwarded me the tour dates for the Liquid Zoo tour, and as fate would have it the boys were playing in Seattle at the time I was there. I was SUPER excited! I made plans to go along to the gig with a group of twi-friends.

    A few days prior Jamie once again hooked me up (are you seeing a theme here) with details of a competition to win a meet and greet with the band. I naturally jumped at the chance and sent an email waxing lyrical about how I had travelled all the way from New Zealand and I simply HAD to meet the boys. Sure enough, I got tickets! There were eight of us altogether and it was that simple, I had eight passes.

    We ended up spending about five minutes with the guys and as the self-appointed ring leader (and also one of the only people in our group who had never seen/met the band before) I naturally told them all about how I’d travelled from NZ and told them they should come here to visit, how I’d show them around (how embarrassing!) I gave Jackson a little kiwi keychain that he was swinging around on his finger.

    We had a group photo with the guys, and their ‘person’ was really insistent that there only be one shot taken. So I grew a pair and asked Jackson and Ben G if I could please have one on my own as well, and Jackson said ‘come on, she’s come all this way’ and sure enough, the photo below became a reality.

    Of course, the actual show was also amazing (as was the in-store signing we’d been to that morning) but to me, the meet and greet was the icing on the cake.

    This whole experience was right before I decided to embark on a life-changing weight loss and fitness journey. For motivation, I keep a selection of photographs of myself on my fridge – and a close-up of me and Jackson is one of those pics. Just FTR – I’ve now lost more than 30% of my original weight and trust me, wrapping my arms around Jackson is plenty motivation enough 😉

    Thanks for the awesome post, and the trip down memory lane. I really wish the boys well – and thank them for the memories and the friends I’ve made through mutual Monkey Fever.