The Monkees were a TV and pop rock sensation. Assembled in Los Angeles in 1966 1966 in music by Robert "Bob" Rafelson Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider under Colgems supervision for the American television series The Monkees The Monkees (TV series) , which aired from 1966 to 1968, the musical acting quartet comprised Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, and Englishman Davy Jones Davy Jones (actor) . All music was supervised by producer Don Kirshner.
At the time of the group's formation, its producers saw The Monkees as a Beatles The Beatles -like band. At the start, the band members provided vocals, and were given some performing and production opportunities, but they eventually fought for and earned the right to collectively supervise all musical output under the band's name. The group undertook several concert tours, allowing an opportunity to perform as a live band as well as on the TV series. Although the show was canceled in 1968, the band continued releasing records until 1971. The group reached the height of fame from 1966 to 1968, and influenced many future artists. In 1986, the television show and music experienced a revival, which led to a series of reunion tours, and new records featuring various incarnations of the band's lineup.
The Monkees had many international hits which are still heard on pop and oldies stations. These include "I'm a Believer", "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone", "Daydream Believer", "Last Train to Clarksville", and "Pleasant Valley Sunday".
Aspiring filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider were inspired by the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night A Hard Day's Night (film) to devise a television series about a rock 'n' roll group. As "Raybert Productions," they sold the show to Screen Gems television. Rafelson and Schneider's original idea was to cast an existing Los Angeles-based folk rock group, the Lovin' Spoonful. However, the Spoonful were already signed to a record company, which would have denied Screen Gems the right to market music from the show on record. So in September 1965, Daily Variety Variety (magazine) and The Hollywood Reporter ran an ad to cast the band.
During the casting process, Screen Gems head of music, Don Kirshner was contacted to secure music for the pilot that would become The Monkees. Not getting much interest from his usual stable of Brill Building writers, Kirshner assigned Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart Boyce and Hart to the project. The duo contributed four demo recordings to the pilot, featuring their own voices.
When The Monkees was picked up as a series, development of the musical side of the project accelerated. Columbia Columbia Pictures -Screen Gems and RCA Records RCA Victor entered into a joint venture called Colgems Records primarily to distribute Monkees records. Raybert set up a rehearsal space and rented instruments for the group to practice playing,
Kirshner called on Snuff Garrett, helmer of several hits by Gary Lewis & the Playboys, to produce the initial musical cuts for the show. Garrett, upon meeting the four Monkees in June 1966, decided that Jones would sing lead, a choice that was unpo***r with the group. This cool reception led Kirshner to drop Garrett and buy out his contract. Kirshner next allowed Nesmith to produce sessions, provided he did not play on any tracks he produced.
According to Nesmith, it was Dolenz's voice that made the Monkees's sound distinctive, and even during tension-filled times Nesmith and Tork voluntarily turned over lead vocal duties to Dolenz on their own compositions, such as Tork's "For Pete's Sake For Pete's Sake (The Monkees song) ", which became the closing title theme for the second season of the TV show.
The Monkees' first single, "Last Train to Clarksville", was released in August 1966, just weeks prior to the broadcast and, in conjunction with the first broadcast of the television show on September 12, 1966, on the NBC television network, NBC and Columbia had a major hit on their hands. The first long-playing album, The Monkees The Monkees (album) , was released in October and shot to the top of the charts.The animosity between Kirshner and the Monkees began in the very early stages of the band. The Monkees' off-screen personalities at the time were much like what became their on-screen image (except for Peter). This included the playful, hyperactive antics that are often seen on screen. Apparently, during an early recording session, the four Monkees were clowning around in the studio. The antics escalated until Micky Dolenz poured a Pepsi on Kirshner's head; at the time, Dolenz did not know Kirshner by sight.
The Monkees had complained that the producers would not allow them to play their own instruments on their records, and these complaints intensified when Kirshner moved track recording from California to New York, leaving the Monkees out of the musical process until they were called upon to add their vocals to the completed tracks. This campaign eventually forced the series' musical coordinator Don Kirshner to let the group have more participation in the recording process (against his strong objections). This included Nesmith producing his own songs, and band members making instrumental contributions. The Monkees were capable of playing their own instruments on the recordings and they had written some material. Except for the few songs forced through by the Monkees' campaigning, they were not allowed by Kirshner to play or use their own material.
Nesmith and Tork were particularly upset when they were on tour in January 1967 and discovered that a second album, More of The Monkees, had been released without their knowledge. The Monkees were annoyed at not having even been told of the release in advance, at having their opinions on the track selection ignored, at Don Kirshner's self-congratulatory liner notes, and also because of the amateurish-looking cover art, which was merely a composite of pictures of the four taken for a J.C. Penney clothing advertisement. Indeed, the Monkees had not even been given a copy of the album; they had to buy it from a record store.
The climax of the rivalry was an intense argument between Nesmith, Kirshner & Colgems lawyer Herb Moelis, which took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel in January 1967. Kirshner had presented the group with royalty checks and Nesmith had responded with an ultimatum, demanding a change in the way the Monkees' music was chosen and recorded. Moelis reminded Nesmith that he was under contract. The confrontation ended with Nesmith punching a hole in a wall and saying, "That could have been your face!" However, each of the members, including Nesmith, accepted the $250,000 royalty checks.
Kirshner's dismissal came in early February 1967, when he violated an agreement between Colgems and the Monkees not to release material directly created by the group together with unrelated Kirshner-produced material. Kirshner violated this agreement when he released "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", composed and written by Neil Diamond, as a single with "She Hangs Out", a song recorded in New York with Davy Jones Davy Jones (actor) vocals, as the B-side.
Kirshner was reported to have been incensed by the group's unexpected rebellion, especially when he felt they lacked the musical talent, and were hired for their acting ability alone. This experience led directly to Kirshner's later venture, The Archies, which was an animated series – the "stars" existed only on animation cels, with music done by studio musicians, and obviously could not seize creative control over the records issued under their name.
Screen Gems held the publishing rights to a wealth of great material, with the Monkees given first crack at many new songs. Their choices were not unerring; the band turned down "Sugar, Sugar", which became one of the biggest hits of 1969 when Kirshner recorded it with studio musicians and released it under the name of The Archies.
After escaping from the clutches of Donnie Kirshner, the Monkees went into 'Goldstar Studios' in Hollywood determined to prove to the world that they were a bonafide group, and could play their own instruments. What resulted was Headquarters Headquarters (album) , with all four Monkees in the studio, now together at the same time, with very few guest musicians. Produced by Chip Douglas and issued in May 1967, the four Monkees wrote and played on much of their own material. Nearly all vocals and instruments on Headquarters were performed by the four Monkees (the exceptions being few, usually by producer Chip Douglas). The album shot to number one, but was quickly eclipsed the following week by a milestone cultural event when The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Following Headquarters, they began what they referred to as "mix mode" where they played their own instruments but also continued to employ session musicians. The Monkees continued using additional musicians (including The Wrecking Crew The Wrecking Crew (music) , Louie Shelton, Glen Campbell, members of the Byrds The Byrds and the Association The Association , drummer "Fast" Eddie Hoh, Lowell George, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles and Neil Young) throughout their recording career, especially when the group became temporarily estranged after Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. and recorded some of their songs separately.
The high of Headquarters was short-lived, however. Recording and producing as a group was Tork's major interest and he hoped that the four would continue working together as a band on future recordings. However, the four did not have enough in common regarding their musical interests. In commentary for the DVD release of the second season of the show, Tork said that Dolenz was "incapable of repeating a triumph". Having been a musician for one album, Dolenz no longer was interested in being a drummer, and largely gave up playing instruments on Monkees recordings. (Producer Chip Douglas also had identified Dolenz's drumming as the weak point in the collective musicianship of the quartet, having to splice together multiple takes of Dolenz's "shaky" drumming for final use.) Nesmith and Jones were also moving in different directions, with Nesmith following his country/folk instincts and Jones reaching for Broadway-style numbers.
The next three albums featured a diverse mixture of musical style influences, including country-rock, folk-rock, psychedelic rock, soul/R&B, guitar rock, Broadway, and English music hall sensibilities. Nesmith's song-writing was heavily influenced by country music, while Tork contributed the piano introduction to "Daydream Believer" and the banjo part on "You Told Me", as well as exploring occasional songwriting with the likes of "For Pete's Sake" (which was used as the closing theme music for the second season of the television series) and "Lady's Baby".
Studio recordings controversy
When the Monkees toured the U.K.in 1967, there was a major controversy over the revelation that the group did not always play all of their own instruments in the studio, although they did play them all while touring (except for the solo segments, which used backing band the Candy Store Prophets). The story made the front pages of several UK and international music papers, with the group derisively dubbed "The Pre-Fab Pre-fabrication Four". Nevertheless, they were generally welcomed by many British stars, who realized the group included talented musicians and sympathized with their wish to have more creative control over their music, and the Monkees frequently socialized with the likes of The Beatles, the Spencer Davis Group, and The Who.
Many Monkees fans argued that the controversy unfairly targeted the band, while conveniently ignoring the fact that a number of leading British and American groups (including critical favorites such as the Byrds and the Beach Boys The Beach Boys ) habitually used session players on their recordings, including many of the very same musicians who performed on records by the Monkees. This commonplace practice had previously passed without comment. However, the Beatles had led a wave of groups who provided most of their own instrumentation on their recordings (although they at times used additional musicians such as George Martin, Eric Clapton or Billy Preston to augment the Beatles' own instrumentation) and wrote most of their own songs. The comic book quality of the Monkees' television series (where they mimed song performances out of necessity) brought additional scrutiny of their recorded music. But both supporters and critics of the group agree that the producers and Kirshner had the good taste to use some of the best pop songwriters of the period. Neil Diamond, the Boyce-Hart partnership Boyce and Hart , Jack Keller, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and many other highly regarded writers had songs recorded by the Monkees.
In November 1967, the wave of anti-Monkee sentiment was reaching its peak while the Monkees released their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd. In liner notes for the 1995 re-release of this album, Nesmith was quoted as saying that after Headquarters, "The press went into a full-scale war against us, talking about how 'The Monkees are four guys who have no credits, no credibility whatsoever and have been trying to trick us into believing they are a rock band.' Number one, not only was this not the case; the reverse was true. Number two, for the press to report with genuine alarm that the Monkees were not a real rock band was looney tunes! It was one of the great goofball moments of the media, but it stuck."
The Monkees went back into the recording studio, largely separately, and produced a large volume of recordings, material that eventually turned up on several albums.
The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees
In April 1968, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees was released. Being released after the final season of the television series (the series was canceled in February 1968, although new episodes continued to air each week through the spring), this was the first Monkees album not to hit number one, but it still went gold. The album cover—a quaint collage of items looking like a display in a jumble shop or toy store—was chosen over the Monkees' objections.During the filming of the second season, the band tired of scripts which they deemed monotonous and stale. They had already succeeded in eliminating the laugh track (a then-standard on American sitcoms), with the bulk of Season 2 episodes minus the canned chuckles. They proposed switching the format of the series to become more like a variety show, with musical guests and live performances. This desire was partially fulfilled within some second-season episodes, with guest stars like musicians Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley and Charlie Smalls (composer of The Wiz), performing on the show. However, NBC was not interested in eliminating the existing format, and the group (except for Peter) had little desire to continue for a third season. Tork said in DVD commentary that everyone had developed such difficult personalities that the big-name stars invited as guests on the show would invariably leave the experience "hating everybody".
Screen Gems and NBC went ahead with the existing format anyway, commissioning Monkees writers Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso to create a straight-comedy, no-music half-hour in the Monkees mold; a pilot episode was filmed with the then-po***r nightclub act The Pickle Brothers. The pilot had the same energy and pace of The Monkees, but never became a series.
After The Monkees was cancelled in February 1968, Rafelson directed the four Monkees in a feature film, Head Head (film) . Schneider was executive producer, and the project was co-written and co-produced by Rafelson with a then relatively unknown Jack Nicholson. Rumors abound that the title was chosen in case a sequel was made. The advertisements would supposedly have read: "From the producers who gave you HEAD."
Nicholson also assembled the film's soundtrack album. The film, conceived and edited in a stream of consciousness Stream of consciousness writing style, featured oddball cameo appearances by movie stars Victor Mature, Annette Funicello, a young Teri Garr, boxer Sonny Liston, famous stripper Carol Doda, and musician Frank Zappa. It was filmed at Columbia Pictures' Screen Gems studios and on location in California, Utah, and The Bahamas between February 19 and May 17, 1968 and premiered in New York City on November 6 of that year (the film later debuted in Hollywood on November 20).
Head was not a commercial success, in part because it was the antithesis of The Monkees television show, intended to comprehensively demolish the group's carefully groomed public image. Rafelson and Nicholson's "Ditty Diego-War Chant" (recited at the start of the film by the Monkees), ruthlessly parodies Boyce and Hart's "Monkees Theme." A sparse advertising campaign (with no mention of the Monkees) squelched any chances of the film doing well, and it played only briefly in nearly-empty cinemas. In commentary for the DVD release, Nesmith said that by this time, everyone associated with the Monkees, including the four Monkees, "had gone crazy." They were each using the platform of the Monkees to push their own disparate career goals, to the detriment of the Monkees project. Indeed, Nesmith said, Head was Rafelson and Nicholson's intentional effort to "kill" the Monkees, so that they would no longer be bothered with having to deal with the matter.
But they all proved later to have gotten it entirely wrong, for over the intervening years Head has developed a cult following for its innovative style and anarchic humor, and the soundtrack album Head (The Monkees album) (long out of print, but re-released by Rhino in the 1980s and now available in an expanded CD version) is counted among their most adventurous recordings. Members of the Monkees, Nesmith in particular, cite Head (the first Monkees album not to include any Boyce and Hart compositions) as one of the crowning achievements of the band. The highlights include Nesmith's "Circle Sky", an all-out rocker, Tork's psychedelic "Can You Dig It?" and the Goffin/King composition "Porpoise Song Porpoise Song (Theme from Head) ".
Early 1969: exit Tork
But tensions within the group were increasing, and Peter Tork, citing exhaustion, quit, by buying out the last 4 years of his Monkees contract at $150,000/year. This was shortly after the band's Far East tour in December 1968, after completing work on their 1969 NBC television special, Thirty-Three And One-Third Revolutions Per Monkee 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee , which rehashed many of the ideas from Head, only with the Monkees playing a strangely second-string role. In the DVD commentary for the television special, Dolenz noted that after filming was complete, Nesmith gave Tork a gold watch as a going-away present, engraved "From the guys down at work." (Tork kept the back, but replaced the watch several times in later years.)
The remaining Monkees had decided to pursue their musical interests separately since Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones Ltd.; they were no longer in the studio together—and planned a future double album (eventually to be reduced to The Monkees Present) on which each Monkee would separately produce one side of a disc.
Reduced to a trio, the remaining members went on to record Instant Replay Instant Replay (The Monkees album) and The Monkees Present. Throughout 1969, the trio would appear as guests on various television programs such as The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Johnny Cash Show, Hollywood Squares, and Laugh-In. The Monkees also had a contractual obligation to appear in several television commercials with Bugs Bunny for Kool-Aid drink mix as well as Post cereal box singles.
In the summer of 1969 the three Monkees embarked on a tour with the backing (soul) band "Sam and the Good-timers". The concerts for this tour were longer sets than their earlier concert tours: many shows running over two hours. Unfortunately the 1969 Monkees' tour was not all that successful; some shows were canceled due to poor ticket sales.
March 1970: exit Nesmith
In March 1970, Nesmith left the group, leaving only Dolenz and Jones to record Changes Changes (The Monkees album) as the Monkees. By this time, Colgems was hardly putting any effort into the project, and they sent Dolenz and Jones to New York for the Changes sessions, to be produced by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. In comments for the liner notes of the 1994 re-release of Changes, Jones said that he felt they had been tricked into recording an "Andy Kim album" under the Monkees name. Except for the two singers' vocal performances, Changes is the only album that fails to win any significant praise from critics looking back 40 years to the Monkees' recording output. The album spawned the single "Oh My My" which was accompanied by a music film promo (produced/directed by Micky).
After a final 1971 single ("Do It In The Name Of Love" b/w "Lady Jane"), the two remaining Monkees lost the rights to use the name; in several countries, the USA included, the single was not credited to the Monkees but to Dolenz and Jones. The duo continued to tour throughout most of the 1970s.
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart - mid 1970s
Due in part to repeats of The Monkees on Saturday mornings and in syndication, The Monkees Greatest Hits The Monkees Greatest Hits (album) charted in 1976. The LP, issued by Arista Arista Records , who by this time had custody of the Monkees’ master tapes, courtesy of their corporate owner, Screen Gems, was actually a re-packaging of an earlier (1972) compilation LP called Refocus that had been issued by Arista's previous label imprint, Bell Records, also owned by Screen Gems. Dolenz and Jones took advantage of this, joining ex-Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart Boyce and Hart to tour the United States. From 1975 to 1977, as the "Golden Hits of The Monkees" show ("The Guys who Wrote 'Em and the Guys who Sang 'Em!"), they successfully performed in smaller venues such as state fairs and amusement parks, as well as making stops in Japan, Thailand and Singapore. They also released an album of new material as 'Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart'. Nesmith had not been interested in a reunion. Tork claimed later that he had not been asked, although a Christmas single (credited to Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork due to legal reasons) was produced by Chip Douglas and released on his own label in 1976. The single featured Douglas' and Howard Kaylan's "Christmas Is My Time Of Year" (originally recorded by a 1960s supergroup, Christmas Spirit), with a B-side of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (Douglas released a remixed version of the single, with additional overdubbed instruments, in 1986). This was the first (albeit unofficial) Monkees single since 1971. Tork also joined Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart on stage at Disneyland Disneyland Park (Anaheim) on July 4, 1976, and also joined Dolenz and Jones on stage at the Starwood in Hollywood, California in 1977.
Other semi-reunions occurred between 1970 and 1986. Peter Tork helped arrange a Micky Dolenz single, "Easy on You"/"Oh Someone" in 1971. Tork also recorded some unreleased tracks for Nesmith's Countryside label during the 1970s, and Dolenz (by then a successful television director in the United Kingdom) directed a segment of Nesmith's NBC-TV series Television Parts, although the segment in question was not included when the series' six episodes aired during the summer of 1985.
MTV & NICKELODEON re-ignite Monkee-Mania
Brushed off by critics during their heyday as manufactured and lacking talent, The Monkees experienced a critical and commercial rehabilitation two decades later. A Monkees TV show marathon ("Pleasant Valley Sunday") was broadcast on February 23, 1986, on the then 5 year old MTV, video music channel. In February and March, Tork and Jones played together in Australia. Then in May, Dolenz, Jones, and Tork announced a "20th Anniversary Tour" produced by David Fishof and they began playing North America in June with Dolenz. Their original albums began selling again as Nickelodeon TV began to run their old series daily. MTV promotion also helped to resurrect a smaller version of Monkeemania, and tour dates grew from smaller to larger venues and became one of the biggest live acts of 1986 and 1987. A new greatest hits collection was issued reaching platinum status.
, released at the height of the Monkees' 1986 revival.
By now, Nesmith was amenable to a reunion, but forced to sit out most projects because of prior commitments to his bustling 'Pacific Arts' video production company. However, he did appear with the band in a 1986 Christmas medley music video for MTV, and appeared on stage with Dolenz, Jones, and Tork at the Greek Theatre, in Los Angeles, on September 7, 1986. In September 1988, the three rejoined to play Australia again, Europe and then North America, with that string of tours ending in September 1989. Mike again returned at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los angeles, show on July 10, 1989 and took part in a dedication ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, when the Monkees received a TV star there in 1989.
The sudden revival of the Monkees in 1986 helped move the first official Monkees single since 1971, "That Was Then, This Is Now", to the #19 position in Billboard Magazine. The success, however, was not without controversy. Davy Jones had declined to sing on the track, recorded along with two other new songs included in a compilation album, Then & Now... The Best of The Monkees. Some copies of the single and album credit the new songs to "the Monkees", others as "Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork (of the Monkees)". Reportedly, these recordings were the source of some personal friction between Jones and the others during the 1986 tour; Jones would typically leave the stage when the new songs were performed.
Of note is that the 80s Reunion tours had been the most lucrative venture the 3 had ever seen in their days as a Monkee, far out surpassing the monies they had made in the 1960s. Mike had little financial need to join in Monkees-related projects, mostly as his mother Bette Nesmith Graham was the inventor of Liquid Paper, leaving Nesmith over $25 million, upon her death in the late 70s.
A new album by the touring trio, Pool It! (the Monkees' 10th), appeared the following year and was a moderate success. From 1986 to 1989, the Monkees would conduct major concert tours in the United States, Australia, Japan and Europe.
'The New Monkees'
In 1986, a new television series called The New Monkees appeared. Four young musicians were placed in a similar series based on the original show, but "updated" for the 1980s. The show, its accompanying album and the New Monkees themselves all sank without a trace. (Neither Bob Rafelson nor Bert Schneider were involved in the development or production of the series, although it was produced by "Straybert Productions" headed by Steve Blauner, Rafelson and Schneider's partner in BBS Productions.)
In the 1990s, the Monkees continued to record new material. In 1993, Dolenz and Jones worked together on a television commercial, and another reunion tour was launched with the two of them in 1994.
Perhaps the greatest 'reunion' was put out by Rhino Records re-issuing all the original LPs on CD, each of which included between 3 & 6 bonus tracks of previously unreleased or alternate takes; the 1st editions came w/ collectible trading cards.
Their eleventh album Justus Justus (album) was released in 1996. It was the first since 1968 on which all four original members performed and produced. Justus was produced by the Monkees, all songs were written by one of the four Monkees, and it was recorded using only the four Monkees for all instruments and vocals, which was the inspiration for the album title and spelling (Justus = Just Us).
The trio of Dolenz, Jones, and Tork reunited again for a successful 30th anniversary tour of American amphitheaters in 1996, while Nesmith joined them onstage in Los Angeles to promote the new songs from Justus. For the first time since the brief 1986 reunion, Nesmith returned to the concert stage for a tour of the United Kingdom in 1997, highlighted by two sold-out concerts at Wembley Arena in London. The full quartet also appeared in an ABC television special titled Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees, which was written and directed by Nesmith and spoofed the original series that had made them famous. Nevertheless, following the UK tour, Nesmith declined to continue future performances with the Monkees, having faced harsh criticism from the British music press for his deteriorating musicianship. Tork noted in DVD commentary that 'in 1966, Nesmith had learned a reasonably good version of the famous "Last Train to Clarksville" guitar lick, but in 1996, Mike was no longer able to play it' and so Tork took over the lead guitar parts.
Nesmith's departure from the tour came with acrimony in the press. Jones was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as complaining that "he made a new album with us. He toured Great Britain with us. Then all of a sudden, he's not here. Later, I hear rumors he's writing a script for our next movie. Oh, really? That's bloody news to me. He's always been this aloof, inaccessible person...the fourth part of the jigsaw puzzle that never quite fit in."
Nonetheless, that same month, Jones spotted Tork in the audience at one of his shows in Connecticut, and invited him onstage to perform Nesmith's "Papa Gene's Blues" together, with obvious playful affection between them. Jones has admitted via DVD commentary that despite all their differences, for better or worse, the other Monkees are "...the brothers I never had."
In October 2009, Jones again rejected the idea of any further reunions and, according to Digital Spy, "launched an attack on his former bandmates":
:The singer slammed Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, accusing guitarist Nesmith of having his head "firmly up his ass".
:Jones told the National Enquirer: "[Nesmith's] not an entertainer in the sense that Micky, Peter and I are. He has his back to the audience half the time. [He's] a brilliant businessman [but] as a person, I haven't got time for him. He's very aloof and separate."
:The musician also criticised Tork for being too disagreeable to work with and said of Dolenz: "I couldn't imagine sharing a stage anymore with Micky Dolenz, who doesn't want to play the drums and wants to play the guitar at the front of the stage." A virtual reunion of all four Monkees came about in 2010, when Nick Vernier Band released "Mister Bob (featuring The Monkees) Nick Vernier Band Sessions (album) " (see: Legacy, 2010).
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub
In June 2007, Tork complained to the New York Post that Jann Wenner had blackballed the Monkees from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Tork asserted:1994 saw Rhino take over the Monkees legacy from Arista Records. All 8 original studio LPs & the HEAD soundtrack were reissued on compact disc, each CD with bonus tracks.
In 1988, 1990 & 1996 Three "Missing Links" CDs of alternative, unreleased outtakes & rarities were issued.
2003 saw the limitted to 4500, triple CD set The Headquarters Sessions.
2005 saw Rhino beginning to issue the (Digipak) 'Deluxe Editions' of the first 4 LPs: a double CD reissue w/ both the Mono & Stereo LPs on separate discs & each disc also containing a dozen plus bonus tracks.
In Feb 2010, RhinoHandmade.com released "The Birds, Bees..." triple CD: mono & stereo versions & a 3rd disc of out-takes, rarities & such. HEAD will be released in Nov 2010 as a triple CD also via RhinoHandmade.comThe Monkees, selected specifically to appeal to the youth market with their manufactured personae and carefully produced singles, are seen as an original precursor to the modern proliferation of studio and corporation-created bands. But this critical reputation has softened somewhat, with the recognition that the Monkees were neither the first manufactured group nor unusual in this respect. The Monkees also frequently contributed their own songwriting efforts on their albums and saw their musical skills improve. They ultimately became a self-directed group, playing their own instruments and writing many of their own songs.
The Monkees found unlikely fans among musicians of the punk rock period of the mid-1970s. Many of these punk performers had grown up on TV reruns of the series, and sympathized with the anti-industry, anti-Establishment trend of their career. *** Pistols and Minor Threat both recorded versions of "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" and it was often played live by Toy Love. The Japanese new wave pop group The Plastics Plastics (group) recorded a synthesizer and drum-machine version of "Last Train to Clarksville" for their 1979 album "Welcome Plastics".
In 1985, Monte Landis, who had appeared in a number of episodes of the television series, had a cameo in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, a feature film comedy in the style of the Monkees' television show, and his appearance suggests the producers wanted Pee-wee's Big Adventure to have a connection to it.
In 1988 Run-D.M.C. recorded "Mary, Mary" Mary, Mary (song) on their album Tougher Than Leather. Australian indie-rock bands of the 1980s such as Grooveyard ("All The King's Horses"), Prince Vlad & the Gargoyle Impalers ("Mary, Mary", "For Pete's Sake", and "Circle Sky") and The Upbeat and The Mexican Spitfires ("Mary, Mary") performed Monkees cover versions. Cassandra Wilson had an indie hit with "Last Train to Clarksville" in 1995. The alternative rock group Smash Mouth had a hit with "I'm a Believer" in 2001, and their version was featured in the blockbuster computer-animated movie Shrek. Japanese indie rock band Shonen Knife recorded "Daydream Believer". Indie group Carter USM recorded "Randy Scouse Git", which is also called "Alternate Title". The 1980s psychedelic rock band Bongwater, featuring Ann Magnuson and Mark Kramer, recorded "You Just May Be The One" and "The Porpoise Song". The Monkees also had a big influence on Paul Westerberg, lead singer/songwriter for The Replacements The Replacements (band) . "Daydream Believer" and "You Just May Be The One" are staples at his live shows. The British alternative rock band The Wedding Present recorded "Pleasant Valley Sunday" in the early 1990s.
The band's legacy was strengthened by Rhino Entertainment's acquisition of the Monkees' franchise from Columbia Pictures in the early 1990s. The label has released several Monkees-related projects, including remastered editions of both the original television series and their complete music library, as well as their motion picture Head Head (film) .
In the 1990s, three of the Monkees had minor roles in the family sitcom Boy Meets World. Tork played Topanga's father Jedidiah; Jones played Reginald, an old friend from Europe; Dolenz played Gordy, Mr. Matthews' best friend. In the one episode that the three were in together, they performed "My Girl".
In 1991, a feature film called Daydream Believer (known as The Girl Who Came Late in some markets) was released in Australia.
Jones, Tork, and Dolenz also feature memorably as themselves in The Brady Bunch Movie. Jones is invited by Marcia to appear as the surprise star guest at the high school prom. After a difficult start, he proves a surprise hit with the modern-day audience. Later, the Bradys themselves perform "Keep On Dancing", a 1960s-style "groovy" song, in the evening's "Search For A Star" talent contest. Everyone is surprised when they win the award until it is revealed that the judging panel consists of Jones, Tork and Dolenz.
In 2005, eBay used "Daydream Believer" as the theme for a promotional campaign.
In 2006, Evergreen used "Daydream Believer" in their adverts; the lyrics were adapted for the product.
In 2009, Britain's Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle recorded "Daydream Believer."
In 2010, Nick Vernier Band created a digital "Monkees reunion" through the release of "Mister Bob (featuring The Monkees) Nick Vernier Band Sessions (album) ", a new song produced under license from Rhino Entertainment, containing vocal samples from the band’s recording "Zilch".* Had the top-charting American single of 1967 ("I'm a Believer"). (Billboard number-one for seven weeks) with "Daydream Believer" tied for third.
* Gave the Jimi Hendrix Experience their first US concert appearances as an opening act in July 1967. It should be noted that Hendrix's heavy psychedelic guitar and ***ual overtones did not go over well with the teenage girl audience.
* Gene Roddenberry was inspired to introduce the character of Chekov Pavel Chekov in his Star Trek TV series in response to the po***rity of Davy Jones, complete with hairstyle and appearance mimicking that of Jones.
* Introduced Tim Buckley to a national audience, via his appearance in the series finale, "Mijacogeo, Or – The Frodis Caper".
* Last music artist to win the MTV Friday Night Video Fights by defeating Bon Jovi 51% to 49%.
* First music artist to win two Emmy Awards.
* Had seven albums on the Billboard top 200 chart at the same time (six were re-issues during 1986/87).
* The Monkees are one of the first artists achieving number-one hits in the United States and United Kingdom simultaneously.
* More of The Monkees spent 70 weeks on the Billboard charts, becoming the 12th biggest selling album of all time (Billboard.com).
* Four number-one albums in a one-year span. The only act to have their first four albums go to number one on the Billboard charts.
* Held the number one spot on the Billboard album chart for 31 consecutive weeks, 37 weeks total.
* Held the record for the longest stay at number one for a debut record album until 1982 when Men At Work's debut record album Business As Usual Business as Usual (Men at Work album) broke that record.
* In 2008, The Monkees were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.*The Monkees The Monkees (album) (1966)
*More of The Monkees (1967)
*Headquarters Headquarters (album) (1967)
*Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (1967)
*The Birds, The Bees & the Monkees (1968)
*Head Head (The Monkees album) (1968)
*Instant Replay Instant Replay (album) (1969)
*The Monkees Present (1969)
*Changes Changes (The Monkees album) (1970)
*Pool It! (1987)
*Justus Justus (album) (1996)There was also "The Monkees" comic published by Dell which ran from 1–17 (1967–1969) as well as a Daily Mirror "Crazy Cartoon Book" (2/6, now 12.5p) which had four comic stories as well as four photos of The Monkees, all in black and white. Published 1967.A TV movie Daydream Believers: The Monkees' Story, directed by Neill Fearnley was released in 2000. It was first broadcast on the TV network VH1. In 2002, a DVD release included running commentaries and interviews with three members of the Monkees Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork.*
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