I recently posted an interview with Monkees historian and archivist Andrew Sandoval that originally appeared in Goldmine in 1996. Due to the great response the interview received, I've decided to share another interview with Andrew, this time from 2006.
This Q&A session was originally published on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums. I collected questions for Andrew and he was kind enough to take the time to answer each one of them.
Recall that this interview comes from 2006 and some of the questions are outdated now that several Monkees releases have seen the light of day since the interview. (Andrew's answers are bolded and italicized.)
Monkees Q&A Session with Andrew Sandoval
Published on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums in August 2006
When researching your book, did you come across any further information about whether or not any 1969 concert was truly recorded? Have you spoken to Micky, David or Michael about these alleged tapes, or members of Sam and The Goodtimers?
I know nothing more on the subject of any recordings of the 1969 tour.
It has long been rumored that Micky’s mother had a copy of the alleged 1969 concert tapes before she passed away, and that Gary Strobl has some sort of video footage from that year’s tour. Can you give a final answer to the status of these long rumored tapes, and who has what, if anything?
Gary Strobl does have some silent video footage of the group onstage from ’69, but that’s all. There will be no final answer on these tapes as long as they remain rumored and unheard.
The bootleg of the 1969 concert that has floated around for years is rumored to be from the Pueblo, Colorado stop. Others now say it is not the Colorado show, but the Wichita, Kansas show. Can you provide any other information on the location and origin of this tape?
I have been told by Gary Strobl that it is from Wichita and I believe he is right.
On page 172 of your book, you mention there is a mix of “Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again” that features a prominent Davy Jones backing vocal, but that the mix is never released. Will this mix appear on the upcoming deluxe edition of Head?
Hopefully it will appear on one of the upcoming reissues. It was actually mixed for the Birds & Bees album.
Can you give us more details on the February 1968 take of “Nine Times Blue” that features both Mike and Davy on lead vocals? Is it a complete and finished take? Will we see it on the upcoming deluxe editions?
It is complete, wonderful sounding and hopefully will be issued soon.
Is there any chance the 1996 Billboard Live club show will be released as part of a potential deluxe edition of Justus or downloadable on any new website? Even though Justus isn’t on the table for re-release, would it not make a great package if this concert was released along with what ever else exists from these sessions?
The Billboard live concert has been discussed recently, but there is no time table or specific plan for when this will reemerge.
Are any live recordings of The Monkees from any of the reunion eras in Rhino’s hands? Are you aware of any reunion era shows as having been taped, besides the 1986 Fishof tapes?
We do not have any reunion tapes (outside of the Billboard live concert). I know the Monkees made various board tapes over the years, but only they know for sure. Rhino holds no rights to these.
In your book, you credit Micky Dolenz as playing piano on “Shorty Blackwell.” Can you tell us which piano parts are Micky’s?
Micky indeed plays piano in sections on that production. However, I cannot give you any specifics since all the results have been edited together.
In the 1991 liner notes of the Listen To The Band box set, you mention that Micky and Davy undertook an 8-date club tour to promote Changes in 1970. These dates are not mentioned in your book. Can we assume these shows actually never happened?
That information came from Brendan Cahill, who is now deceased. Anything I was not able to fully confirm in writing was left out of my book. I want to make clear that I was far more in favor of omissions than errors. There is a big difference between guessing at something and leaving it out entirely. By leaving it out, I can always add it in later if it is ever confirmed.
Is Michael Nesmith playing the full piano track on “Writing Wrongs” as credited in your book?
Any new information since the publishing of your book in regards to who is performing the backing vocals for "While I Cry" and "I Won't Be The Same Without Her"? Some of us really think it's Micky and Davy on both.
The AFTRA contracts for those sessions are missing (as is the multi track for While I Cry) so basically we are all making guesses. I try only to print things that can be confirmed.
Do you have any new information regarding the 11/21/70 entry of your book about the performance Micky, Davy and Peter gave in California? Set list, circumstances around why the show happened, etc.?
I asked Peter about it and he said it was possible that it did happen.
From Vincent Redman:
Any idea where the master tapes are for Micky Dolenz' post-Monkees 45rpms, i.e. "Easy On You/Oh Someone," "Daybreak/Love War," "Buddy Holly Tribute" etc. etc.? Would it be a licensing nightmare, in your opinion, to try to assemble a Micky Dolenz post-Monkees anthology of his 45rpms onto one CD? Would Rhino tackle such a project? Has it even been discussed or mentioned?
Universal owns and holds most of the tapes for these. It is likely that they would want a hefty advance to license these tracks to Rhino (beyond what we could sell). You could always try writing to Universal to see if they will issue a CD of these songs.
Any particular reason why Davy Jones' Bell LP hasn't appeared on CD yet, with some bonus tracks like the radio station promo only of "I Believe In You" or "Girl" (original Bell 45rpm mix) or perhaps "Who Was It?" or "You're A Lady"?
It is owned by Sony/BMG – you should ask them.
Once all the deluxe editions are released, will there be any reason to hang onto the Arista CD versions of the first four albums for different mixes, etc.? Or has anything/everything that was considered unique to the Arista CDs now been made available by Rhino?
The first four Arista CDs have remixes on them which we are unlikely to reissue – we are using the original mixes for our current reissues.
Will the upcoming deluxe edition mono version of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees be the mono fold down mix, or the true mono mix? If it's the true mono mix and not the fold down, what's Rhino using for its source? Did they finally find the original mono master?
We are still trying to locate a mono tape.
Have the tapes featuring Peter Tork’s recordings circa 1967-1968 been located? If so, what kind of condition are they in and will they see release on the upcoming reissues?
We have some tapes, but certainly not all of them. The upcoming Birds, Bees reissues may have some new versions of the familiar Lady’s Baby or Merry Go Round.
Was More of the Monkees re-mixed from the session tapes, so that songs like “Sometime in the Morning” and “I'm A Believer” will have a real stereo mix, not the vocals and handclaps spread out over a mono backing track?
No, we used the original mixes only. Also, we do not have the final vocal multitrack of “I’m A Believer” to do a full remix.
From Tim Groves:
Will Sundazed Records release any more Monkees titles, including the Head soundtrack?
That’s up to them.
Is there any chance of a DVD release that would compile just the songs from the TV series?
It’s a project that we have discussed extensively at Rhino.
Concerning the final three CD remasters, Head, Instant Replay and Present: will new mono mixes (or any of the original and unused mono mixes) be prepared since the original Colgems albums were stereo fold downs? Or will the CDs be loaded with alternate mixes instead?
We will not be creating new things in mono, just using old things.
Have any true outtakes (i.e. Snuff Garrett, Nesmith's Nashville sessions) or demos surfaced (i.e. the 1966 demo of “I've Just Begun To Care” on The Monkees) since you published your book? Also, have you found the session tapes for “Steppin' Stone” and several of the NY sessions from late 1966? If so, will any be included on the upcoming remasters?
We have not found many things since my book was published.
Have any soundboard or broadcast tapes surfaced from the 1968 Far East tour, in particular the concert that was broadcast on Japanese television that year?
To my knowledge there is just the one audio tape from the television broadcast (which has been widely circulated).
Is Rhino planning on opening up the vaults (as mentioned months ago) to song fragments, live performances, demos, backing tracks and other material deemed uncommercial? If so, will it be an open access, or material selected by you and/or Rhino?
It is an idea we have discussed and hopefully we can figure out a way to start that process sooner than later.
Considering Changes is inexplicably not on the remaster schedule, will it, and the several outtakes and alternate mixes from the sessions, be available as downloads?
There are no outtakes or alternate mixes from those specific sessions in our archive.
Will 33 and 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee be re-released on DVD as part of the remastering series? Knowing the unfortunate circumstances behind the recording sessions....have better tapes been found...audio and video?
No better tapes or sources have been located and until they are, there will be no reissue.
What is the status of the new Monkees website? When will it open?
In the next month!
How many lost tapes....session, multi's and masters, have been found during this project? It seems incredible to me that so many are actually lost, particularly the 1970 NY sessions. Did Jeff Barry keep the tapes? He seems to be the one at the helm for most of the missing tapes throughout their career. Was he contacted about the missing or lost tapes?
Jeff Barry was contacted numerous times and says he has no tapes.
Did Mike ever record guide vocals to “Tommy Blue,” “Michigan Blackhawk,” “Lynn Harper” and/or “Thirteen's Not Our Lucky Number”?
Not that I am aware of.
Is there a ‘straight’ version of “Magnolia Simms” in the vaults, without all the 1920s yippie manifestations?
There is a version without the crackle effect if that’s what you mean.
How involved are The Monkees in the reissue campaign?
They will be featured on the cover of each and every release.
I would like to know if/when any Monkees download site becomes available, will it be mp3 only or will we be able to get the songs in flac or some other lossless format? It would be a shame to put all the time, effort, and money into that project if we will only be able to get mp3 files.
We have not discussed what format the audio will go up in yet.
From Sunset Sam:
You noted that Davy had done some solo performances in late 1968/early 1969, but there is no such reference in the book (other than some TV performances). Could you please share the details?
See page 227 of my book: “Monkees Monthly reports that the trio plans to do a try-out concert in Hawaii (as they did in ’66) before hitting the road this year. Monkees Monthly further note that Davy has recently made some solo personal appearances, likely referring to two recent concerts in Alabama (which possibly occurred in late 1968). During one undated weekend, Jones appeared at the Alabama State Coliseum in Montgomery where he introduced Andy Kim, Billy Joe Royal and Boyce & Hart in an event sponsored by radio station WBAM. The following day he traveled to Birmingham’s Municipal Auditorium for a show with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Four Jacks And A Jill, as well as Boyce & Hart. This event, which drew an audience of twelve thousand, was presented by radio station WVOK.”
Are you aware of any other possible solo performances not documented in the book that any of the Monkees performed from 1965-1971 (including any possible Davy shows in 1965/early 1966 to promote the Colpix album, Nez' San Antonio-area shows from 1965, Davy and/or Micky in 1970/1971)?
There are some further First National Band 1970 dates that I wasn’t able to confirm prior to going to press.
There is no mention of the Corvettes' second single in the book.....while I do not have a copy of the actual 45, I recall seeing that Nesmith had produced the session yielding those tracks. Do you know when they occurred? Or did Nesmith possibly not have anything to do with those performances?
He produced both sides, but since the recording dates were unavailable, no mention was made in my book. I made the editorial decision not to speculate on anything in my book. If it could not be verified – it was omitted. I was far more in favor of omissions rather than inaccuracies.
Any chance Rhino might be willing to put together a “Missing Links” album of Nesmith RCA years alternate versions, demos and unreleased songs? Obviously, these would have to be licensed from BMG.....I would think there would be a healthy market for this stuff, though.
That is totally up to Sony/BMG, they own Nesmith’s RCA recordings.
From Jeff Turkali:
Any 5.1 surround mixes in the works?
We have resynched many of the old tapes recently, but we have so many holes in our archive of multitracks that is unlikely you will see much in that area.
From Joel Dion:
Is there any film available from the TV series and Head, like alternate takes,
raw camera footage or outtakes? If so, is there any chance of such footage being released on DVD or over the web?
We have located a few outtakes, and it is possible they will see release in the future.
Can you detail the process of mixing/mastering the new releases? Details like---was noise reduction used or avoided, how songs were mixed that are actually new mixes, etc...
The best available sources for the albums were compared and transferred at DigiPrep using a vintage tube Scully machine and analog EQ. New mixes of bonus tracks were made from the original four track masters and in a few isolated cases were derived from material resynched via Pro Tools.
From Tony Michael:
Any plans on publishing a 2nd edition of your book, one that covers the solo years, the 80s comeback and beyond?
No. The great thing about doing just the Monkees’ original incarnation is that it is finite. It took fifteen years just to do 1965-1970. I can only imagine what stress it would be to track down every State Fair that Davy played at and so forth. Furthermore, it would never be finished. There would always be more dates to detail as long as they are performing and recording.
From Drawer L:
Any chance of getting a letterboxed Head?
Sure we could make one, but it would involve taking information from the top and bottom of the image just to make it wide screen. It is full format – what you see on the current DVD is the full image. Believe it or not, that is everything on the 35mm neg.
Any truth to when Frank Zappa (as Nez on the TV series) said, "I'm gonna leave The Monkees & join The Byrds”? I've heard that Nez did play at least one show with The Byrds and when the audience starting yelling, "What's HE doing here?" McGuinn said "He’s playing!” Is this true?
I have found only one direct reference to Nesmith playing with the Byrds from Folk Scene magazine in October ’75. He told Jim Bickhart: “I played steel guitar and rhythm guitar for the Byrds at a concert in Berkeley, California. People asked me if my amps were turned on, you know? Did I really play or was it all for show? The Byrds certainly didn’t need me to stand around on stage and do nothing. Clarence White asked me not to get in the way of his solos, but the rest of time I was as audible as anyone on stage.” My feeling is that, based on the Clarence White comment, this likely occurred between 1970 and 1973.
Whatever happened to Davy's old friend Jeff Neal, who regularly wrote "My Friend Davy" stories for 16 Magazine (and his parents ran ZILCH for Davy)?
That’s a question for Davy.
In regards to the promotional clip of "Oh My My", with Micky & Davy riding motorcycles, was that filmed to be inserted into the series reruns or was that an actual promo clip?
My guess is that was a stand alone clip.
Will the TV series be remastered/reissued to include alternate tracks containing the different songs that were utilized during summertime repeats, the Saturday morning broadcasts and syndication?
It is something we have discussed recently.
Supposedly there was an alternate unreleased version of "D.W. Washburn" which had a black bass singer doing the line "D.W. Washburn...." Peter Tork makes reference to this in the Listen To The Band box set liner notes and says The Monkees were not allowed to release that version. When they performed “D.W. Washburn” on the 1989 American tour and on a Nashville Network appearance that same year, the arrangement sounded kind of like what Peter was describing, and he in fact did perform those lines. Any record of that version existing? And who was the bass singer?
I recently found a mono mix with the bass vocal and hopefully it will turn up somewhere soon. I have no idea who the singer is.
What's the deal with the "early version" of the Monkees theme on Rhino’s The Monkees CD having the same backing track as "Tema Dei Monkees?" And the actual take used on the TV show having a different backing track? Both have been released as karaoke tracks, the "Tema Dei Monkees" one on the Japanese Monkees Best! With Original Karaoke and the TV version on The Best Of The Monkees CD. Since Tommy and Bobby are singing on it that would seem to suggest it's pretty early in the game. Has any information come to light on when these takes were done? And why would the Italian version end up getting released as the B-side of "Valleri" in 1968, so long after the fact? Supposedly a stereo mix of "Tema Dei Monkees" was released in Italy...is it Please Please Me/With The Beatles kind of stereo? I'm guessing so, since Rhino has only released it in mono...
Here’s what I do know. The “early version” was mixed in July ’66. Tema Dei was completed in March ’67, it was not released till ’68 because the show likely didn’t show up in Italy until sometime later in 1967 (I’m guessing). Bill Inglot has a copy of that Italian album with the stereo version, but he couldn’t find it to play me what the stereo sounds like.
Are there any other recordings from Justus besides “Manchester Boy” and will they be released? If you have heard “Manchester Boy” can you tell us what it is like and if it is a finished take?
I know they did it, but have not heard it.
Will there ever be commercial DVD releases of any Monkees live concerts, especially the 1997 UK tour? For example, David is on record as saying there are videos of the 1997 UK gigs which he intends to release.
That’s up Davy and the other Monkees. They own them.
Is there a recording of “Mary, Mary” with Mike on vocals and if so, will it ever be released?
There is no recording like that in our archive.
Is Rhino still in search of the two missing tracks from Changes? How do session tapes become lost and where might they end up?
They are still missing. The Monkees tapes were lost because with so many different companies involved in the project, there was no one party specifically responsible for keeping track of the tapes. Tapes were stored by RCA (who manufactured and distributed the Monkees Colgems records), Arista (who inherited the catalog from Bell, a Columbia Pictures Company), EMI Music Publishing (who bought out Screen Gems Music – the Monkees’ Music Publishers), Columbia Pictures (who owned Screen Gems), not to mention all the Monkees producers, arrangers and Music Coordinators.
Any chance of releasing "I Didn't Know You Had It In You Sally, You're A Real Ball Of Fire" and the Nesmith produced version of "War Games”?
There is a chance.
What about a Changes/Pool It deluxe reissue together which would allow Rhino to scrape up those extra tracks like “Kicks,” etc.?
We don’t own “Kicks”
What is your favorite Monkees album and why?
Pisces Aquarius because it is their most consistent effort. Song for song, it is close to perfection.
How did you get so into The Monkees?
I started watching them on KTTV in Los Angeles during 1977 and have been a fan ever since.
From Jeff Wong:
Is the material from the Rhino Handmade releases, Headquarters Sessions and Summer 1967: The Complete U.S. Concert Recordings, going to be part of this reissue program and get a wider release?
The Summer 1967 is still in print. Some of the Headquarters Sessions tracks (but certainly not all) will be bonus tracks on the upcoming Headquarters Deluxe Edition.
Interview with Wayne Avers