Micky, Davy, and Mike were guests on Glen Campbell's variety show, airing on February 5, 1969. The trio performed "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," and "Salesman" live and lip-synced "Tear Drop City" (their brand new single at the time) after participating in comedy sketches. The entire Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour appearance will be included on the bonus disc of the upcoming Monkees Blu-ray set.
Eddie Hoh was a session drummer for The Monkees throughout the late 1960s, most famously contributing to the Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. album and such singles as "Daydream Believer" and "Goin' Down." Sadly, Eddie passed away in November 2015.
WGN Radio in Chicago takes a look back at the life and career of Eddie Hoh:
The opening of the show featuring "Last Train to Clarksville" and "That Was Then, This Is Now" -
Micky and Peter shared the lead on "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You."
Here's "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" and "I'll Be Back Up On My Feet."
"I'm a Believer," along with Micky and Peter throwing Mardi Gras beads at the end of the show:
Micky, Peter, and the band are currently performing at Family Gras, an annual Mardi Gras festival in Metairie, Louisiana. Here's an early look at the show:
A big thanks to Renny Simno for submitting these photographs while the show is in progress!
Here's another one of Renny's photos, this one showing Micky visiting with fans following the afternoon's performance:
Micky, Peter, and the band will be performing this afternoon at Family Gras, an annual Mardi Gras festival in Metairie, Louisiana, which is right outside of New Orleans. If you are attending, please feel free to share any photos or reports from the show. Visit the link below for more information:
One of the first releases in celebration of The Monkees' 50th Anniversary is a limited edition retro-style item paying homage to Monkees records you could find on cereal boxes in 1970. Note the sticker's disclaimer:
*Milk not included. To play, you may need to adjust your tracking weight or use a few nickles,
just like you did in 1970.
Here's a photo of the front of each cardboard record:
Cereal Box Singles comes with four playable cardboard records and includes the following Monkees songs:
"Last Train to Clarksville"
"Words" (previously unreleased TV mix)
"I Never Thought It Peculiar" (previously unreleased TV mix)
"Valleri" (previously unreleased TV mix)
Here's a look at the "Valleri" single. The other three cardboard records feature the same design as below:
Are The Monkees planning to record new material to celebrate the group's 50th Anniversary? Back in December, Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval exchanged messages on Twitter with singer-songwriter Andy Partridge (XTC) inquiring on whether or not Partridge was interested in writing a song for The Monkees. Today on Twitter, Partridge confirmed that he has submitted songs to The Monkees for consideration:
Sandoval chimed in a little later on Twitter with the following:
Bill Martin, an extended member of the Monkees family, has passed away. Martin was a musician, songwriter, screenwriter, comedic actor, and voice actor.
Brought into The Monkees' orbit by his friend Michael Nesmith, Martin's initial contribution to the group came in the form of "All of Your Toys," a song recorded in early 1967 during the very first sessions to feature The Monkees supporting themselves instrumentally in the recording studio. Unfortunately for Martin, Screen Gems was unable to acquire the rights to "All of Your Toys" from its original holder, Tickson Music, for which Martin worked. "All of Your Toys" remained unreleased until it was finally aired on the Missing Links compilation in 1987. After Martin eventually signed with Screen Gems, The Monkees recorded another of his compositions, "The Door Into Summer," which found a home on 1967's Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. album and stands today as one of the LP's finest cuts. Martin later collaborated on songs with an assortment of artists, including Harry Nilsson ("Rainmaker," covered by Michael on his third solo effort, Nevada Fighter), Dan Fogelberg, and The Turtles. He also performed with a variety of bands throughout his career, including playing keyboards for Linda Ronstadt.
In the early '80s, Bill appeared in Nesmith's Elephant Parts and then co-wrote the screenplay to the 1987 movie Harry and The Hendersons (with Steven Spielberg as executive producer). In 1997, he made a cameo appearance in The Monkees' ABC television special (as the refrigerator tour guide). Martin lent his voice to various animated series throughout the years, too, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and multiple Star Wars video games.
When The Monkees played in Seattle, Washington on their 2013 summer tour, Michael dedicated that evening's performance of "The Door Into Summer" to Bill.
In 1989, Martin was interviewed by Paris Stachtiaris and John Di Maio on the Headquarters radio program:
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval took a moment to remember Bill Martin on Facebook:
"Davy Jones used to like to go around quoting his favorite Martinism: 'Hummus where the heart is.'
All four Monkees loved him..."
Micky Dolenz & Andrew Sandoval to appear at Beach Boys tribute to benefit Autism Think Tank & Children's Music Fund
In the week leading up to the debut of The Monkees television series on NBC, Micky, Davy, Mike, and Peter took part in a cross country promotional tour. Los Angeles radio station KHJ staged perhaps the most ambitious event for the group on September 11, 1966, one day before the airing of the show's inaugural episode. Contest winners rode on a train to the coastal town of Del Mar, California, which had been renamed 'Clarksville' for the day by the town's mayor. Landing on the beach in two helicopters and dressed in their signature double-breasted shirts, The Monkees met approximately 400 winners of KHJ's radio contest. After the event, the group traveled by train with the contest winners back to Los Angeles. On one of the train cars, The Monkees gave their first true live public performance. Their set included Michael's "Papa Gene's Blues" and a cover of Baker Knight's "She's So Far Out She's In," a song that was later performed during the first Monkees tour in late 1966/early 1967 (and tracked, sans vocals, during the Headquarters album sessions in early 1967).
The photo above is a screenshot from the early 2000s documentary Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, and it's courtesy of Steve Hoffman Music Forums user Silver Surfer.
Here are a few more screenshots from the documentary:
Video footage of the KHJ event can be seen below in the Easy Riders, Raging Bulls documentary - skip forward to 22:20.
Gary Strobl is a longtime Monkees collector and confidant of the group. Fans will remember his efforts in organizing Monkees conventions and, for a brief time in the '80s, contributing to the short-lived Monkees West fanzine.
Gary has been compiling a book on The Monkees since 1983, conducting research and amassing numerous interviews through the years. Strobl, in collaboration with Henry Diltz and Harvey Kubernik, announced in 2013 that a deal had been signed to publish their work.
This evening, Live Almanac reader Brian found the following listing on a Belgium-based website that specializes in illustrated books:
The publication date listed above (October 2015) could be an error, or perhaps the book was due to be released last fall and experienced a delay. All things considered, this could be a good sign that the book will finally see the light of day, and just in time for The Monkees' 50th Anniversary. Keep checking back with the Live Almanac for additional updates.
Michael posted this message on his Facebook page earlier today:
A loved one sent me a playlist of female folk singers. I love the female voice, especially in mezza voce, the half voice, lilting and bird like. The male voice has some of the same characteristics in mezza voce, but it sounds more natural to me when I hear the female voice do it. There is a soothing and genteel quality to it, reminding me of water slowly flowing over rocks.
All the singers on the playlist had something to offer but I particularly like The Staves, a trio. Accompanied by ukulele, Facing West is my song of the morning, this morning – with an actual human whistling – and a simple lament – “I don’t think I can do this any more”. In it I hear the the sighing and soft cry of a tired child. It is pure and clear example of this voice – in three part harmony. I would follow it anywhere – a siren indeed – from the land of the desperately sweet.
I took the time and listened to the album The Staves made in 2012 and the last one I could find in 2014. What a difference in those two years.
The Andrews Sisters had beautiful voices, and it was the Andrews Sisters that first showed me how the voice of many singers mimic the instruments of the times. Not just female voices but all voices. Sinatra sounded like brass – a kind of muted trumpet, Crosby sounded like a trombone, the Andrews Sisters sounded like a big band brass section, Bonnie Raitt sang like a slide guitar, Ronstadt like a lead guitar, the Beatles like guitars and keyboard, Robert Plant like the growl and wail of overdrive in Page’s guitar– and I’m sure if you think about you will come up with a whole stack of others.
The Staves vocal change over time made me a little melancholy because in their career as singers the flute-like sound – almost synthetically pure – has slipped away to a more brash sounding vocal ensemble in front of a big orchestra playing in a huge concert hall. They are maturing of course, but if one listens to Adele, for instance you can still hear her reach out and touch the mezzo voce and the faint shadow of youth and innocence that rings through it.
There is something in The Staves pictures from 2012 to 2014 that has changed as well – as it should – and with the change is a kind of dance to watch, like the planets revolving, the changing of the seasons, and songs of the times.
The rap songs where the vocals are the instruments as well is a far cry from Eddie Cantor singing the contra-clarinet to the banjo-in-the-band – but they are both the same in essence and aesthetics.
I want The Staves to sing me the songs of that silken mezza voce, the high sibilance of the perfect harmonies of innocence and of the moment of discovery that we as humans can sing and play music, but I am content to let it turn and come to its new time – to express itself as it will. Something is lost no doubt but something is gained – and so it goes.
(January 27, 2016)
Interview with Wayne Avers