John Billings has been the bass player in The Monkees' touring band since 2012. Here's a great interview with him that was conducted by Ken Mills over at Zilch. Enjoy!
Late this afternoon replacement packaging for my Monkees Blu-ray box set arrived from Rhino Records. As everyone knows, many customers who purchased the collection were dismayed to find imperfections with the box housing the 10 Blu-ray discs, booklet, and bonus 45 single, including ripped placeholders and even reports of the lenticular cover becoming unglued. John Hughes of Rhino Records, who co-produced the Blu-ray project, quickly acknowledged these problems on Facebook, saying "We hear you and we are working on a plan to make any damages right. Please be patient with us for the next couple of weeks while we work this out."
I received a couple of emails yesterday from Monkees fans who had been issued shipping notices from UPS along with reports of actual deliveries of the replacement box. So, if you alerted Rhino about a concern, new boxes are on the way! Rhino Records is to be commended for rectifying this unfortunate occurrence in such quick fashion.
If your Blu-ray packaging suffered damage, please contact Rhino directly to inform them of your issue. In the meantime, hopefully everyone is enjoying the results of the dedication exhibited by Hughes, Andrew Sandoval, Dan Wingate, and others who made this Blu-ray collection a reality!
Thanks to Brian Marchese of Where's That Sound Coming From? for this brand new interview with Monkees archivist and tour producer Andrew Sandoval. Andrew talks extensively about his work on the new Monkees Blu-ray collection along with Rhino's packaging issues, how he got his start in the music business, working with Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter, and much more. Listen to Part 1 of 2 below:
Thanks a lot to Chris Keating for submitting this scan of the August 9, 1967 issue of Australia's TV Times to the Live Almanac.
This article, from the December 1967 issue of Fave, digs deep into Peter's pre-Monkees days washing dishes at the Golden Bear, a folk club in Huntington Beach, California.
The Monkees' debut single, "Last Train to Clarksville," was first recorded on this day in 1966 at RCA Victor Studio B in Hollywood. Written and produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and released by Colgems on August 16 (backed with Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Take a Giant Step"), the song debuted on the Billboard charts on September 3 at #101. By November 5, The Monkees had scored their first #1 single, knocking off "96 Tears" by Question Mark & The Mysterians. The Recording Industry Association of America awarded "Last Train to Clarksville" (and The Monkees' debut album) a gold record on October 27.
Monkee Spectacular was published from April 1967 through August 1968 for a total of sixteen issues. Each magazine was completely devoted to The Monkees, and featured color photos, exclusive stories, fan letters, contests, and more.
Thanks to YouTube user Fuzzy Reflections for updating a romp from the first season episode "One Man Shy" so that it can feature "Terrifying," a (bonus) track from The Monkees' new album, Good Times! There's little I'd change about Good Times!, but it's hard for me to understand how "Terrifying" didn't make the standard release.
You can download "Terrifying" on iTunes or Amazon.
David Price was Davy's stand-in on The Monkees TV show. Beyond numerous cameos on the series as an extra, David traveled with The Monkees on tour and acted as one of the group's confidants during their original heyday.
On July 23, 2011, five years ago now, Davy Jones gave his last performance as a member of The Monkees. The concert, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Marcus Amphitheater, was the final stop on the group's successful 45th Anniversary World Tour. Sadly, Davy passed away on February 29, 2012.
Thank you very much to Sherri Hansen for sharing previously unseen video footage from that show, which can be viewed below. Sherri has a few other items related to this historic performance that she's going to submit to the Live Almanac a little later, but for now, enjoy:
Last month I posted this unofficial video for "Birth of an Accidental Hipster," a song from The Monkees' new album Good Times!, written by Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. The video, created by Carlos Boellinger and featuring footage from The Monkees' TV show, is a really fun watch, and I thought it was worth another look (and listen). Plus, it's one of my favorite cuts off the new album...
Interview with Wayne Avers