The Monkees, reduced to a trio after Peter Tork's departure, appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on June 17, 1969 (their visit being taped the previous day). They sang two songs, "Daydream Believer" and "Goin' Down," and were backed by their 1969 touring band, Sam & The Goodtimers. Here's the audio of their performance, courtesy of the Live Almanac's YouTube channel:
Between songs, Carson conducted an interview with The Monkees, a segment that seemingly grew cringeworthy as Micky talked about things like Robitussin cough syrup and holograms. Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval documented the event in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
Videotape of this appearance no longer exists. In the 1960s, NBC infamously erased old programming because tape was expensive, a move that later infuriated Carson after he asked for classic clips for a retrospective show and nothing was available. "No one was doing reruns, there was no home video, there was no cable TV, there was no other outlet," Carson's nephew Jeff Sotzing said in a 2012 interview. "There were only 3 television source outlets; ABC, CBS, NBC, that was it — they didn’t have any place to re-run them." It was after this occurrence that Carson requested that his shows be permanently archived. Sotzing went on to say that less than 1% of Tonight Show material from 1962 to 1972 has been accounted for, and to date, The Monkees' appearance is not part of the small amount of footage from that era to have survived.
Ann Moses was the editor of Tiger Beat from 1966–1972, writing countless stories about The Monkees during their heyday. Ann also acted as Hollywood correspondent to Britain's New Musical Express from 1968-1971. She has visited with The Monkees backstage during their most recent tours, and had the opportunity to interview Monkees archivist and tour producer Andrew Sandoval before Micky and Michael performed in Phoenix, Arizona last summer.
The European tour referenced above never took place, as this article from the May 1969 issue of Monkees Monthly explains.
This article was originally published in the Vancouver Sun after The Monkees' performance at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC, Canada on March 29, 1969:
The editor of Monkees Monthly penned this piece for the September 1969 issue, which was also its last.
This article is a time capsule on the state of The Monkees heading into what turned out to be the very challenging year of 1969 for the group. Davy talks about the lack of success of their most recent singles and why he thinks they underperformed. He also discusses 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee (which had yet to air), songwriting (including Micky's "Mommy and Daddy"), what he thinks their 1969 tour should encompass, and much more.
Before the start of their extensive tour across North America, Micky, Davy, and Michael were guests on Glen Campbell's variety show 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 a series of comedy sketches. Those sketches are outrageously dated and a bit over the top, but it's still a fun watch and one of the few surviving pieces of footage of The Monkees as a trio in 1969. Plus, you get to catch a glimpse of Davy's ultra-cool customized Gretsch bass.
Micky and Davy discuss Peter's departure from The Monkees and his new group Release, music trends, their upcoming LP that ultimately became The Monkees Present, and more:
The Monkees visited the historic Ryman Auditorium when they were guests on The Johnny Cash Show on July 19, 1969. The trio sang Michael Nesmith's "Nine Times Blue" in an appearance that was filmed earlier that May.