Thanks to David Marcone for the heads-up!
In late 1980, Peter formed a band called The New Monks. On February 13, 1981, they recorded a single, "Steppin' Stone"/"Higher and Higher." The 45 was eventually released on the Claude's Music Works label, named after Peter's then-manager Claude Hayn. Thanks a lot to Ben Belmares for sharing the scans of his single!
Neil Diamond preps 50th Anniversary Tour of his own and plans to highlight songs he penned for The Monkees
This is the eleventh in a series of guest articles (and in this instance, a podcast) that have been submitted to The Monkees Live Almanac in celebration of the group's 50th Anniversary.
Earlier this year, the host of the Where's That Sound Coming From? podcast, Brian Marchese, contacted me after I had solicited contributions from guest authors to celebrate The Monkees' 50th Anniversary. Brian was knocking around a few ideas, and after several starts and re-starts, he settled on a podcast presentation that proposes an "alternate" history of The Monkees, largely centered around the group's fifth LP, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees. Here's Brian's description of the podcast:
Truth is at least as strange as fiction. Fact intertwines with my flights of fancy in this episode. At its core is an analysis of the fifth album The Monkees SHOULD have released. I was asked to contribute something to the excellent blog, Monkees Live Almanac, back in May of this year to help celebrate the band's 50th Anniversary. I thought about it intermittently for two months, wrote it sporadically over the course of the next two months, and recorded/produced it in fits and starts over the last two months. And here it is.
Monkees fans are really going to enjoy this podcast, and the Live Almanac would like to say a big thank you to Brian for all of his hard work and dedication in presenting this project!
Be sure to visit the Where's That Sound Coming From? podcast on Facebook, too!
"Who could have expected a comeback this great? Mike Nesmith gets to show off all the mileage on his country-fried pipes in this superb road-weary ballad, written to order by a lifelong Monkees fan, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard." -Rob Sheffield
Released in late 2014, the 3-CD Rhino Handmade release is currently not available for ordering at the official online Monkees store. Customers are instead prompted to subscribe to an email list to be notified when it's back in stock. In late April 2015, Rhino alerted fans that less than 500 copies of the limited edition run of 4,000 remained.
Previously, Handmade sets for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees and the Head soundtrack have sold out, along with The Headquarters Sessions and Summer 1967: The Complete US Concert Recordings. Still available, however, are boxes for both Instant Replay and The Monkees Present.
Here's "Oh My My," "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," and "Good Clean Fun," courtesy of The Monkees Tour Facebook page:
Lisa Manekofsky attended the penultimate show on the 50th Anniversary Tour at Twin Rivers Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island on November 19th. In a recent email to the Live Almanac, Lisa reported two new items on the merchandise table which were not for sale on earlier dates, or at least since the last time she had seen the tour (in mid-July in New Hampshire). There was a canvas tote bag which sold for $20, and a light blue T-shirt with a drawing of Micky Dolenz and the words "Psycho Jello," which sold for $35.
Did anyone else take notice of these additional items at other late stops on the tour? (Note: The "Psycho Jello" shirt was for sale on Micky's official eBay store this past summer.)
Thanks, Lisa, for the heads-up!
Last night, The Monkees opened the final leg of the 50th Anniversary Tour with their first ever show in New Zealand. Here is the evening's set list, which included the debut of both "Oh My My" and "Good Clean Fun" in the set. "Good Clean Fun" was a hit in Australia, reaching #13 in 1969. The last original Monkees single, "Oh My My," while peaking at #98 in the United States, made it to #34 in Australia in 1970. A big thanks to Andrew Sandoval for sharing the set list with the Live Almanac!
Be sure to join Al Bigley and Alan Williams for the latest edition of their new Monkees podcast, and visit their website in the event you missed the first two episodes!
A lot of fans from Australia and New Zealand have contacted the Live Almanac asking about pricing and availability of 50th Anniversary Tour merchandise for the shows Down Under. I'd like to thank Matt Boe of Love Police Merchandising for confirming which items will be for sale and at what cost:
Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart's "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" played a key role in the episode, and this article highlights an attempt Michael Nesmith made at the song when he produced a backing track for it on July 7, 1966 at RCA Hollywood. That session featured multiple guitarists including Peter Tork, along with Wrecking Crew aces Glen Campbell, James Burton, Al Casey, and Jim Helms. The bassist was Bill Pitman, while Hal Blaine played drums and Billy Preston handled organ duties.
Nesmith's backing track never received a vocal and went unheard until 2006 when it was released on a deluxe edition of The Monkees' debut album. Boyce & Hart later cut their own (drastically different) version, and it was this take that was ultimately included on The Monkees.