(Image courtesy of Dinky Publishing)
This illustration is courtesy of Sandra Schock, who shared several pieces of her work with the Live Almanac late last year. Thanks, Sandra!
Here's some more artwork courtesy of Sandra Schock, who has shared several illustrations with the Live Almanac. Be sure to visit her on Facebook and Twitter. Nice job, Sandra!
Thank you to everyone for their continued support of this website, and for a wonderful 50th Anniversary celebration of The Monkees!
Sandra Schock recently shared some of her Monkees artwork with the Live Almanac. Here's a sketch of The Monkees inspired by their September 2016 performance at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. For more of Sandra's artwork, be sure to visit her on Facebook and Twitter, and stay tuned to the Live Almanac for a page devoted exclusively to this show, Michael Nesmith's final performance with The Monkees.
Sandra Schock recently shared some of her Monkees artwork with the Live Almanac. Here's a great sketch of Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork with their touring band. For more of Sandra's artwork, be sure to visit her on Facebook and Twitter.
The Live Almanac would like to extend a warm thank you to Micky, Peter, and Michael Nesmith for all of the fun and excitement they brought to the road this year. I'd also like to recognize Andrew Sandoval, who produced the tour, along with the entire staff and crew that worked behind the scenes. Andrew was also kind enough to share photos of set lists from numerous shows on the tour with the Live Almanac, and that was much appreciated. If only Davy Jones had been around for it all.
With that being said, the 50th Anniversary concerts wouldn't have been the success they were without The Monkees' touring band: Wayne Avers (guitar/musical director), John Billings (bass), Rich Dart (drums), Dave Alexander (keyboards), and Coco Dolenz (vocals/percussion). Everyone involved with the tour should take a bow!
In the meantime, I'm going to begin work on my essay for the 50th Anniversary Tour page here on the Live Almanac, along with creating a page dedicated exclusively to Michael Nesmith's final concert with The Monkees at the Pantages Theatre this past September.
I would also like to take a minute to thank everyone for their constant support of this website and blog. I have been overwhelmed by your kind email notes and well-wishes. I continue to be astonished by the traffic flow the site receives!! I was also honored that The Monkees Live Almanac was mentioned this year in online articles published by industry websites like Billboard and others, and author Peter Mills gave a shout-out to the Live Almanac in his newly published book, The Monkees, Head, and the 60s (which I highly recommend):
John Wilson, Alan Adkins, Jim Catapano, Fred Velez, Patrick Zappi, Daniel Eckert, Mark James Melhi, Amy Collen, and Brian Marchese also deserve recognition. In honor of The Monkees' 50th Anniversary, they composed essays for the Live Almanac (and in Brian's instance produced a podcast) celebrating the group's history and impact, and their work has greatly enhanced this website.
Finally, a hearty thank you to John Hughes, Andrew Sandoval, Dan Wingate, and everyone at Rhino Records, who provided Monkees fans with two monumental releases this year. Good Times!, The Monkees' first studio album since 1996's Justus, shot to the upper echelons of the charts and captured the spirit of the group's '60s recordings, due in large part to Adam Schlesinger, who produced the LP. Rhino's Blu-ray set, which featured all of the Monkees episodes, Head, and 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee restored from their original prints (along with a bevy of bonus features), allowed The Monkees' legacy on film to jump into the 21st century.
Now, stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac in 2017 for all it will bring to Monkees fans!
Thanks much to Sandra Schock who has shared her Monkees artwork with the Live Almanac. Here's the first of several images that will appear here on the blog in the coming days. Visit Sandra on Facebook and stay tuned for more of her work!
I wrote about this a couple of years ago, but thought it was worth revisiting. The photograph above, taken by Bernard Yeszin, inspired the cover art for the Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. album in 1967. Andrew Sandoval wrote the following in the liner notes of the Pisces deluxe edition in 2007:
When cover artist Bernard Yeszin came to illustrate The Monkees’ fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., he took a brave step. The group would be drawn in silhouette only, with just their respective astrological signs hinting at their identities. “The Monkees were so popular and so hot at the time,” says Yeszin of the concept, “that I could do just about anything that reminded you of The Monkees. I could do an album cover and just show their outline and people would identify them. People would know they were The Monkees.
Hey Hey, They’re Still The Monkees: Even after 50 years and the loss of Davy Jones, the band is winning us over
Here's a scene from the recently released animated video for "You Bring the Summer," which was directed by Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway. You'll note, of course, The Monkees as depicted on the cover of Headquarters, while standing in flowers that are like those found on the front of the Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. album.
Check out the video below!
Thanks a lot to SirQ for allowing the Live Almanac to share these images! The first two designs are for albums that didn't originally exist, and the last three are reimaginations of the LP covers for Head, The Monkees Present, and Changes. Enjoy, and look for more of SirQ's work here on the blog.
Here's another screenshot from the new video for "You Bring the Summer," and Ken Mills added the Monkees logo to it! Don't forget to check out Ken and the gang over at Zilch: A Monkees Podcast.
Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway are to be commended for their attention to detail in the creation of the video for "You Bring the Summer." Here are some instrument-themed screenshots from it.
I'd like to say thanks to Justin Rakowski for taking the time to design a new banner for The Monkees Live Almanac. I've placed it on the front page of the website and on Facebook. Great job, Justin!
Don't forget to check out more of Justin's handiwork.
For years it has been debated whether or not a concert from the 1969 Monkees tour was recorded. Conflicting reports and recollections from members of The Monkees, their backing band from that era, and others have added to the intrigue. All this time later, however, no tapes have ever surfaced. One concert, thought to be the May 10, 1969 performance in Wichita, Kansas does exist as a bootleg, but it’s an absolutely horrible recording usually sought after for historical purposes only.
Both Micky Dolenz and Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval have seemingly confirmed that there is no audio to be heard from the 1969 tour. "We never recorded that," Micky Dolenz said in a 2005 online interview. "I recorded Sam & The Goodtimers [the supporting band on the 1969 tour] as an act, and was trying to sell them to a record company. But we never recorded - I wish we had, it was funny, it was really great having that band, they were a great band."
Sandoval agreed with Micky about the nonexistence of 1969 live audio. "Certainly there’s no tape of a 1969 show in the Monkees vault. What Micky says…that he taped them (The Goodtimers) at that Souled Out Club in Los Angeles…makes a lot of sense," Sandoval said in a 2005 interview. "I tried to do research about that club. I found out where it was but there were never any advertisements or listings of who played there in that time period, so it was hard to say when the Goodtimers played there or when The Monkees might have come to see them. It seems more and more that if there had been a recording it would have shown up by now. It’s been a long time, you know?”
Even with these statements, curiosity still surrounds potential live recordings from the 1969 tour today. The year, after all, was more than challenging for the group, who were now a trio after the departure of Peter Tork. With their weekly television series off the air (but revived in syndication in the fall of '69), along with the disastrous box office returns of their feature film Head, and the lukewarm reception to their 1969 NBC television special, The Monkees' concert show proved a hard sell to ticket buyers. To their credit, The Monkees were experimenting with new sounds in their music as well as in their live performances, developing an act that was revue-like in its presentation and supported onstage by Sam & The Goodtimers, a seven-piece rhythm and blues band. Despite some positive vibes from the critics, the 1969 tour, Micky later said, "was like kicking a dead horse. The phenomenon had peaked." "We all had a good time on the tour," Michael Nesmith told Sandoval in the 1990s, but "it was tough out there." Documentation of The Monkees in concert from this era would reveal a unique period in the history of the group like never before, and is a main factor in why fans still hold out hope that tapes will materialize.
Historical evidence survives to keep those hopes alive. Below is a radio spot that was aired in Oakland, California in advance of The Monkees' appearance there on November 30, 1969.
You'll note that the advertisement mentions the fact that the concert will be recorded for "their next album," but once again, no tapes seem to exist.
Monkees fan Justin Rakowski decided to create his own album artwork for such an LP as if it had been released in the aftermath of The Monkees' 1969 tour. Check out Justin's creations below!
Great job, Justin! Fantasy artwork like this and others are always a lot of fun to examine. Now if only those tapes would emerge!
Here's the promotional handbill for the Oakland Coliseum concert that Justin used on the back cover of his LP:
A big thanks to Derek Miner who shared his awesome reimagination of The Monkees' last original album Changes, based on the premise that Michael Nesmith was still a member of the group at the time of its release in June 1970.
Before you check out the images below, there is some backstory about the photo used for the cover of Changes, and the fact that Michael was cropped out of it:
Here's Derek's take on the front cover:
The back cover, complete with Derek's own track listing for a Nesmith-infused Changes:
Derek's artwork without the title treatment:
And finally, the actual cover art for Changes as released on Colgems Records in 1970. "There is the theory that the color background image was done with Mike originally and he was just cropped off," Derek said, adding that "the evidence being a small purple spot on the left that could have been Mike's guitar headstock."
Interview with Wayne Avers