This episode of Headquarters is centered around Davy Jones and his 1987 autobiography, They Made a Monkee Out of Me. The special, hosted by Paris Stachtiaris and John Di Maio, begins with a multi-part interview with Alan Green, who assisted Davy in the publication of the book (as well as 1992's Mutant Monkees Meet The Masters of the Multimedia Manipulation Machine!). Green was also a member of Toast, the late '70s/early '80s group that backed Davy on the road during that period. Green talks about his relationship with Davy and the genesis of their partnership, Basil Foster, and recalls Toast on tour. From there Paris and John speak with Davy about the book, his experiences on Broadway, The Monkees' fallout with MTV, Pool It!, the making of the "Every Step of the Way" video, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, his 1988 solo album Incredible, Don Kirshner, Colpix Records, Head, and much, much more.
Please note that I've misplaced the opening of this episode of Headquarters which is why the program begins right away with Alan Green's interview. And, sprinkled throughout you'll hear two tracks from Incredible, "After Your Heart" and "Hippy Hippy Shake," along with "Rainbows" (written and recorded with Chip Douglas), as well as audio from Davy's late 1965 appearance on Ben Casey.
This piece was originally published in the August 1967 issue of Monkee Spectacular - click each image to enlarge.
In the video below, Davy Jones performs with Toast at Magic Mountain in Los Angeles in 1979. Toast backed Davy during his live concerts throughout 1979 and 1980, and this appearance was part of a syndicated TV special, Scapbook of the 60's.
The Monkees' concerts in New York City during their 1967 summer tour were a particular highlight, grossing hundreds of thousands of dollars and playing to 36,000 people over three nights.
The Monkees played a series of shows at Harrah's in Las Vegas at the end of their 1987 summer tour. Here's some footage from one of those shows that was posted on YouTube by Jeff Jones, guitarist in the backing band that year.
"War Games" was composed by Davy Jones and Steve Pitts and was originally considered for inclusion on the soundtrack of The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head. Pitts was a friend of Michael Nesmith's from Texas, and Nez introduced the pair to each other in late 1966. They eventually entered into a songwriting partnership, composing such tracks as "Dream World," "The Poster," "Smile," "Party," "I'm Gonna Try," and "Changes" (another song that was floated for Head, and at the time of its recording, the name of the film).
Two versions of "War Games" exist. The first was recorded in January 1968 under the supervision of Nesmith. Present at the initial sessions were Michael, Davy, Steve, and Bob Rafelson, who offered the visual image he was getting while hearing the track being produced. "It sounds to me like four spade chicks all dressed in American flags and all wigglin' their asses at the same time, goin' down the street," reported Andrew Sandoval in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, after listening to the session tapes. "You dig what I mean? If you just start thinkin' on that, it sounds awful good." Nez replied with some hesitation. "Thanks Bob. That's very groovy. That's what we are playin', right?"
Sandoval discussed the first version of "War Games" in the liner notes of Rhino's 2010 deluxe edition release of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees:
(Sandoval notes in his book that Michael most likely overdubbed the Hammond organ part at a future recording session.)
In February 1968, Davy went back into the studio with Lester Sill and Shorty Rogers and remade "War Games" in a slower arrangement with horns and strings:
"War Games" wouldn't be heard until version 2 appeared on 1987's Missing Links. Version 1 would make its debut on the 2010 deluxe edition of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.
Go ahead and take a moment to vote in the poll below to show your preference between the two versions of the song:
These articles by Frazer Hines were originally published in the November and December 1967 issues of Monkees Monthly:
On June 23, 1967, The Monkees and their crew departed Los Angeles for Paris, France. Over the next several days in the French capital, The Monkees filmed what would become the second season episode "Monkees in Paris." Here's a photo of Davy riding a motorbike through the streets of Paris as seen in the episode:
Interview with Wayne Avers