The Monkees' live concert debut was held in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 3, 1966 before a sold-out crowd at the Honolulu International Center Arena. The band had arrived in Hawaii a few days earlier, where they were greeted by several thousand fans at the Honolulu airport. The day before the show, the group visited radio station KPOI, spinning records and going live on the air. This practice became a tradition for The Monkees as they traveled from city to city while on tour.
Lots to check out in this cool screenshot taken from "The Monkees on Tour" episode, including the large screen that projected images of The Monkees during their performance, along with several of the group's Gretsch brand instruments: Micky's champagne sparkle drum kit, Peter's burgundy bass, and Davy's customized bass!
Micky Dolenz, in an interview for Harold Bronson's Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees book, remembered The Monkees' earliest live performances and the hysteria that greeted The Monkees in concert. "We would burst out of these big, mock Vox speakers onto the stage and the place would go bananas," Dolenz said. We had one of the first multimedia presentations; we projected this film up behind us on a big movie screen." The screams coming from the audience, however, often hindered the band as they could barely hear themselves play. "I get up behind the drums and I couldn't hear any count so Mike would turn and he would look at me and I'd look at him and we'd all look at each other because you couldn't hear or see a thing," he recalled. "We had a lot of good times," Nesmith told Bronson.
The Monkees performed at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio on January 15, 1967. Flip later reported that Michael Nesmith tossed his green wool hat into the audience during this performance.
The Monkees performed in San Francisco's Cow Palace on January 22, 1967. Thanks to Al Bigley for providing this clip!
The Monkees performed a series of concerts between December 1966 and May 1967, appearing at such venues as the Cow Palace in San Francisco and Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
Below is portions of audio from Micky, Davy, and Michael's appearance on KRUX radio in Phoenix, Arizona on January 20, 1967. The Monkees spin records (including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Four Tops) and go live on air. The group is promoting their concert in Phoenix the next day, which was filmed for the last episode of the first season, "The Monkees on Tour." Portions of this radio broadcast are featured in that episode.
It was tradition for The Monkees to visit radio stations while on the road, starting with their very first concert appearance in Hawaii when they stopped by KPOI. This is a really entertaining listen and quite the time capsule!