These articles by Frazer Hines were originally published in the November and December 1967 issues of Monkees Monthly:
Craig Smith wrote "Salesman," the opening track on The Monkees' fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. Smith was a friend of Michael Nesmith's and a member of The Penny Arkade, a group Nesmith produced in the recording studio. Nez talked about the Arkade and "Salesman" with Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval: "I really liked the way they sang," he said in the liner notes of Rhino's 1995 compact disc release of the LP. "I was drawn to record 'Salesman' because it reminded me of Sir Douglas and the Tex-Mex oompah."
The song was later used to great effect in the second season episode "The Devil and Peter Tork," but not before stirring controversy at NBC. The January 1968 issue of Hit Parader reported that the episode had been rejected by the network because of the inclusion of "Salesman," which was thought to have been about drug use. "NBC said we're not putting that song out," Peter Tork recalled in Sandoval's book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation. "They said, 'Because "Salesman's" got drug references in it.' In fact, it sort of does, but it's not direct and it's not approving by any stretch of the imagination. What it really says is, 'Salesmen are so sleazy, they'll sell anything.'"
By the time the episode aired on February 5, 1968, the song remained in the final cut of the show. Ultimately, Bert Schneider, one half of Raybert Productions that created The Monkees series, was convinced that the network's real problem was the use of the word 'hell' throughout the episode. Peter agreed with this assessment. "Bert felt that they didn't want to put the show on because they were pissed off directly and personally at having their idea of what's right and wrong challenged. They said it was centered on 'Salesman,' but he thought it was a red herring."
Shortly after experiencing success with "Salesman," Craig Smith fell on hard times by the 1970s. Abusing drugs and dropping out of society, Smith's life spiraled alarmingly. He's been the subject of writers previously, and now author Mike Stax has delved into his life in a new book, which was released last fall.
This article, from the July/August 1997 issue of Experience Hendrix (The Official Jimi Hendrix Magazine), goes into depth on the pairing of The Monkees with the Jimi Hendrix Experience during The Monkees' 1967 summer tour. Featuring remarks from Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Chas Chandler (who managed Hendrix), and Dick Clark (who promoted the tour), it's one of the most detailed accounts of this unique period in Monkees history.
Jerry Blavat, "The Geator with The Heater" and "The Boss with the Hot Sauce," is a longtime disc jockey and Philadelphia icon who appeared in the second season episode, "Some Like It Lukewarm."
Andrew Sandoval covered the November 19, 1968 event in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
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.
Jon Andersen directed two episodes of The Monkees, "The Christmas Show" and "The Wild Monkees," and was assistant director for a multitude of episodes throughout the first and second seasons, and for the movie Head.
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.
Famed studio musician Louis Shelton, who played the famous guitar lick on "Last Train to Clarksville" and was featured on numerous Monkees songs in the 1960s, guested with Micky, Peter, and the band last night during the group's final show of their 50th Anniversary Tour in Gold Coast, Australia.
Andrew Sandoval marked the occasion in a message on Facebook:
A cool moment featuring the wonderful Louie Shelton, a Candy Store Prophet and a key component of the Boyce & Hart sound. What was really a thrill was how Micky & Peter performed "Last Train To Clarksville" tonight, like they were doing it for the first time in 1966. This was in fact the first time they had ever performed with the man who played guitar on so many of their classic recordings from 1966-1969.
Of note, this is the song they've played the most since they started performing in December 1966 (pre-"I'm A Believer"). We shared so much great history this year, and this along with the appearances of Michael and hearing Davy's voice every night brought home that there is still very much a real group called The Monkees.
Neil Diamond preps 50th Anniversary Tour of his own and plans to highlight songs he penned for The Monkees
Singer-songwriter Diane Hildebrand co-wrote some of The Monkees' most well-known songs. "Early Morning Blues and Greens" and "Your Auntie Grizelda" were composed by both Diane and Jack Keller. "Goin' Down," largely considered a Monkees classic, is a collaboration between the band and Diane. She released an album for Elektra Records in 1967, and continued writing songs throughout the 1970s. In 1968, Hildebrand contributed to Monkees Monthly in an article entitled "The Monkees Never Relax."
In these late 1989 episodes of the Headquarters radio program, Diane speaks with hosts Paris Stachtiaris and John Di Maio about her career in music, her relationship with The Monkees and the songs she wrote for the group, and much more.
As promised, Micky, Peter, and the band were joined by Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard during last night's show at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington. They performed "Me & Magdalena," Ben's stellar contribution to The Monkees' latest album, Good Times!
Ben hung around to take lead vocals on "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" - which can also be seen in the video above - and returned for "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and "I'm a Believer" in the encore:
Interview with Wayne Avers