Paul Weller talks about singing with Boy George, writing for The Monkees and his solo effort "A Kind Revolution"
You and Noel Gallagher had a song [“Birth Of An Accidental Hipster”] on The Monkees record from last year [“Good Times!”], and it got a great response. How did it come about?
We had a very, very rough backing track, and I was trying to get in to do some writing for a record; I can’t remember which album it was now. This was a couple of years back. That was as far as we had got with it.
And then Noel said he had been asked to write a song for The Monkees, so he said, “How about we write one together?” And then I remembered that track, so we reworked it, really, and wrote some words for it. Michael [Nesmith] and Micky [Dolenz] and I think even Pete [Tork] all sing a verse or a bridge or whatever, each — that was quite a nice touch. It’s so mad to think we wrote a song for The Monkees.
Were you a Monkees fan growing up?
Yeah, I loved them. I mean, not like I loved the Beatles, but I thought there were some amazing tunes of theirs. And some of the Wrecking Crew played on some of the records. Brilliant, brilliant production [and] players. But great songs — I mean, they chose some great songwriters. Some Mike Nesmith songs were brilliant.
The Monkees record led a lot of people to reappraise their catalog and as musicians and songwriters, I was heartened to see.
It’s quite an amazing story, isn’t it? To have something that was totally put together and fabricated, [but] there’s all this intense, great music coming out of it.
Michael Nesmith on New Book ‘Infinite Tuesday,’ the Monkees and Being John Lennon’s Friend (The Interview)
Jeff Clark: "You sing one of my favorite songs, 'Me and Magdelena,' written by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. You also sing the Rivers Coumo song 'She Makes Me Laugh,' which has a great chorus. Would you work with these guys again?"
Micky: "Absolutely. We do have other tracks that we found and we’re going to listen and see if they are appropriate, but we’ve received a whole lot of interest in other people writing stuff. I’m not sure it’s going to happen this year; it may be a bit early. I don’t know how in the hell you follow that up. How do you that?"
Micky on dueting with his friend, Harry Nilsson, on Good Times!:
“When we started talking about the [Monkees' 50th] anniversary, we found a bunch of unfinished tracks from the ’60s,” says Dolenz. “When the show was on the air, we recorded tons of material because they wanted two new songs in every episode. Harry, who was one of my dearest friends, had written one for me to sing. It had his scratch vocal, but because Harry never did anything half-assed, it was a full-blown performance. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I can do a duet with my old friend.’ ”
Fountains of Wayne guitarist Jody Porter, who played on the 2016 Monkees album Good Times! (which was produced by his bandmate Adam Schlesinger), commented on Facebook that he'll soon be in Los Angeles to work on a new Monkees LP:
UPDATE 4pm EST: Jody Porter's comments about The Monkees have been removed from the Facebook post above.
The Monkees first studio album since 1996's Justus arrived one year ago today. Check out the Live Almanac's complete coverage from the moment it was announced:
This evening on his UK radio show, Iain Lee spoke with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, the legendary new wave group responsible for songs like "Tempted," "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," and many more. Afterwards, Iain relayed details about the interview on Facebook, in which Tilbrook referenced The Monkees' 2016 album, Good Times!, while also hinting about writing for a future Monkees release:
"Um. How to say this. I literally just had Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze on my show. I said it was sad he wasn't asked to write a song for Good Times. 'Oh we were,' he said, 'but we couldn't fit it in. But they're doing another record and we're writing one for that...'"
No further information is available regarding Tilbrook's comments, but it should be noted that in a March interview Micky Dolenz raised the idea of The Monkees working together in 2017:
"We’re talking about another Monkee project. Nothing to announce at this point, but it’s in the air because this year is the 50th anniversary of our first real tour. So there’ll be stuff going on this summer and fall and then, well you just never know."
Stay tuned to the Live Almanac, and for a link to the Tilbrook interview once it's archived online.
UPDATE @ 8:40pm EST:
Joe, who owns Joe's Record Exchange in Fort Myers, Florida, has informed the Live Almanac that he received an email today from a record distributor regarding a brand new Monkees compilation coming this summer from Rhino Records. Here's what Joe had to say:
"I own a record store in Florida. I received an e-mail today from one of the distributors I buy new vinyl from, and it was about an upcoming Rhino promotion called '1967 Summer of Love.' There are 19 releases scheduled, and one is by The Monkees called Summer of Love. The only information given is that it is a 'New 1 LP and 1 CD compilation' with a scheduled release date of July 18, 2017."
It's unknown, of course, if this collection will contain any new Monkees music, and I'd like to stress that Rhino Records has yet to officially announce such a compilation. It's interesting nonetheless, on top of Iain's interview with Glenn Tilbrook. Thanks, Joe!
UPDATE #2 @ 10:30pm EST:
Andrew Sandoval, Monkees archivist and concert tour producer, spoke exclusively with the Live Almanac about the initial report above:
"No comment on recording, but we await any new Difford & Tilbrook song. Here's hoping."
Chris Difford is Glenn Tilbrook's songwriting partner in Squeeze. Thanks, Andrew!
UPDATE #3 on 5/10/2017 @ 4:15pm EST:
You can now listen to Iain Lee's interview with Glenn Tilbrook, and the Monkees discussion begins at the 2:00 mark.
UPDATE #4 on 5/23/2017:
Rhino Records has announced a new Monkees compilation, Summer of Love, as referenced in the first update above.
Today in 2016, The Monkees' lead single and video from their Top 20 album, Good Times!, was premiered on Rolling Stone magazine's website.
At the time of its release, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, who composed the song, talked about The Monkees' influence on his career:
Nez also celebrated the release of "She Makes Me Laugh" with this post on Facebook on April 28, 2016:
Thanks to @Trimco_wgins on Twitter who alerted the Live Almanac about the video below, courtesy of YouTube. And if you haven't seen it, don't forget to check out the official video for the second single from The Monkees' latest album, Good Times!, produced by Michael Nesmith's son, Jonathan, and Susan Holloway.
And I must say that I'm in total accord with Andrew's song selection below!
A backing track for Jeff Barry and Joey Levine's "Gotta Give It Time" was originally recorded in January 1967 and, 49 years later, it was finally given a vocal by Micky Dolenz (with backing vocals by Michael Nesmith) for The Monkees' 2016 album, Good Times! Andrew Sandoval discussed its original '67 attempt for an entry in his Day-By-Day book:
"...The studio musicians next settle in to recording Joey Levine's promising 'Gotta Give It Time,' not coincidentally co-written with today's session producer Jeff Barry. Only four takes are made of this garage-styled rock number, the final one being marked as the master. Had The Monkees ever completed the recording it could have been another '(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone.'"
Here's a homemade video for the song from YouTube, splicing "Gotta Give It Time" into the first season episode "The Chaperone":
In late November, voting commenced for "The 2016 Coolest Song of the Year 10th Annual Listener's Poll" sponsored by "Little Steven's Underground Garage," a syndicated radio show on SiriusXM. (Steven Van Zandt is a musician, producer, songwriter, and longtime member of The E Street Band who placed "Hipster," a cut from The Monkees' latest album, Good Times!, into steady rotation on Underground Garage.) It was announced yesterday that the song has taken top honors in the poll!
In another impressive feat, Monkees fans played a role in setting a record for the annual poll:
The drowsy melancholy of "Me & Magdalena," Ben Gibbard's contribution to a new album by the Monkees, featuring the particular beauty of Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz, their tenor voices weathered but still vital, harmonizing.