SirQ shared his alternate cover design for the Head soundtrack with the Live Almanac:
This photograph of The Monkees was taken in November 1968 during the promotional tour for their feature film, Head.
Peter Mills, author of The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, was recently contacted by none other than Bob Rafelson, who praised his work! (And it looks like Jack Nicholson is reading, too.) Jawbone Press, the publisher of the book, tweeted the following account earlier today:
Be sure to check out an excerpt from the book that was published on this blog last year.
In a 2002 interview with Mojo magazine, Micky Dolenz discussed the significance of the 'black box' in the movie Head. "...About us as individuals getting stuck in this black box, which was a metaphor for The Monkees. We used to talk about being in a black box all the time. When we were on tour, especially - but even being on the TV set. We couldn't leave a room or hotel. We were shuffled around from limo to hotel room to limo to the back entrance of a concert arena in a dressing room. It was even a little black box on-stage because we used to jump out of these fake Vox amps. So for more than two years, we lived - literally - in a little black box."
"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:
And Peter Tork is hosting Jimi Hendrix at his home...
(Photo courtesy of Written In Our Hearts on Facebook)
A big thanks to Peter Mills who today submitted a two-page clipping on the movie Head to The Monkees Live Almanac. Peter, of course, is the author of The Monkees, Head, and the 60s, which was published late last year.
According to Peter, the pages below originate from a British magazine called Films and Filming, and though the pages are undated, the material on the reverse of these images suggests it comes from late 1973 or early 1974, three years away from the movie's UK debut in August 1977! As Peter pointed out, you'll notice the plot mistake regarding Micky and the Coke machine, but since Head hadn't been seen in the UK at the time, it's likely few noticed.
On a side note, I can't recommend enough Peter's book. Back in September, Peter and his publisher, Jawbone Press, were kind enough to share an exclusive excerpt from it with the Live Almanac. It's both a scholarly and entertaining work that fans of The Monkees are certain to enjoy. I learned new things from reading it, and found it hard to put down once I had delved into it. If you haven't checked it out, it's available in paperback and as a Kindle download, and UK fans can order it via Amazon.
Thanks again, Peter, for these scans!
On March 3, Friday Music issued a limited edition (gold) vinyl version of the soundtrack to The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head, entitled Head Alternate. This release features alternate versions of songs that appeared on the original soundtrack, such as "Can You Dig It" with a lead vocal by Peter Tork, a remixed "Daddy’s Song" with the slow verse sung by Davy Jones as seen in the movie, alternate stereo mixes of "Porpoise Song," "As We Go Along," and "Circle Sky," and a rough mix acetate of "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again." All of these alternate versions have been previously available on various CD releases by Rhino Records.
Once again, Ben Belmares delivers for The Monkees Live Almanac with his scans of this new release. Thanks, Ben!!
Screen Gems owned a Gibson Everly Brothers Flattop model guitar that turned up as a prop in some episodes of the television series and even in shots from Head. Still photos of Mike, Micky, and Peter all exist with this guitar, including the one below of Micky taken during the filming of Head.
Andrew Sandoval covered the November 19, 1968 event in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
"As We Go Along" was first performed live on The Monkees' 1989 summer tour that visited the United States, Canada, and Japan. This audience recording, from the group's final show in Japan to date, was recorded at Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo, a popular venue for concerts in that city that closed in 2010.
Peter Mills is a longtime Monkees fan and author of The Monkees, Head, and the 60s. Back in September, Peter and his publisher, Jawbone Press, were kind enough to share an exclusive excerpt from the book with the Live Almanac. It's both a scholarly and entertaining work that fans of The Monkees are certain to enjoy. If you haven't checked it out, it's available in paperback and as a Kindle download. I've had the pleasure of exchanging several emails with Peter and I'm happy to give his book an enthusiastic endorsement!
Click on the image below to listen to Peter's interview with Ken Mills from the Zilch podcast:
Interview with Wayne Avers