I went to the 2014 Monkees Convention in New York and filmed what I saw and who I met. I am a huge Monkees fan and it was a real thrill to speak to like-minded, passionate people. I was also lucky enough to interview Micky Dolenz, Monkees songwriter Bobby Hart, and Monkees historian Eric Lefcowitz, who all appear in this documentary.
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.
Glenn Gretlund and Ian Lee Talk About Working With Micky Dolenz On The MGM Singles Collection, New Music and More!
In this episode, Mike, Micky and Peter talk a California date, James Grant Interviews Peter Tork. Iain Lee and Bobby Hart talk some cool new releases & "Good Times!" Monkees news & Monkees Mailbag! Love one another! Thank you for listening to & for being part of this show. We love you. It is THE YEAR OF THE MONKEES!
Click the image below to listen!
7:30PM EST: Earlier this evening on his radio show, British broadcaster and 7a Records producer Iain Lee played "You Bring the Summer" from The Monkees' new album, Good Times! Iain is going to air the track once more before the end of his show. Tune in by clicking the "talkRadio" link below!
UPDATE 7:55PM EST: Iain has now replayed the song - thanks, Iain! It features Micky Dolenz on lead vocals.
UPDATE 8PM EST: A big thanks to Walter Herwig who submitted a sample of "You Bring the Summer" to The Monkees Live Almanac's Twitter feed:
Iain provides some great news for those waiting for Micky Dolenz: The MGM Singles Collection to be released on compact disc, along with a special project featuring Micky, Christian Nesmith, and Circe Link.
Thanks to Tim himself for alerting the Live Almanac about his new interview with the co-founder of 7a Records, a label that has treated Monkees fans to such releases as Micky Dolenz: The MGM Singles Collection, and more.
Purchase the August 2015 issue of Record Collector
Micky's early 1970s singles, originally released on the MGM label, were recently collected for the first time ever courtesy of Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund of 7a Records, both longtime Monkees fans and co-producers of Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection.
Released in the summer of 2015, the set (made available as a gatefold vinyl and digital download) featured the A and B-sides of Micky's tenure at MGM, including his collaboration with Michael Lloyd, dubbed Starship, that yielded the 1972 single "Johnny B. Goode"/"It's Amazing to Me." Micky placed his stamp of approval on the project, and conducted several interviews in support of it. "It's really a great package," Micky told Examiner.com. "Over the years, I've had versions of those songs, one on a tape here, on a disc here, on a demo here," he said. "It's nice to have them all in one package."
Despite the lack of chart success for Micky's output during this era, the tracks are remarkably diverse and have stood the test of time. In the most recent Live Almanac poll, fans were asked to choose their two favorite songs from the collection, and "Oh Someone" took top honors. Written by Monkees associate (and Davy's stand-in on the TV show) David Price, the song is notable as the first collaboration between Micky and Peter since Peter left The Monkees in late 1968. Coincidentally, "Oh Someone" came together after a chance encounter Price had with Peter in 1971. The superb liner notes of the MGM Singles Collection, written by Mark Kleiner Biggar, elaborated on the meeting. "I was walking down the street in Hollywood when I looked up and there was Peter," said Price. "We hadn't seen each other in a while, and he said, 'I'm recording up at Micky's; why don't you come up?'" The song took a few hours to record, and featured Price on rhythm guitar, Peter on bass, and Micky behind the drums. A scorching lead guitar part by Price's friend B.J. Jones finished off the proceedings.
"Daybreak" was composed by Micky's close friend, Harry Nilsson. Nilsson, of course, had contributed "Cuddly Toy" and "Daddy's Song" to The Monkees years before, and both he and Micky were members of the infamous late night Los Angeles party group The Hollywood Vampires in the early 1970s. "Daybreak" featured former Monkees producer Chip Douglas on bass, who also compiled a video for the song that ultimately was not circulated at the time of the single's release in 1973. It surfaced on YouTube this past summer via Iain Lee as a promotional vehicle for the MGM Singles Collection.
You can order Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection on a couple of different formats. The gatefold vinyl LP is available on Amazon UK and via Amazon in the United States. The vinyl is also for sale (at a great price) through online retailer Ernie B's. You can also download it digitally on both Amazon and iTunes, with bonus tracks. And even better news, the MGM Singles Collection is slated for release on compact disc in the future!
The latest project from 7a Records showcases Bobby Hart's first solo album, which is also now available.
Here's the first email newsletter update from upstart record label 7a Records, which specializes in rare Monkees and Monkees-related releases. Subscribe to their newsletter! You'll see the opportunity to sign up at the bottom of their website.
I say morning because it is 5.47am here in the UK where 7a Records are based!
Thank you so much for signing up for our irregular newsletter about upcoming releases and events...yes, events!
We have 2 very exciting 7" vinyl singles coming soon....and an old favourite on CD...but as you probably know, our next release will be an expanded CD debut of 'The First Bobby Hart Solo Album' the lost Bobby Hart classic that had limited vinyl release in 1980.
We are hoping to have this exciting CD out BEFORE CHRISTMAS! Fingers crossed.
Right...have to go and do my radio show, this is a little testette to make sure the technology works.
More updates soon....
The brand new label with a mission of specializing in Monkees-related releases has launched a website. Iain and Glenn's first project, Micky Dolenz: The MGM Singles Collection, is now available. Click the image below to visit.
Micky's early 1970s singles, originally released on the MGM label, have been collected for the first time ever courtesy of Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund, longtime Monkees fans and co-producers of Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection. You can order this release on a couple of different formats. A vinyl LP set is available on Amazon UK and via Amazon in the United States. The vinyl is also for sale through online retailer Ernie B's. And now, the collection is ready for download on both Amazon and iTunes, with bonus tracks!
To top off everything, the extremely informative liner notes for the MGM Singles Collection (written by Mark Kleiner Biggar) features rare and previously unseen photographs from iconic rock and Monkees photographer, Henry Diltz. The liner notes are worth the price alone.
The Monkees Live Almanac is proud to endorse this release. Be sure to check it out!
Here's the latest from Iain Lee and 7a Records, which was posted on Facebook earlier today:
Sorry again for the silence. Shh, I'm actually away on holiday and I'm stealing wi-fi...anyway...SO MANY GOOD THINGS HAPPENING and unfortunately I can't tell you about much of it at the moment.
Firstly, Micky Dolenz The MGM Singles Collection is being readied for digital release. The final stock of the vinyl records get shipped next month and then that is (probably - please don't be angry if we release more) it. The digital download will have a few bonus tracks including the full interview I conducted with Micky for the project, me being interviewed by Amanda Nazario for radio station WFMU discussing the project and a few different versions of one of the songs.
The CD release is still not definite but looking healthier each day.
Glenn has found a real holy grail for Dolenz collectors...something that I can guarantee NONE OF YOU HAVE HEARD. I can't say any more than that as we haven't received it yet and also we need to secure the rights to release it once we do. Could take a while.
The next release is looking very likely to be a Bobby Hart CD. Bobby has been impressed with the work we've done with Micky and we are discussing exactly how to proceed. He's digging out some master tapes for us and we are looking at how to convert these (if anyone can help....).
And finally, for now, we had a great meeting with someone very close to Davy. Again, don't want to say any more as anything is a long way off but we got on very well, had a great couple of hours chatting and it...well...let's just keep our fingers crossed.
Thanks for all of your support so far on our first record. The love and support has been absolutely overwhelming. We are really onto something very special here and 7a Records is looking like we might be able to what no other record company has managed in terms of releases...primarily because Glenn and I are huge fans and are not doing this to make a profit.
In this interview with Iain Lee, Peter talks about returning to the United Kingdom this fall, The Monkees' current turn as a duo, Michael's absence, his love for the road, and more. You can hear Peter beginning at 1:49:30.
For years, Monkees fans have clamored for compilations highlighting the solo efforts of Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter. Outside the readily available works of Michael Nesmith, and the reissue of Davy's albums from 1965 and 1971, little else can be found on the marketplace.
But now, Micky's early 1970s singles originally released on the MGM label are being collected for the first time ever. You can order Micky Dolenz: The MGM Singles Collection, a vinyl LP set, on Amazon UK and via Amazon in the United States. It's also available through online retailer Ernie B's, at a much better price. (A digital release is planned for a later date.)
A big thanks goes to both Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund, co-producers of the MGM Singles Collection, for single-handedly making this project become a reality. To top off everything, the set features rare and previously unseen photographs from iconic rock and Monkees photographer, Henry Diltz.
Iain was kind enough to share with me the expertly crafted liner notes, written by Mark Kleiner Biggar, which are highly informative. And don't forget, Iain conducted an exclusive interview with Micky that appears in the gatefold.
In the meantime, check out this footage from Iain, who recently posted a video unveiling the package.
Interview with Wayne Avers