Last year, it was great fun covering in real time the release of Good Times!, the first new Monkees album since 1996's Justus.
The widespread use of the internet was still a relative novelty in '96 when Justus arrived, and it was up to the traditional outlets to provide the extensive, in-depth coverage of the latest Monkees happenings. There was no greater source of Monkees news and information at that time than Monkee Business Fanzine and its editor Maggie McManus.
Scanning these pages from the December 1996 issue of MBF proved quite nostalgic. I was a junior in college when Justus hit record shops in October 1996. After my 9:30 am class that day, I purchased the CD at the town's music store. The campus bookstore carried Goldmine magazine, and if I'm remembering correctly, I had read their stellar review of Justus prior to purchasing it.
This MBF article provided early sales figures, initial reviews, and much more about the album. Enjoy, and as always, a big thanks to Maggie McManus!
Reviews for Justus were less enthusiastic in comparison with those for Good Times!:
The March 1997 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine provided an update on Justus sales figures and more:
Chip Douglas was the producer of The Monkees' two most acclaimed albums, Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., along with some of their best single sides, including "Daydream Believer," "Goin' Down," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Words," and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere." The December 1995 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine covered Chip's latest projects, including an album he produced for Australian band Deep End. Chip is also interviewed by Colin Sherwood about his days with The Monkees.
Here's an outtake from the 1969 photo session that produced the Cash Box ad seen above. It was first published in the December 2000 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine. Monkees stand-ins and associates Ric Klein (left) and David Pearl (right) lend assistance.
After a triumphant visit to the United Kingdom in early 1989 that was defined by sold-out venues, rave reviews, and two performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Monkees conducted a summer tour of the United States and Japan in the summer of 1989. Their third US tour in three years was marred by reported friction between band members, a long-term strategic plan that was abandoned, and lower attendance figures in comparison to the 1986 and 1987 US tours. In the September 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine, Maggie McManus reported on the state of Monkees affairs:
"Star Collector" was a longtime feature in Monkee Business Fanzine. Monkees collector and author Ed Reilly would break down a wide range of Monkees memorabilia, including everything from toys, trading cards, records, and much more. In this column, Ed examines items from the United Kingdom, including the Monkees Monthly publication, Monkees annuals, solo Monkees releases, and more.
After browsing through my back issues, I'm excited to present this interview with Michael Nesmith that appeared in the June 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine, which, of course, was published by Maggie McManus from 1977-2002. Music journalist and New York Times bestselling writer Ken Sharp spoke to Nez while promoting Tapeheads, a movie he produced in 1988 that starred John Cusack and Tim Robbins. Sharp talks to Michael about his solo career, the 1989 compilation The Newer Stuff, music videos, heavy metal, his company Pacific Arts, reuniting with The Monkees onstage in 1986, the 1968 Nashville sessions, recording "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," and much, much more. Nez also reimagines The Monkees' lineup as a band, which includes discussion of Peter as the drummer and Micky as the bassist. Enjoy!
I'm often asked to scan and archive complete issues of Monkee Business Fanzine. That's a tall order, but I have highlighted pieces from MBF in the past. For now, here are twelve pages from the September 1986 issue, covering the latest Monkees news during the mania of the 20th Anniversary Tour, along with a report from the 1986 Philadelphia convention. Maggie McManus - thank you!
This article, written by Monkee Business Fanzine editor Maggie McManus and published in the September 1997 issue, focuses on Micky's artwork that was showcased on both The Monkees' 1996 and 1997 summer tours.
This article, examining the 1989 reunion concert featuring all four Monkees, was written by Cyndi J. Griggs and appeared in the September 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine.
Davy appeared in the music video for Sorethumb's "I Want To Be Your Davy Jones" in 1997. Check out this review of the single from the September 1997 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine.
The Monkees reunited in early 2001, and Monkee Business Fanzine editor Maggie McManus caught up with the trio in Easton, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Atlantic City, New Jersey on the 2001 tour.
Monkee Business Fanzine was a quarterly publication that featured all the latest about The Monkees and their individual careers, as well as original articles, news, and much more. It was published by its editor, Maggie McManus, from 1977 - 2002 . Each member of The Monkees would speak personally to Maggie, making it the most reputable source for Monkees information, before and after the 1986 revival of the group. By the early 2000s, the rise and rapid spread of the Internet helped make publications like MBF become defunct.
Here's a letter from Maggie to subscribers from early 1987:
Interview with Wayne Avers