The Monkees, reduced to a trio after Peter Tork's departure, appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on June 17, 1969 (their visit being taped the previous day). They sang two songs, "Daydream Believer" and "Goin' Down," and were backed by their 1969 touring band, Sam & The Goodtimers. Here's the audio of their performance, courtesy of the Live Almanac's YouTube channel:
Between songs, Carson conducted an interview with The Monkees, a segment that seemingly grew cringeworthy as Micky talked about things like Robitussin cough syrup and holograms. Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval documented the event in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
Videotape of this appearance no longer exists. In the 1960s, NBC infamously erased old programming because tape was expensive, a move that later infuriated Carson after he asked for classic clips for a retrospective show and nothing was available. "No one was doing reruns, there was no home video, there was no cable TV, there was no other outlet," Carson's nephew Jeff Sotzing said in a 2012 interview. "There were only 3 television source outlets; ABC, CBS, NBC, that was it — they didn’t have any place to re-run them." It was after this occurrence that Carson requested that his shows be permanently archived. Sotzing went on to say that less than 1% of Tonight Show material from 1962 to 1972 has been accounted for, and to date, The Monkees' appearance is not part of the small amount of footage from that era to have survived.
The Monkees and their band performed "I'm a Believer" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 17, 1996. Davy, Micky, and Peter spoke with Leno afterwards and announced the release of The Monkees' 1996 album, Justus.
Last night, Micky sat in with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Micky is in New York City this weekend for two performances at 54 Below, and to promote the release of his new live album, recorded during his summer run at the same venue. Fallon greeted Micky warmly and spoke of the time when he opened for The Monkees at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles in 1997. Micky sang several Monkees songs throughout the evening, accompanied by The Roots, including "I'm a Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville," "Steppin' Stone," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and "Mary, Mary."
Don't miss his appearance tonight!
Micky Dolenz will sit in with The Roots, the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, on Thursday, September 24. Previous reports announced the date of Micky's appearance as September 23, but recent articles have listed September 24. I asked Andrew Sandoval to confirm this conflicting information, and according to Micky, he will appear on The Tonight Show on September 24.
From the Live Almanac's YouTube channel...a scene from the opening of The Monkees television series is re-created for The Tonight Show in 1996. (Micky, Davy and Peter were guests in June 1996 to promote the start of the 30th Anniversary Tour and to announce the upcoming release of Justus.)
During a promotional stop for their 1996 30th Anniversary Tour, Micky, Davy and Peter performed "I'm a Believer" live on The Tonight Show on June 17, 1996.
Interview with Wayne Avers