The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind, haven't they?
On Monday morning, Monkees fans were delighted to receive confirmation that the group was returning to the concert stage when a 24-date summer concert tour of the United States was announced. Cities and venues were initially reported by Rolling Stone, and later through an official press release posted on Monkees.com. The tour, dubbed 'A Midsummer's Night With The Monkees,' will visit major cities like Seattle, Philadelphia, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Houston, Nashville and Boston in July and August, seemingly concentrating on markets not visited during the trio's short jaunt across the United States in late 2012. Some fans, particularly in the Midwest and overseas, were understandably dismayed that the tour was not visiting their region or part of the world. However, those fans might be comforted by Micky's comments to Rolling Stone in which he more than implied that many offers are on the table to continue making live appearances.
Today, pre-sales were conducted for most dates on the U.S. tour. Fans were directed to a newly revamped Monkees.com where ticket packages, including VIP options, could be purchased at various price levels and offering premium seating options. Several emails received by the Live Almanac early in the day reported issues in signing up for passwords, etc. But as the day progressed visitors to the site were sharing the news that they had scored seats in the first several rows and were pleased with the overall experience of the pre-sale. Many venues on the tour's itinerary are conducting their own, separate pre-sales starting on Thursday, May 2. Be sure to check this previous blog post for more information. General public on-sales for most venues will begin on May 3.
As if news of a tour, pre-sales, VIP ticket packages and a relaunch of Monkees.com wasn't enough, fans are eagerly anticipating the long-awaited release of the deluxe edition of the group's 1969 album, The Monkees Present. Continuing in the recent tradition of Monkees deluxe sets from Rhino Handmade, The Monkees Present will be showcased as a 3CD package, including the original album in remastered form, along with unissued songs, alternate takes, mono mixes, backing tracks and radio spots. Fans who purchased VIP packages during today's pre-sales will automatically receive a copy. Otherwise, pre-orders for the new deluxe edition will take place at Monkees.com beginning May 9. As of this blog post, an official track listing has yet to surface, but Iain Lee, webmaster of Monkees Bootlegs, confirmed that Monkees archivist and author Andrew Sandoval produced the new box set.
The Monkees Tour Facebook page also announced that Warner and Rhino Records are producing a new line of merchandise for the upcoming tour. If you attended any of the concerts on the 2012 tour, you will surely recall long lines at the merchandise tables to purchase T-shirts, programs and more. Many emails to the Live Almanac are fan inquiries about where to purchase the 2012 merchandise. Several months ago, Monkees.com posted that items would be made available online, but no sales were ever offered.
One thing's for sure...The Monkees keep rolling along. Two years ago, Micky, Davy and Peter returned to the concert stage for the first time in a decade and delivered some of the best shows of their career on the 2011 Tour. Despite the sad and sudden passing of Davy early last year, Michael, Micky and Peter continue on, keeping the band's name in the spotlight while cementing their already celebrated legacy. Could other projects be in the works? New music, perhaps? Micky continues to speak of his desire to record a new Monkees album. Stay tuned and enjoy the ride. Who would have thought all this possible in the post-1970/pre-1986 era?! Or even in the last decade?
We'll continue to be believers.
Interview with Wayne Avers