The Monkees completed production for their first and only motion picture, Head, with the filming of the "Circle Sky" concert scene at the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 17, 1968. They performed the Michael Nesmith original (seen below in video, complete with graphic images from the Vietnam War) several times for the cameras and the assembled crowd of four thousand fans.
Monkees fans are likely to recall Paris Stachtiaris, co-host of Headquarters ("The only radio show in America dedicated to The Monkees") that originally aired on 90.3 WBAU-FM, the radio station of Adelphi University in Long Island, New York, from 1987 to 1990. Cassette tapes of the program, which featured interviews with Monkees luminaries like Chip Douglas, Ward Sylvester, Jim Frawley, Coco Dolenz, Lester Sill, Monte Landis, Gerry Goffin, the individual Monkees themselves, and others, were frequently traded among fans in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In 2019 Paris returned, with co-host Ben Brown, producing a special in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock that aired on Labor Day Weekend that year on the HCS Radio Network. For that program, Paris and Ben's interviews included renowned rock photographer Henry Diltz, the official lensman of Woodstock who also has photographed The Monkees extensively since the 1960s.
Paris and Ben's latest project revolves around singer/songwriter Bert Sommer. Sommer received a standing ovation at the legendary 1969 Woodstock musical festival, yet today only a few music lovers know his name.
Bert's legacy, along with the story of his life through the voices of people who love the man and his music, is currently being recalled in a multipart series. Listen now at HCS Radio Network, and best of luck to Paris and Ben on their latest endeavor!
Here's a rare Monkees collectible to start off your new year, one that I have never come across previously. A seemingly original 1969 promotional poster for The Monkees' seventh album, Instant Replay, recently sold for $335.99 on eBay!
Here's a real treat: Parade magazine conducted an interview yesterday with Micky Dolenz, Coco Dolenz, legendary photographer Henry Diltz, and Monkees producer Chip Douglas on their Facebook page in promotion of It's Christmas Time Once More, a collection of holiday classics recorded by Davy Jones.
The album, originally issued in 1991 as It's Christmas Time Again, was re-released in November 2020 after being given a contemporary treatment featuring Davy's original vocals along with brand new guest appearances by Micky, Coco, Henry, and Davy's singer/songwriter daughter Annabel Jones, all overseen by The Monkees' celebrated producer Chip Douglas (Headquarters, "Daydream Believer," and more).
It's Christmas Time Once More is now available to download on iTunes and stream on Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify. You can also purchase a compact disc edition from the official Davy Jones Shop.
Enjoy the interview below:
The Monkees' legendary 1967 single, "Daydream Believer," is featured prominently in the trailer for WandaVision, the upcoming streaming television miniseries created for Disney+ based on the Marvel Comics characters Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch and Vision.
Check out the trailer for WandaVision below, coming to Disney+ this January:
Micky Dolenz recently stopped by The Dead Life podcast to chat with host Allison Dubois:
And, Michael Nesmith talks all about Timerider, the 1982 action film starring Fred Ward that was co-written, scored, and co-produced by Michael Nesmith (and released on VHS by Michael's former company Pacific Arts), on the Paradox Parkway podcast:
The Monkees Live Almanac is saddened by the news of the passing of Ryan Brady. Ryan was a Vice President at Atlantic Records and host of the popular Paul McCartney-themed podcast, Take It Away. He and Annabel Jones were married in 2018. The Live Almanac would like to pass along condolences to Annabel and all those who knew Ryan.
UPDATE 12/8/2020: Annabel Jones has posted tributes on Facebook to her late husband, Ryan Brady, including an announcement of the Ryan Brady Memorial Fund:
Have you ever thought about having a chat with Michael Nesmith? Now you can - on Zoom!
Join Micky Dolenz live on Facebook this Friday, November 27, 2020 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT for "Home with Micky for the Holidays." Continue the Thanksgiving spirit as Jodi Ritzen sits with Micky for conversation and much more. And be sure to tell Micky you'll be there!
By the way, don't miss the video below!
UPDATE 11/27/2020: Rewatch Micky's live Facebook event below!
On April 3, 2020 Rhino Records issued The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, featuring performances from the duo's concerts recorded throughout March 2019, on compact disc, iTunes, and via streaming services. A 2-LP vinyl edition arrived later on July 10.
Thanks a lot to longtime site contributor Ben Belmares for sharing the scans of the vinyl package seen below!
The Monkees' expansive 1969 tour stopped at the California State Fair in Sacramento on September 4, 1969. John Hurst of the Sacramento Bee reviewed the show, as documented by Andrew Sandoval in his book The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
"The audience game them the Star Spangled Banner treatment last night when they appeared in front of the State Fair grandstand - [meaning they] stood through the entire first half of [the group's] show ... When Micky Dolenz dangled his legs over the edge [of the stage] as he sat to sing a song, there was a stampede to touch him. He quickly retrieved his feet and the girls went back to flinging their crumpled wads of paper onto the stage. ... The concert opened with a group called Queen Lily Soap, playing a kind of Hebraic-psychedelic rock with occasional lapses into the dance tempo of the hora. Then Sam & The Goodtimers, the six-man group that backs up The Monkees, took over to warm up the audience. ... [The Monkees] gave the huge crowd a good show."
In 1987, The Monkees released their first album of all new material since 1970. Pool It! arrived in August of that year from Rhino Records, preceded by the LP's first single and music video, "Heart and Soul," which made its mark on select channels and Nickelodeon (but famously not MTV).
The article below, "The Monkees: All New Tracks to Satisfy the Faithful," was originally published in Pulse!, a magazine that was available at Tower Records locations in the '80s. It includes comments from the album's producer, Roger Bechirian. Thanks to Keith Combs who shared the article on Facebook a while back, and I thought it would be nice to archive it in the Live Almanac's Pool It! category. Thanks, Keith!
This ad for Pool It! and "Heart and Soul" was included in the same issue of Pulse!:
While we're on the subject, here's a rare behind the scenes photo of Peter, Micky, and Davy during filming of the "Heart and Soul" video in Los Angeles in July 1987:
Finally, earlier this fall Henry Diltz shared this outtake from the Pool It! album cover photo session on his Facebook page:
What is the Monkeemobile all about? What was the idea behind this iconic vehicle? And eventually, what happened to the Monkeemobile?
In 1991, Davy Jones released the cassette tape It's Christmas Time Again. And now, almost thirty years later, the album has been given a contemporary treatment featuring Davy's original vocals, along with guest appearances by Micky Dolenz, Coco Dolenz, Henry Diltz, and Davy's singer/songwriter daughter Annabel Jones, all overseen by celebrated Monkees producer Chip Douglas.
Douglas was at the helm for The Monkees' two most acclaimed albums, Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., as well as some of their best single sides, including "Daydream Believer," "Goin' Down," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Words," and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere." He recently talked about the opportunity to revisit Davy's early '90s holiday collection. "This was a rare chance to remix and enhance these recordings by adding the lovely voice of Davy's daughter Annabel whose heartwarming vocals on 'White Christmas' and 'Silent Night' were well above and beyond my expectations," Douglas told Rolling Stone. "Micky and Coco Dolenz beautifully enhanced 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and Henry Diltz, and other friends, added just the right gusto to 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing.'"
"Singing with my dad on this record was an extremely beautiful and healing experience," Annabel said in a statement. "What a gift to be able to share a moment like this!"
The Monkees delivered their first-ever holiday album, Christmas Party, via Rhino Records in 2018. That album featured posthumous contributions by Davy Jones, who passed away in 2012.
It's Christmas Time Once More is now available to download on iTunes and stream on Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify.
People has just published an interview with Annabel Jones where she speaks about singing with her father and much more.
Rolling Stone is also covering the release of Davy's Christmas album.
The Associated Press included Davy's Christmas album in a laundry list of reviews spotlighting current holiday releases:
Get ready to get in the holiday mood with Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Goo Goo Dolls, Jamie Cullum, Davy Jones, Keedron Bryant, Leslie Odom, Jr. and more
UPDATE 12/5/2020: It's Christmas Time Once More is now available to purchase on compact disc from the official Davy Jones Shop.
Monkees archivist talks about deluxe vinyl set of group's debut album, revised book, and much more on "Zilch"
"Heart and Soul," the first single from The Monkees' album Pool It!, was issued in July 1987. This clipping originates from an unknown source, and was originally published in August 1987.
In 1994, James Lee Stanley's Beachwood Records released Peter Tork's first ever solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, featuring several notable guest musicians and friends including Stanley, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Mackenzie Phillips, and Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles).
And now, in 2020, 7a Records has announced its first-ever Tork-related project as it will reissue Stranger Things Have Happened on compact disc and vinyl this December. The CD version includes a whopping 9 bonus tracks and a 32-page color booklet with sleeve notes by Mark Kleiner, who hosts the Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King podcast and has written numerous superlative liners for previous 7a releases. The vinyl, limited to just 600 copies, features 6 bonus tracks and will be pressed on 180 gram Neon Magenta Splatter vinyl. The album cover has also been updated from its original pressing.
Dolenz and Nesmith provided backing vocals on "Milkshake," and Nez can also be heard on "MGB-GT," which was initially performed by Micky, Peter, and Davy Jones during The Monkees' 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour. Davy was present at the recording session for "Milkshake" with his fellow Monkees, but never got around to putting his vocal on tape. James Lee Stanley recalled the comedic circumstances that caused Davy to leave the session during this interview (at 27:30).
Bonus tracks on 7a's compact disc reissue of Stranger Things Have Happened include Peter's 1981 single with his band The New Monks, "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"/"Higher and Higher."
7a Records is also currently producing another highly anticipated release, Dolenz Sings Nesmith, featuring Micky Dolenz covering the songbook of Michael Nesmith, produced by Christian Nesmith with Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval handling A&R duties.
Stranger Things Have Happened arrives December 4 in the United Kingdom and December 11 in the United States. UK fans can pre-order from Amazon while those in the US can pre-order the compact disc or vinyl from Deep Discount.
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for further updates, and in the meantime, read another preview of this latest 7a release courtesy of The Second Disc.
UPDATE 11/24/2020: Listen to the latest Zilch podcast that covers the re-release of Stranger Things Have Happened, featuring an interview with 7a's Glenn Gretlund as well as Mark Kleiner.
COMPACT DISC PACKAGE
SPLATTER VINYL PACKAGE