Recently on Twitter, XTC's Andy Partridge and Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval have had exchanges about Andy writing a song for The Monkees. After doing a little research online, I found a 2006 interview with Andy where he talked about the impact The Monkees had on him, and a contest he won through Monkees Monthly.
"Aha! The Monkees. Important for me, as they further compounded the 'Hard Days Help' ethos, where groups live together in a kooky house, have adventures and get girls without trying. This sucker was reeled in. Two friends of mine, Steve Warren and Brian Foster, seemed plugged into the mainline of their favourite bands by getting Beatles Monthly and The Rolling Stones Book respectively. These were pocket-sized magazines full of photos and fan news. I should therefore take Monkees Monthly. Now, this august periodical held a drawing competition with the princely sum of £10 as a prize. I could draw, I loved to caricature and if I could win that money perhaps I could get a better tape recorder to capture my early musical fumblings."
"Bloody flip! There it was in issue 23, December 1968. My scruffy, scratchy cartoon of Micky Dolenz (the easiest one to draw) had won, along with four others, £10. I think we got hold of that second hand Grundig for about £21. My dad generously helped me with the extra cash. It was so heavy and chunky with smooth ivory coloured push buttons and a funny optical eye device which I never knew what it's purpose was. Something about the amount of tape left on the reel?"
Partridge talked about The Monkees with Guitar Player in 1992:
"I have a very split background." One half of me wanted to be in The Monkees, and use the guitar as a fishing rod to get girls out of the water, go back to the group house where we all lived together, wear the group uniform, have the group haircut. I used to do everything I could — and I was pretty passable — to look like Peter Tork. I had the haircut, and from my mother's mail-order catalog, I got a shirt with a double-breasted panel and the hipsters with the big, wide plastic belt. I was living the image in 1967 and 1968."
He also discussed the growth in his musical tastes, while always wanting to stay rooted in the style of The Monkees:
"...I was trying to learn from the pop technicians, the Jimi Hendrixes, the Jimmy Pages, the Rory Gallaghers, mixed in suddenly with this enormous dollop of melodic jazz scribbling, and I was trying to fashion songs out of it that wouldn't go amiss in The Monkees. XTC came out of that eventually."
Here's Andy with XTC performing "Senses Working Overtime" (which happens to be my favorite XTC track) on a Dutch TV show in 1982.
And just last year, Partridge gave a shout-out to Micky Dolenz on Twitter:
"It was Micky who inadvertently and unknowingly gave me a big leg up with my dreams
of being a pop god."
He also revealed his favorite Monkees song:
Reserve Your Copy!