On January 14, 1967, The Monkees performed at Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, which was the tenth full-length concert the group had conducted at that point in their history. Thanks to Jeremy Maine for sharing this clipping which covers The Monkees' visit to Detroit!
Michael Nesmith's 11th studio album, The Garden, was issued in 1994 by Rio Records and is meant to act as a companion release to 1974's The Prison. Both The Garden and The Prison are written to have the music complement a novel included with the release (written by Nez) and to read the novel simultaneously while listening to the recording. In their review, AllMusic delved into the inner workings of the album:
The Garden (1994) is Michael Nesmith's companion release to The Prison (1974). Both works are a departure from his more traditional releases, as the music is specifically designed to aurally complement an equally engaging written novella/short story -- included in the extended liner notes booklet. The idea is for consumers to commence reading Nesmith's prose while simultaneously listening to the recording. The concept may at first seem unusual, although the results are nothing short of profound. No special speed-reading skills are required. Rather, the most useful thing that a potential enthusiast can bring to the multimedia project is an open mind, sense of adventure, and respect for the infinite possibilities inherent within such an subtly demanding correlation . As Nesmith is quick to point out in his preface, The Garden is not a sequel in the strictest sense of the term -- meaning that there isn't a true continuation of the narrative which began in The Prison. Instead, they are correlated thematically and stylistically as both are presented in a linear and consecutive approach. Each of The Garden's seven chapters are also visually enhanced, if not somewhat inspired by a series of Claude Monet paintings. There is a much more subtle connection between the prose and these unqualified masterworks, yet he is able to relate them in a contextual sense. The music retains Nesmith's inimitable and signature sound, yet compared to his most concurrent effort, Tropical Campfires (1992), The Garden is exceedingly ethereal and more often than not instrumental. There are vocals that feature not only the artist, but also his children Jason -- who is likewise the central character in the short story -- Christian, and Jessica. The backing band also includes Christian Nesmith as well as most of the musicians the senior Nez had collaborated with on the aforementioned Tropical Campfires, most notably Desert Rose Band string man John Jorgenson (guitar/sax/bassoon/mandolin/oboe/bandurila/mandocello), Joe Chemay (bass), and John Hobbs (keyboards), as well as studio maven Sid Page (violin).
Earlier today, it was announced that The Garden is once again available on compact disc courtesy of Videoranch, packaged as a 2-CD set with accompanying booklet.
Below is the text of Micky's Facebook post about Stephen Hawking:
I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Hawking as he and I were leaving a restaurant in Cambridge, England sometime around the year 1980.
He, of course, had no idea who I was but I was well versed in who he was as I have always been, and continue to be, a student of science and particularly quantum physics and cosmology.
Needless to say, we have lost one of the greatest minds in science (which, BTW, is a word directly translated from the Latin word “scire” which simply means - “know”.)
He obviously loved to “know” things and will certainly be remembered right up there with all of the other greatest men and women who attempted to know the truth: Copernicus, Galileo, Ada Lovelace, Tycho Braye, Kepler, Newton, Madame Curie, Einstein, Rosalind Franklin, Feynman, etc.
Science is about knowing - or at least attempting to know the truth about our natural world: without subjectivity, without snake oil salesmen, without wishing and hoping.
Stephen Hawking exemplified this notion and, given the extraordinarily difficult reality of his physical existence, he will surely go down in history as one of the greatest knowers that the world has ever seen.
Los Angeles, California
UPDATE: Stranger Things Have Happened has been reissued on compact disc and vinyl by 7a Records.
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).
Michael and Micky 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.) Laurence Juber, who was a part of the final incarnation of Wings, provided the stellar guitar solo on "Milkshake." His guitar work can also be heard on "That Was Then, This Is Now," a Top 20 hit for The Monkees in 1986.
Peter contributed six originals to the set ("Get What You Pay For," "Sea Change," "MGB-GT," "Miracle," "Gettin' In" and "Tender Is"), and was also assisted by guest writers, including his brother Nick ("Pirates") and Martin Briley ("Milkshake"). Covers included Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Take a Giant Step," originally recorded by The Monkees in 1966, and "Higher and Higher," a song made famous by Jackie Wilson in 1967 that Peter reimagined as a banjo-driven piece. The title track was co-written by Michael Levine, who contributed "Since You Went Away" to The Monkees' 1987 album, Pool It!, which also featured "Gettin' In" in its original incarnation, while "Sea Change" had been performed during The Monkees' 1989 North American/Japanese tour. Peter talked about each song in the liner notes:
Peter's post-Monkees recordings were scarce until Stranger Things Have Happened. After leaving The Monkees in late 1968, Peter formed a new group, Release, but nothing was ever formally recorded. After laying low throughout most of the 1970s, Peter reemerged in late 1980 with The New Monks, and on February 13, 1981 they recorded a single, "Steppin' Stone"/"Higher and Higher." The 45 was eventually issued on the Claude's Music Works label, named after Peter's then-manager Claude Hayn. In 1982, Peter contributed "I Truly Understand" to the long-running CooP series.
Stranger Things Have Happened was produced by Peter and his longtime friend James Lee Stanley, who also collaborated with Peter in the 1990s and 2000s on albums like Two Man Band and Once Again. Peter made multiple television and personal appearances to support its release.
AllMusic delivered praise for Stranger Things Have Happened in its review of the album:
"Tork reveals himself as a solid rocker, starting from a folk idiom but working with lots of wattage on the instruments and no trace of wimpy singer/songwriter affectation in the playing. A few notable friends are aboard in addition to his direct collaborator and co-producer, James Lee Stanley - Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Mackenzie Phillips, and Timothy B. Schmit among them. There are songs drawn from across the spectrum of Tork's career, including a gorgeous, folk-style cover of 'Take a Giant Step' that made this reviewer smile so emphatically it was mixed with tears of joy; the exquisitely funny 'Milkshake,' a delightfully wry account of life on the road that includes Nesmith and Dolenz and some of the most charmingly silly choruses ever heard in a legitimate rock song; 'MGB-GT,' a very personal car song that may be particularly potent to middle-aged survivors of the 1960s; and 'Higher and Higher,' a folk/gospel song on which Tork mostly plays acoustic banjo, and which is so beguiling that one wishes he'd do an entire album in that idiom, style, and sound."
Shoppers at the official online Monkees store can no longer add The Monkees Present deluxe box set to their cart, which appears to signal that it's now sold out. Limited to 5,000 individually numbered boxes, the second post-Peter Tork Monkees album was newly remastered and expanded by Rhino Handmade in 2013. Produced by Andrew Sandoval and consisting of three CDs and 85 tracks (60 previously unreleased), the package also included an exclusive bonus 7" vinyl single for "Good Clean Fun (Alternate Mix)" b/w "Mommy and Daddy (July 1969 Stereo Mix)" in a picture sleeve.
A while back at the Monkees Store, the super deluxe box set for The Monkees remained available while asking shoppers to "subscribe to back in stock notification." That set, however, was never offered again at the store, and the same option is currently being shown for The Monkees Present. The page for The Monkees super deluxe has since been removed from the store's website, and it's likely just a matter of time that the same will occur for The Monkees Present. Box sets for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees and Head have long been sold out.
Still available is the recent super deluxe edition of More Of The Monkees, along with the deluxe edition for 1969's Instant Replay. Grab them while you still can!
L.A. Turnaround is the ninth album by Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch. Issued in 1974, it was produced by Michael Nesmith, who also contributed guitar work. First National Band alum Red Rhodes played pedal steel. The album is being reissued as a part of Record Store Day 2018, available in limited quantities on blue vinyl.
A short film was produced in conjunction with the LP which features intimate footage of Michael, Red, Bert, and company from this period. Thanks to David Cox for reminding the Live Almanac about this unique video now on YouTube!
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith
Pre-Order Sandoval Book