A big thanks to Live Almanac reader Dave Marcone for sending in this picture of an advertisement for a September 23, 2018 concert by Michael Nesmith & The First National Band at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut. This is the first confirmation that Nez will indeed be expanding his January mini-tour that showcased the First National Band era of his career with a string of shows in California.
No dates have been officially announced and this show is not yet advertised on the Ridgefield Playhouse website, but it certainly looks like we can expect more FNB concerts in the fall! Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for future updates.
(Photo courtesy of Iris' Little Monkees Corner)
Andrew Sandoval is The Monkees' archivist as well as a Grammy-nominated producer and author who will be producing "The Monkees Present: The Mike Nesmith & Micky Dolenz Show" this June. And don't forget that you can listen to Andrew's radio show Come To The Sunshine on demand!
For me, this is one of the highlights from The Monkees' 1987 album, Pool It!, featuring a fantastic lead vocal by Micky Dolenz:
Thanks a lot to Ed Reilly for sharing this comic that was syndicated nationwide in late 1987!
The channel will feature the weekly show Greater Bakersfield, co-hosted by Dwight Yoakam and James Austin along with special guests who explore the influence and reaches that the Bakersfield Sound has across musical genres. Scheduled guests include Chris Hillman, Jakob Dylan, Post Malone, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz, Dave Alvin and Jackie DeShannon.
Rich Dart began his association with The Monkees in 2010 when he started playing drums for Micky Dolenz during his solo performances. He joined The Monkees' backing band in 2012 when Micky, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork delivered a series of concerts in honor of Davy Jones.
Rich earned a Bachelors of Music degree from Keene State College in New Hampshire. Since then, he's had an eclectic career as a free-lance percussionist. Rich has played with various symphonies, jazz groups, theater troupes, rock bands, country bands, and percussion ensembles. He also played drums for Avenue Q on Broadway and for its first national tour, and traveled with a production of Pippin.
Rich is one of the founding members of the rockabilly band Creamed Corn and he also performs with The Illegitimate Sons of Keith Partridge.
Congratulations to Rich, who made the announcement of his association with Sabian earlier today on Facebook:
Those who became fans during The Monkees' resurgence in 1986 (like myself) will no doubt have fond memories of the Arista Records compilation Then & Now...The Best of The Monkees.
Released in June that year, the album contained the group's greatest hits, along with three new tracks recorded just in time for The Monkees' 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour: "That Was Then, This Is Now," "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere," and "Kicks." Then & Now peaked at #21 and became a million seller, aided by the "That Was Then, This Is Now" single, which peaked at #20 while its accompanying music video received heavy airplay on MTV.
Arista, however, had originally planned to release a 2-LP set entitled The Best Of The Monkees to celebrate The Monkees' 20th Anniversary, but plans were changed when it was decided to record new tracks. With the double LP already pressed, it was instead made available via mail order and was distributed by Silver Eagle Records:
The Silver Eagle release featured 24 tracks but unlike the Then & Now issue, there was no gatefold cover and the liner notes were not included.
The Silver Eagle version of the album was also issued on cassette. A combination of both the Silver Eagle Best Of and Arista's Then & Now was released on compact disc in August 1986 and became the first Monkees CD to be made available in the United States.
This commercial aired in 1986 and 1987 advertising the 2-LP Silver Eagle set:
Earlier this evening, Michael Nesmith was live on Facebook with his son, Christian, as Nez signed copies of the recently released paperback version of his 2017 book, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff.
During the airing, Christian confirmed that Nez and Micky Dolenz have rehearsed Michael's "St. Matthew" for this upcoming June's concerts, and Christian said there was a good chance it could make the set list for the show. "St. Matthew" was recorded during Michael's famous 1968 Nashville sessions but remained in the Monkees vault until 1990, when it appeared on Missing Links Volume 2.
A little later on, Michael's assistant at Videoranch answered a question from a fan about whether or not the First National Band's albums will ever be remastered. She responded by saying "I think that Sony is doing that as we speak."
For years, fans have been clamoring for the First National Band trilogy to be remastered and repackaged, and it's possible (though unconfirmed) that this project is closer to becoming a reality. Sundazed Music is currently taking pre-orders for the FNB albums on colored vinyl, but orders are on hold due to manufacturing delays.
Keep in mind that Michael's assistant could in fact be referring to the Sundazed vinyl releases as they are advertised as being remastered by Bob Irwin. Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for any new information!