Michael's familiar blonde Gretsch guitar (below, left) has been at his side since returning to the concert stage with The Monkees in 2012. It's not, however, the original blonde Gretsch that Michael owned in the 1960s, but a reproduction. His current blonde Gretsch guitar is a twelve string Country Classic I. It was custom made for him by Gretsch when he did a concert for them in the 1990s at the NAMM Show, a music products industry trade event. This was also the guitar used during recording sessions for the 1996 Monkees album, Justus.
The Gretsch sunburst guitar (below, right), reminiscent of the Gretsch Viking guitar Michael played in the 1960s, was given to Nez by Andrew Sandoval in 2013. Michael played both guitars during the 2018 and 2019 "Mike & Micky Show" tour. (And that's pedal steel extraordinaire Pete Finney in the background of the photo below!)
If you are wondering what happened to Michael's original blonde Gretsch, it was stolen in the 1970s (along with Michael's white Gibson guitar, most famously seen during the "Circle Sky" live sequence in Head). Nez spoke about his affection for these instruments on Facebook in 2010, as well as his desire to have them returned. "I know they are out there still and I miss them and would like to have them back after all these years. Whoever has ended up with them, please return them, no questions asked. They were and are an important part of my life."
Late A&R head’s reissues of everyone from the Ramones to the Monkees combined a scholar’s authority with a fan’s zeal
Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval remembered his friend Gary on Facebook:
In honor of the 50th anniversary of The Monkees' 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, here is an article that appeared in a teen magazine in 1969:
The Monkees' 1969 television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee aired 50 years ago on April 14, 1969. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval documented the making of the special in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
Thanks a lot to SirQ for alerting the Live Almanac to his personal restoration of 33 1/3:
Check out this fantasy album artwork that appeared in the Live Almanac's Facebook feed today, courtesy of Frank Jason Rhoden. Inspired by the cover of the Live 1967 LP, Frank took a shot at creating album art for a Live 1968 release, which would have documented a 1968 Monkees concert in Japan.
Here's what Frank wrote on Facebook:
I have great nostalgia for the "Live 1967" album, and its cover that just screams 1987 retro reissue. I never liked the commonly seen low-res yellow cover for the 1968 Japan boot, so I decided to use the 1967 album as a template to make something that looked like 1988 vomited all over 1968 - a tacky explosion of color and neon using images from that tour. I’m mostly happy with it, so I thought I’d share.
Take a moment to listen to The Monkees live in Japan in October 1968, courtesy of the Live Almanac's YouTube channel:
From the late '80s to the early '90s, I was a member of The Monkees/Boyce & Hart Photo Fan Club, which was a long-running Monkees newsletter published at that time by Jodi Hammrich and Shari S. Cain. In their September/October 1987 issue, The Monkees' sold-out performance at Pier 84 in New York City on August 20, 1987 was reviewed by Elayne Wechsler. The detailed recap of the show also included a look at the 1987 North American tour's opening act, Weird Al Yankovic.
In this very rare clip that was just uploaded to YouTube, Michael Nesmith performs "Propinquity" during what is seemingly an appearance on The David Frost Show in late 1971.
Don't forget to check out the history of this Nesmith classic in a previous post on the Live Almanac's blog, and enjoy this great performance!