Live Almanac reader Andrew Lenahan recently acquired a Headquarters LP at a thrift store, and inside was a ticket stub from The Monkees' appearance at the Hollywood Bowl! The Monkees performed in front of a sold-out audience of over 17,000 at the historic venue on June 9, 1967. Just one day after this triumph, the group recorded "Pleasant Valley Sunday" at RCA Hollywood.
The former Monkeesmixography website, which classified every Monkees track by mix/master/remaster, and more, is being converted into a book by Craig Smith and Derek Miner. Mixing Links: The Monkees on Disc doesn't have a release date, but fans can now review an excerpt that was recently revealed on their website! You can also listen to the duo's guest appearance on the SMISHSMASHCAST podcast.
In an August 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Micky Dolenz spoke about The Monkees' first single and #1 hit, "Last Train to Clarksville":
"It's about a guy going off to war. Frankly, it's an anti-war song. It's about a guy going to Clarksville, Tennessee, which is an army base if I'm not mistaken. He's obviously been drafted and he says to his girlfriend, 'I don't know if I'm ever coming home.' Considering that it was a Monkees song and the first one, I was always surprised that the record company even released it unless it just went right over their head.
"I don't recall recording it because there was just so much going on at that time. I was recording two or three songs a night after filming the TV show all day. [Co-writer] Bobby Hart tells me I went in to sing one night. He says that I'd learned the song and routined it. We'd done the keys and all that stuff. There was a bridge part of that song. You know the bit where I go 'di da di di da di da?' Well, there were words to that. I said, 'Bobby, I just can't sing that.' I just couldn't learn it in time. He said okay. 'Well, we need to get it done so just go, 'di da di di da di da.'
"I have a very fond memory of hearing it on the radio for the first time on KHJ, a big station out here at the time. Davy [Jones] and I were renting a house up in the Hollywood Hills. We were pulling up to this big, beautiful rented house in Beverly Hills when they went, 'Here they are, the Monkees' 'Last Train to Clarksville.' We pulled over and just had the biggest grins on our faces."
Fans of the old Monkeesmixography website, which classified every Monkees song by mix/master/remaster, and more, are in for a real treat. Craig Smith and Derek Miner have converted the online guide into a new book, Mixing Links: The Monkees on Disc. No release date has been announced, but for now, you can visit the project's website or join their group on Facebook.
Craig and Derek recently appeared on SMISHSMASHCAST with Eric Miller and Megan Stemm-Wade to discuss the upcoming book. Be sure to listen to Part 1 below!
The latest entry on The Monkees Live Almanac's YouTube channel is audio from the group's tour of Japan in 1968.
The Monkees visited Australia and Japan in September and October 1968. In Japan, one of the concerts was filmed (most likely during the two day, three concert stay at Budokan Hall in Tokyo on October 3 and 4, 1968) and later broadcast on Japanese television. The audio recording and video footage, however, has never been officially released. The audio (straight from the video) does exist as a bootleg, but the video footage is presumed lost or destroyed.
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval has confirmed that multiple attempts have been made to find the missing video footage. "It was definitely broadcast and there has been communication with TBS [Tokyo Broadcasting System) in Japan to retrieve anything they had," he wrote on Facebook in 2017. "We asked many times and have been told they have nothing. Unless they made a film print of the video, it is unlikely it survived."
Interestingly enough, in an earlier, separate video posting of "Cuddly Toy" from this same concert on the Live Almanac's YouTube channel, "Rock Channel Archives" left the following comment:
"The concert was videotaped and wasn't broadcast until Monkeemania hit for a 2nd time in 1983. After that one airing, the video tape was labeled "re-use" and has never been seen again. This according to Mr. Udo who is like the Dick Clark of Japan. This audio is a cassette copy from broadcast TV."
The comment above refers to the resurgence in popularity of The Monkees in Japan in the early 1980s. Japan experienced the first rebirth of The Monkees in the '80s even before Micky, Davy, and Peter reunited for the mega-successful 20th Anniversary Tour of North America in 1986. When "Daydream Believer" was used in a Kodak commercial in Japan in 1980, Monkeemania was rekindled as the television show returned to the airwaves and Monkees albums were reissued, causing them to chart in that country once again. Demand for The Monkees was so high in Japan in the early '80s that Micky, Davy, and Peter all toured the country individually between 1981 and 1982, playing to near-hysterical audiences.
If the comment left by Rock Channel Archives is indeed accurate, it could explain the origins of the Japanese 1968 audio, which has circulated throughout Monkees tape trading circles since the '80s. (I first acquired a copy from a tape collector in the late 1980s.)
Below is the audio recording of The Monkees live in Japan in 1968 that has survived, and please note there are breaks between each track:
This afternoon, Micky Dolenz appeared at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" before the start of the Phillies-Nationals game. Thanks to Jodi Ritzen for live streaming Micky's performance on Facebook: