Monkees Monthly was a British magazine published by Beat Publications between February 1967 and September 1969. Subscriptions were available to those outside of the UK, and each issue (led by editor Jackie Richmond) contained rare black and white photos, exclusive features, news, a mailbag, and more. Below you will find all 32 issues, straight from my collection.
In a 2002 interview with Mojo magazine, Micky Dolenz discussed the significance of the 'black box' in the movie Head. "...About us as individuals getting stuck in this black box, which was a metaphor for The Monkees. We used to talk about being in a black box all the time. When we were on tour, especially - but even being on the TV set. We couldn't leave a room or hotel. We were shuffled around from limo to hotel room to limo to the back entrance of a concert arena in a dressing room. It was even a little black box onstage because we used to jump out of these fake Vox amps. So for more than two years, we lived -literally - in a little black box."
By the time The Monkees Present was released in October 1969, the group's commercial fortunes had dwindled. Their eighth LP, it peaked at a disappointing #100 on the Billboard charts. Original plans were more substantial than the product that was finally delivered. "It's going to be a double album," Micky said during an appearance on The Hy Lit Show in late 1968, "where we'll each have a side where we produce our own particular sounds, whatever." Peter Tork's subsequent departure, combined with The Monkees' steady drop in popularity, nixed those ideas.
When The Monkees Present hit record stores, the original double album concept had been pared down to a single disc. Even the cover art fell victim to the group's plummeting fame. Michael Nesmith recalled the change years later in a conversation with Andrew Sandoval. "The one that had the black and white cover done with Marks-A-Lot," said Nez when referring to Neko Chohlis' sleeve design, "that was supposed to be in color. Apparently it was in color and they wouldn't do a color separation, because by that time we were, you know, as cold as yesterday's soup. Nobody would spend any money."
In 1994, The Monkees Present made its compact disc debut courtesy of Rhino Records. It was finally issued with a color cover, redrawn and designed by Lisa Sutton:
Here's the unused original color gatefold art for The Monkees Present. Like the color cover design, the gatefold style was not utilized when the LP was ultimately pressed.
During filming of Head, The Monkees' 1968 feature film, 16 Magazine published photos from what ultimately became deleted scenes from the movie:
This article was originally published in the April 1968 issue of Tiger Beat. Check out the photos of a young Christian Nesmith!
Micky's sister, Coco, has a long history with The Monkees. She provided harmony and background vocals on such Monkees tracks as "Shortly Blackwell," "Little Girl," "Midnight Train," and "Mommy and Daddy." She wrote for teen magazines in the 1960s at the height of her brother's fame, and in the late 1970s, she toured with Micky and Davy after the dissolution of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. In 1987, Coco released her own album, One Voice. She joined The Monkees onstage in a supporting role when Michael, Micky, and Peter reunited in late 2012 for a series of concerts after the passing of Davy Jones.
When not touring with The Monkees, you can hear Coco at Micky's solo shows, where she often duets with her brother on "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Crying in the Rain" while taking over on lead vocals for Michael Nesmith's own "Different Drum."
In this 1989 interview with Paris Stachtiaris and guest host Valerie Lionel on the Headquarters radio program, Coco talks about experiencing Monkeemania in the '60s, growing up with Micky, working with Micky and Davy (and The Laughing Dogs) on the road in 1977, and much more. You'll also get to hear tracks from her 1987 album One Voice and The Coasters' version of "D.W. Washburn."
Here's the latest from Iain Lee and 7a Records, which was posted on Facebook earlier today:
Sorry again for the silence. Shh, I'm actually away on holiday and I'm stealing wi-fi...anyway...SO MANY GOOD THINGS HAPPENING and unfortunately I can't tell you about much of it at the moment.
Firstly, Micky Dolenz The MGM Singles Collection is being readied for digital release. The final stock of the vinyl records get shipped next month and then that is (probably - please don't be angry if we release more) it. The digital download will have a few bonus tracks including the full interview I conducted with Micky for the project, me being interviewed by Amanda Nazario for radio station WFMU discussing the project and a few different versions of one of the songs.
The CD release is still not definite but looking healthier each day.
Glenn has found a real holy grail for Dolenz collectors...something that I can guarantee NONE OF YOU HAVE HEARD. I can't say any more than that as we haven't received it yet and also we need to secure the rights to release it once we do. Could take a while.
The next release is looking very likely to be a Bobby Hart CD. Bobby has been impressed with the work we've done with Micky and we are discussing exactly how to proceed. He's digging out some master tapes for us and we are looking at how to convert these (if anyone can help....).
And finally, for now, we had a great meeting with someone very close to Davy. Again, don't want to say any more as anything is a long way off but we got on very well, had a great couple of hours chatting and it...well...let's just keep our fingers crossed.
Thanks for all of your support so far on our first record. The love and support has been absolutely overwhelming. We are really onto something very special here and 7a Records is looking like we might be able to what no other record company has managed in terms of releases...primarily because Glenn and I are huge fans and are not doing this to make a profit.