This piece originates from the April 1967 issue of Monkees Monthly. For easier reading, click on the image and then click on it again.
Gotta love some of these teen magazine articles...this one comes from the March 1968 issue of Tiger Beat's Monkee Spectacular. For easier reading, click on each image to enlarge.
We are over the hump. Less shows to do than we have done. Went to the Lobster Stop in Quincy to celebrate. Lobsters just caught and fresh steamed. Good stuff!
Food is a big part of road touring. It is hard to plan for and harder to find. I think its because no one really understands each other out here. I say "out here" and I mean "away from home". I think we must all have a kind of homespeak that no one understands but the immediate family. The circle of homespeak starts out small -- like when an infant starts communicating and only Mom or Dad or someone very close knows that "gerbitraganath" means "pretty picture".
But there is a homespeak for all communities of any size as any linguist will tell you.
Today Joe and Chris and I went to a diner in Fall River and the owner came up to us afterwards and said "How is everything?" We all nodded and smiled that "just fine" smile we all flash as an answer to any restaurant owner who asks that --regardless of how bad things are.
But then he launched into a homespeak announcement -- a particularly cryptic gibberish that was a cross between telling us about his schedule and recipes and the airplane announcements that the flight attendant says while cleaning up. "Federal regulations require that all seabackas and tratables and smoking detectors are in use while crew is moving about the cabin to make sure in flight baggage is no longer below the seat pocket and all belongings are part of the lavatory where smoking is never allowed or has shifted during the flight."
It was unintelligible and untranslatable. He talked for about two or three minutes in a sing-songy rehearsed patois that to us was only pure meaningless sound floating on air. When he left Chris said "I did not understand one word he said" I didn't either. The food was good -- but the homespeak announcement shall remain forever unknown to us.
It got a touch stranger on the way to the venue. Some one in the car -- maybe the driver -- said in homespeak "Ask in the battleship scurry around to see the marks upside the water." I think he was pointing out a sight we should be seeing. Then again I am not even sure it was him who was talking.
The performance is usually a short moment of general clarity. I try to speak slow and distinct -- I have a microphone -- and I am careful not to employ my own homespeak. I know how important it is to be understood by a crowd. Which is not to say that I am always understood by them -- only that I know how important it is. Singing is much easier. Many people seem to understand that message without much trouble.
Life on the road is plenty fun -- and it has all sorts of little twisty-turnies that make me laugh. It's a good way to get out of myself and listening to homespeak other than your own opens whole new worlds.
Tonight Fall River MA-- tomorrow Englewood NJ and then points west until I am home. Singing all the way.
During the 1967 Monkees summer tour, Micky flew to Wisconsin to visit an Indian Reservation. He was accompanied by Samantha Juste. For more about this trip, click here.
Barbara Hamaker worked in The Monkees' office and was a consistent companion to the group while on the road. This article, including stories about the 1967 summer tour, appeared in the March 1968 issue of Monkee Spectacular. (Courtesy of The Sunshine Factory, you can also read the first part of Barbara's interview.)
Here's "Calico Girlfriend," "Nine Times Blue" and "Little Red Rider" from last evening's performance in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Enjoy!
This article comes from the August 1967 issue of British magazine Monkees Monthly. For easier reading, click on each part of the article and then click on it again.
Longtime Monkees fan Chris Coyle, who recently designed a Monkees-themed app for Windows Phone users, emailed the Live Almanac to inform everyone that the app has been enhanced with new features. "All previous users should be getting a notification in the next couple of days to update the app," Chris said. "I updated the UI, added access to Nokia Music to purchase Monkees songs and albums from the store, play a Monkees artist mix, and search through related artists. New links were added for the individual Monkees websites, too."
The app also uses the Live Almanac's blog as its news feed.
Check out the app in the Windows Phone store here. Thanks, Chris!
Here's a quote from the third interview where Michael talks about his 12-string Gretsch guitar:
Q: The 12-string Gretsch you played on the last Monkees tour was a thing of beauty, terrific-looking and sounding. What instruments are you using on this tour, and how does your gear set-up differ between Monkees shows and solo dates?
A: As I say, in the solo shows I play in front of a wonderful band. Paul Leim and Joe Chemay, drums and bass respectively, and Chris Scruggs on stringed instruments and Boh Cooper on keys. So they do the heavy lifting and make the evening really alive with great performances. I focus on singing and sort of strum along with a Martin J40-12 – which they no longer make – and I send it into the board direct with a mix of a pick-up and an on board microphone. It sounds wonderful and sits in the background of this band in just the right way. I also have a great front of house mixer and monitor mixer that makes the show a real joy to hear and to play. It all sounds fantastic to my ears.
In contrast, the Gretsch is front and center with Peter’s guitar and bass on the Monkees tour. The Monkees have a back up band so that Mick can get out from behind the drums and sing. With the backup band the complex arrangements of the records are maintained. The Gretsch really sings as you noticed – and for the end I switch over to a Strat with Seymour Duncan pickups for “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Listen to the Band” – which also closes the Monkees show. Both Gretsch and the Strat go through a Fender Super Sonic Twin –one of the new ones with tubes.
Micky Dolenz Live
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart returns