The Candy Store Prophets were a band headed by Monkees songwriters/producers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Their lineup included Boyce and Gerry McGee on guitar, Hart on keyboards, Larry Taylor on bass, and Billy Lewis on drums.
During the summer of 1966, The Candy Store Prophets recorded the majority of the backing tracks for the first Monkees album, with assistance from guitarists Louie Shelton and Wayne Erwin. Lewis played drums on several key Monkees songs (in the days before the group supported themselves instrumentally in the studio). That's Billy you hear on "Last Train to Clarksville," "Steppin' Stone," "She," "Saturday's Child," and "(Theme from) The Monkees," along with a host of others. When The Monkees began their first live concert appearances in late 1966, the Prophets toured with them as their opening act while also backing the individual Monkees during their solo spots.
In this 1988 interview with Paris Stachtiaris and John Di Maio on The Monkees Hour, Billy recalls working in the studio with Don Kirshner, touring with The Monkees, recording with Boyce and Hart, and more.
An Evening With The Monkees 2020