I went to the 2014 Monkees Convention in New York and filmed what I saw and who I met. I am a huge Monkees fan and it was a real thrill to speak to like-minded, passionate people. I was also lucky enough to interview Micky Dolenz, Monkees songwriter Bobby Hart, and Monkees historian Eric Lefcowitz, who all appear in this documentary.
Thanks to Iain Lee for uploading the rare footage he put together for a special screening at the 2014 Monkees Convention. You'll see a lot of great stuff here, including Davy on The Roger Whittaker Show from the UK on June 22, 1971, and his appearance with U2 in Los Angeles in 1997. Be sure to head over to Monkee Bootlegs on Facebook and like the page. Iain has a lot of new material on the way!
This is a great session with Andrew. He talks about recent Monkees finds that he has unearthed, future Rhino plans, TV show outtakes, prepping the 2011 tour, Davy Jones, and much more.
Andrew was joined by Bobby Hart for the second part of the session, and they discuss the upcoming documentary, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart: The Guys Who Wrote 'Em.
Back from NYC and the Convention and the Winery and other things.
Enjoyed most of it.
Being driven is so different than driving. Lurch, stab the accelerator, jam on the brakes. Spill the coffee. Squirm in your seat. Peer out from the back seat to the traffic that never ends, the roads that never mend, one calamitous bump after another, one jolt to the back, another to the neck.
It’s the one part of travel that wears me down. Getting dragged around in public transport.
I am learning to levitate, but so far it isn’t going well. I can only hover about three feet off the ground for about fifteen minutes at a time and can only move to the right at about two miles an hour. So its a big circle. After a while I get bored and quit. I really can’t depend on it for travel yet.
The Convention was actually fun. The people were warm and friendly, and I never knew there was that much Monkee Merch. Doodads as far as I could see. I signed hundreds of them. Everyone seemed happy — dealers and collectors and fans with treasured memories.
Pop Music Hall of Fame induction was fine. I was comfortable and happy to take part, although a bit confused by it.
Almost everyone said that it was a way for people to express appreciation for the Monkees — and that makes sense — but I didn’t know what to say. Thank you or You’re Welcome? I just smiled and let Micky and Peter do all the talking.
Confused is an OK state of mind, in some ways close to “wonder”, but more like a passing cloud, a momentary “wha—??” and then things clear up. Like being driven by a bad driver for a second or two — it all takes me home.
My concerts were fun for me. These were the first time in my entire career that I played a concert without playing my guitar. I watched Micky do it over the years and took courage from that but I was nervous. So this time Christian played the guitar with the band and I just sang and wiggled. He did a great job. After the first song or two it all felt natural and I was able to get closer to the songs than I ever have before. That felt right and good. I think I will continue.
All my kids were there with me. Jason had to get back to LA and get to work before the convention and shows, but Jessica, Jonathan, and Christian were all over the convention. Their tables looked good, and they looked good. They all performed their works and got some nice boosts. Jonathan’s table looked like something from Chanel. Christian and Circe played and sounded great — which the audience found out after the sound guy finally woke up. Jessica did her solo songs — they sounded good, she sounded good, and she looked comfortable on stage.
It was pretty hectic all in all, so I was happy when I got dragged and shoved and finally lurched back to the peace and serenity of home.
I know the saying that life is a journey. I think Life is also a nice nap going nowhere special in quietude. Home is a good place for me to get my feet off the ground.
Michael and his band performed the 'Movies of the Mind' show last night in New Jersey at the 2014 Monkees convention.
Micky, Michael, and Peter accepted the honor during this afternoon's festivities at the Monkees Convention in New Jersey. Visit the American Pop Music Hall website for more information.
Convention update - Sandoval announces new super deluxe edition box set and discovery of TV show outtakes
Both Michael Nesmith and Andrew Sandoval conducted Q & A sessions last night at the 2014 Monkees convention in New Jersey. Michael's session was hosted by the editors of The New Inquiry magazine.
According to reports, Sandoval announced that a super deluxe edition of The Monkees (the group's debut album) is in the works, and that the possibility existed for super deluxe editions for More of The Monkees, Headquarters, and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (though he noted that a lot of tapes from the Pisces sessions are still missing). Andrew also revealed that outtakes from the television series were discovered while he was working on the Criterion Collection Head DVD and Blu-ray, and that he has a superior copy of the original pilot episode that he hoped could be a supplement to The Monkees super deluxe box.
Finally, Andrew confirmed that three shows on the 2012 Monkees tour were professionally recorded. He told convention goers that to date he has been unable to strike a deal for a live album release for various reasons.
Tomorrow, a sneak preview of the upcoming Boyce & Hart documentary (co-produced by Sandoval and Rachel Lichtman) will be screened in Brooklyn at The Bell House.
Here's a look at the schedule for the rest of the weekend.
"There has been talk about doing a Monkees tour, but nothing to be announced yet,” he said. “We have talked about it a couple of months ago, talked about doing a tour. But it usually comes down to availability and scheduling and stuff like that. So nothing to be announced yet, but you never know.”
Peter Tork will attend the upcoming Monkees convention for one day on Saturday, March 15, 2014 for a special signing from 2pm to 5pm. Both Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz have previously been confirmed as guests, and Michael will perform his 'Movies of the Mind' concert show during the event.
Tickets are available here.
The latest from Nez on Facebook:
I have been busy finishing up the collector’s edition CD's of my Movies of the Mind concert live album. It’s been a long time since I have worked on releasing a CD. It seems odd. Weirdly old fashioned. Things have changed so much.
I think the three Editions are coming along well and they look nice. They are signed and numbered like an artist’s run of prints, beautifully packaged with collector's goodies and they are priced like first editions are – which is to say expensive -- but there are only a few hundred of each.
The landscape of recorded music is such unusual territory these days it is hard to know what to do. For instance part of the Super Deluxe Edition – sold out, thank you for that – has a vinyl LP in the set.
I put it there because of the advice I was getting from Andrew Sandoval, the producer of the Editions, as well as collectors and fans who said it would be a good addition.
It’s a puzzle to me.
I remember how happy I was when the CD came along and made the LP obsolete. No more pops and scratches – no more hiss – no more distorted highs and muddy lows. I was thrilled.
Then software started popping up to reintroduce all those things digitally and finally the LP itself knocked at my back door.
“Who’s there?” I wondered. “You!!?? I thought you left.”
“No” said the LP, “I have been hanging out in the back yard with the compost pile until I saw the light from your computer inviting me back in. It really smells out there. I don't belong with all that garbage. Can I come in?”
What could I say? I let him in. (The LP is male – figures)
So there is a 12” inch LP in the Super Deluxe Edition of 200. I put songs on the LP that I have been sketching for a while and some performances from the Spring Tour.
The “new” songs have been around for awhile. They are part of a section of my music garden I have been working on and are still fragile buds – tiny – I'm not even sure what species – maybe a fruit – maybe a vegetable – some kind of plant, in any case. They are pretty little things and have a good aroma and they are attractive.
The first song-bulbs are split and now repotted in the LP but still in the download section of Videoranch. The Videoranch files are digital of course – they don't sound like the LP. Nothing does, actually.
As I say there are three collectors’ Editions and the Super Deluxe and Deluxe are sold out. There are around 200 of the Standard Edition still available.
I will bring those last 200 with me to the Monkees convention. They don't have the vinyl LP but they are a lot cheaper than the other two.
I worry, too, about bringing my solo merch to the Convention. I figure Monkees fans want Monkees stuff and not my solo work. My Monkees fan friends assure me this is not the case so I am bringing Nez stuff -- but I have real trepidations about it.
Those same trepidations apply to my solo show and the Q&A Session that are set up for the Convention. I’ll do the Movies of the Mind show like I wrote it but I decided at the last minute to throw in an extra Monkees song.
The Q&A session was a bit of a problem to solve. I didn't know quite what the Convention hosts wanted but they gave me pretty much free reign to set it up however I wanted so I took it.
I thought a long time and finally decided to invite Rachel Rosenfelt Publisher and Editor of The New Inquiry magazine to ask the questions. She is bringing another editor from TNI with her; Rob Horning. I gave Rachel and Rob the permission to ask me anything.
The three of us will be talking about all things Monkees from what I hope is a high and interesting perspective. Both Rachel and Rob are wicked smart, both are young – Rachel is 28 and just recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the brightest and best “30 under-30’s in the U.S." – both are deep thinkers and avid Monkees fans. I think it will be a good session.
I hope they don't ask me about LP’s though. I am clueless as to the appeal. If they do maybe I will just bust into a crazy non-sequitur song like “Shrimp Boats are A’Comin”. That makes as much sense to me as a vinyl LP.
Still, overall I am happy to be working hard on this Editions release and the Convention. I am getting more and more excited to be going – the LP mystery notwithstanding. See you there.
In Memoriam: Michael Nesmith
Dolenz sings Nesmith - The EP
Micky Dolenz Live!