The wait is over. The Monkees: The Complete Series, housed in a lenticular box and including 10 Blu-ray discs, a booklet, as well as a bonus 45, is once again available via the official Monkees online store.
The set features all 58 episodes of The Monkees (newly remastered in HD from the original negatives for the very first time), the group's 1968 feature film Head (with never-before-seen outtakes), and the 1969 television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, along with a wide array of bonus materials.
Previously unreleased mixes of both "Star Collector" and "Goin' Down" appear on the bonus 7" record. The former is an alternate mono mix and the latter is a mono vocal mix, featuring Micky Dolenz singing live in the TV studio to the backing track of "Goin' Down." Both versions of these well-known Monkees songs were heard exclusively on the soundtrack of the second season of The Monkees.
UPDATE 4/22/2022: The Blu-ray set is now out of stock. Shoppers are being asked to subscribe to an email list to receive a back in stock notification.
UPDATE 4/27/2022: The Blu-ray set has been removed from the online Monkees store.
UPDATE 4/29/2022: The online Monkees store now lists the Blu-ray set as "currently not available."
A brand new hoodie and T-shirt celebrating the Monkees Blu-ray collection also debuted today and can be purchased online while supplies last:
Actor and comedian Rip Taylor, known for his flamboyant personality and showering himself and others with confetti, who made countless appearances on television, film, and in nightclubs, passed away on October 6. Monkees fans will remember Taylor as a multiple episode guest star on The Monkees, appearing prominently in second season highlights "Monkees on the Wheel" (as the distressed casino manager) and "The Frodis Caper" (as the diabolical Wizard Glick).
Taylor was also spotted in The Monkees' 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, during the "Listen to the Band" segment.
The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter eulogized Taylor, while also noting his appearances with The Monkees.
"In 1967, Taylor showed up as a sobbing casino manager on an episode of The Monkees. 'Oh, officer, thank goodness you're here,' he says to a police detective called to investigate a rigged roulette wheel. 'I just found this wire attached to the wheel. And whenever I'd shift my stick, the house would lose a bet. Could you die?'"
-The Hollywood Reporter
On March 25, 1968 the last original episode of The Monkees aired on NBC. "The Frodis Caper" was written by Micky Dolenz and Dave Evans, and in his debut behind the camera, directed by Micky. Taylor portrayed Wizard Glick, who was out to control people's minds through a hypnotic eye broadcasted on television sets. "This is my attempt to address the manipulation of the American mind by the media," Dolenz relayed in a 2003 DVD commentary for the episode. "Hooray, The Monkees save the world from the evil machinations of the media . . . I guess it didn’t work, though, did it?"
Rip Taylor was 88.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of The Monkees' 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, here is an article that appeared in a teen magazine in 1969:
The Monkees' 1969 television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee aired 50 years ago on April 14, 1969. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval documented the making of the special in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
Thanks a lot to SirQ for alerting the Live Almanac to his personal restoration of 33 1/3:
Thanks much to Jeremy Maine who recently shared on Facebook this April 1969 article about Peter Tork's departure from The Monkees, including a photo from the filming of 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee (featuring Davy Jones with Rip Taylor):
The Chicago Tribune spotlights The Monkees' 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee:
Last week, Inside the Box examined The Monkees' 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. And now, the ITMOD podcast takes a turn!
The soundtrack from The Monkees' 1969 NBC TV special has never been officially released (many of the master tapes are missing), but a bootleg of it (courtesy of Zilch Records) surfaced in the mid-1980s. I ordered a copy from Golden Treasures in Arkansas (does anyone remember this company?!) in the late '80s, and here's a scan of the front and back covers. I'll have to search online to see if Golden Treasures still operates - I received mail order catalogs from them probably until the late 1990s.