This highlight from the first season of The Monkees aired 50 years ago tonight on NBC. The article also examines The Monkees' comments at the end of the show regarding the Sunset Strip riots (an event referenced later by Michael Nesmith in the song "Daily Nightly").
And check out all of the Gretsch gear below that was prevalent throughout this episode!
And don't forget to check out this interview with guest star Vito Scotti, who also appeared in Head:
A new page has been added to The Monkees Live Almanac website, chronicling The Monkees' appearance at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, California this past September, which Michael Nesmith said would be his last with the group. The essay examines Michael's history with The Monkees since the group's revival in 1986 as well as the Pantages concert itself.
I'd like to say a big thank you to Sherri Hansen who provided most of the photos you will see on the page (with more on the way to be added at a later date). A shout-out as well to Elliott Marx, who shared his wonderful audience recording of the show on SoundCloud, and to all the fans who uploaded their video footage to YouTube. Please enjoy - and I welcome any feedback.
And check out the great photo of The Monkees from the Justus era, taken in Santa Monica, California in late 1996.
Thank you to everyone for their continued support of this website, and for a wonderful 50th Anniversary celebration of The Monkees!
Sandra Schock recently shared some of her Monkees artwork with the Live Almanac. Here's a sketch of The Monkees inspired by their September 2016 performance at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. For more of Sandra's artwork, be sure to visit her on Facebook and Twitter, and stay tuned to the Live Almanac for a page devoted exclusively to this show, Michael Nesmith's final performance with The Monkees.
Adam Schlesinger, who made his name reviving power-pop as half of Fountains of Wayne, gathers together a crew of clever songwriters – including Rivers Cuomo, Ben Gibbard, Andy Partridge, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller – to provide top-shelf material for a reunion that lives up to the album's title and its exclamation point. But though Good Times! updates the Monkees' sound, it also keeps one foot in the past: A tweaked Sixties demo allows Micky Dolenz to perform a virtual duet with the title track's composer, the late Harry Nilsson; and Davy Jones (who died in 2012) appears via a 1967 outtake. Septuagenarians have never celebrated puppy love so winningly. K.H.
Sandra Schock recently shared some of her Monkees artwork with the Live Almanac. Here's a great sketch of Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork with their touring band. For more of Sandra's artwork, be sure to visit her on Facebook and Twitter.
The Live Almanac would like to extend a warm thank you to Micky, Peter, and Michael Nesmith for all of the fun and excitement they brought to the road this year. I'd also like to recognize Andrew Sandoval, who produced the tour, along with the entire staff and crew that worked behind the scenes. Andrew was also kind enough to share photos of set lists from numerous shows on the tour with the Live Almanac, and that was much appreciated. If only Davy Jones had been around for it all.
With that being said, the 50th Anniversary concerts wouldn't have been the success they were without The Monkees' touring band: Wayne Avers (guitar/musical director), John Billings (bass), Rich Dart (drums), Dave Alexander (keyboards), and Coco Dolenz (vocals/percussion). Everyone involved with the tour should take a bow!
In the meantime, I'm going to begin work on my essay for the 50th Anniversary Tour page here on the Live Almanac, along with creating a page dedicated exclusively to Michael Nesmith's final concert with The Monkees at the Pantages Theatre this past September.
I would also like to take a minute to thank everyone for their constant support of this website and blog. I have been overwhelmed by your kind email notes and well-wishes. I continue to be astonished by the traffic flow the site receives!! I was also honored that The Monkees Live Almanac was mentioned this year in online articles published by industry websites like Billboard and others, and author Peter Mills gave a shout-out to the Live Almanac in his newly published book, The Monkees, Head, and the 60s (which I highly recommend):
John Wilson, Alan Adkins, Jim Catapano, Fred Velez, Patrick Zappi, Daniel Eckert, Mark James Melhi, Amy Collen, and Brian Marchese also deserve recognition. In honor of The Monkees' 50th Anniversary, they composed essays for the Live Almanac (and in Brian's instance produced a podcast) celebrating the group's history and impact, and their work has greatly enhanced this website.
Finally, a hearty thank you to John Hughes, Andrew Sandoval, Dan Wingate, and everyone at Rhino Records, who provided Monkees fans with two monumental releases this year. Good Times!, The Monkees' first studio album since 1996's Justus, shot to the upper echelons of the charts and captured the spirit of the group's '60s recordings, due in large part to Adam Schlesinger, who produced the LP. Rhino's Blu-ray set, which featured all of the Monkees episodes, Head, and 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee restored from their original prints (along with a bevy of bonus features), allowed The Monkees' legacy on film to jump into the 21st century.
Now, stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac in 2017 for all it will bring to Monkees fans!
Check out this great poster, a creation of Monkees fan Becca Nelson. I think it sums up 2016 nicely!
Thanks to Brian Sumner for filming this historic show, advertised as Michael Nesmith's final concert with The Monkees, and to Sherri Hansen for creating a playlist of the footage on YouTube. Enjoy!
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval produced this year's 50th Anniversary Tour. Today on Facebook, he took a moment to reflect on the shows and more:
Micky Dolenz & Peter Tork played close to 50 different songs over the past 7 months, across 66 concerts in four countries (covering 30 of the 50 United States, Canada, New Zealand & Australia). We were joined by Michael Nesmith for four tremendous shows, one of which I think was maybe the best concert I have ever seen The Monkees perform.
This year, The Monkees had a new album called Good Times! that was a Top 20 charting album in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. This just blows my mind.
I have been proud to present The Monkees in concert for 160 shows from 2011-2016: the group's longest period of continuous activity since the 1960's.
We owe a great debt to our fantastic band: Wayne Avers, John Billings, Rich Dart, Gemma Dolenz & David Alexander. This year, we were blessed by having such wonderful guest musicians as David Robicheau, Vance Brescia & Felipe Torres.
Our tremendous crew pulled off a consistently great production. Thank you to Tim Iseler, Chip Auchincloss, Austin Becker & Sabrina Rush. We were helped immeasurably on a number of dates by Guy T. Koepp, Martin Garneret, Francis Sapienza, Noamme Elisha, Dave Butterworth & Matt Littlejohn. Special thanks to Scott Gawlik for his work on our videos and live concert filming.
Lastly, my extra special thanks to everyone who came to "watch us sing and play" in this wonderful five year period. Your support, trust and love have made it all possible.
Off Good Times!, the Monkees' first album in 20 years, "Me and Magdalena" is a gentle, folk-y ballad that lets Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's tender harmonies shine. Ben Gibbard wrote the track, and the album itself features writing contributions from artists like Rivers Cuomo, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Noel Gallagher and more.
Revisiting the Past was released on the City Lights label back in October. Seemingly aimed at cashing in on The Monkees' 50th Anniversary, the 10-track CD (also available for download on iTunes) features interview clips with both Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork from 1987. The source of the interviews is unknown to me. (The liner notes may provide more information, but I have yet to purchase the disc.)
The collection is a time period piece for sure, with Micky talking about the Monkee movie that ultimately never got made in the '80s, and Peter hoping "Gettin' In" would become a single off the Pool It! album.
Thanks to Mike for reminding me about this release!
Good Times! Plus! was made available as part of a special Record Store Day release by Rhino Records for Black Friday on November 25, 2016. The four song EP, pressed on 10" red opaque vinyl and limited to 2,500 copies, included the four non-album songs that were previously only available via iTunes and exclusive retail CDs in both the US and Japan. Ben Belmares scanned his copy, and you can see the front and back covers, labels, and more below. Thanks, Ben!